It’s been an interesting second year in the alpaca world for us. Starting with a ‘hobby mob’ of nine animals at the end of 2007, we’ve more than quadrupled the herd – 38 alpacas, four of them certified males, with more on the way in 2009!
The biggest event was being joined by our son, James, who has also been bitten by the bug and is building up his own ‘Kobler Alpacas’ herd on our farm while he finds a place of his own.
We’ve had a good year at the shows, with a respectable haul of ribbons from our first Royal Adelaide. The highpoint though came from an unexpected place – we did our first interstate show this year, taking three of the boys down to the Ballarat Sheep and Wool show in Victoria where Colin (more about that name in later post…) our suri stud male, came away with a reserve champion ribbon and medal. It took weeks to wipe the grins off our faces!
There have been some tough times as well. The year started with a very difficult birth, we thought for a while that we were going to have our first fatality – possibly a double one as both mother and cria had a hard time of it. But thanks to some help from other breeders who had seen similar problems before, both made it through and made full recoveries. In October we purchased a female alpaca at auction, although we (and other breeders) inspected her and found nothing wrong at the time, we found shortly after that the poor girl had mange and a fungal skin infection – four weeks of isolation, daily treatment, a huge vet bill and lots of TLC though and she’s back with the herd as right as rain. Finally, the odd weather we had over the last couple of months has resulted in our first case of staggers, again treated and full recovery but still a worry at the time.