Diverse focus on production at alpaca stud

Diverse focus on production at alpaca stud


Sheep National
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CHASING a more consistent income, Adelaide Hills alpaca breeder Susan Haese has expanded her stud operation to include a commercial sheep enterprise.

CHASING a more consistent income, Adelaide Hills alpaca breeder Susan Haese has expanded her stud operation to include a commercial sheep enterprise.

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SHOW SUCCESS: Susan Haese with her 2016 National Alpaca show winner Yaringa Heartbreaker which was sold to a buyer in the United Kingdom in September.

SHOW SUCCESS: Susan Haese with her 2016 National Alpaca show winner Yaringa Heartbreaker which was sold to a buyer in the United Kingdom in September.

The 380-head Yaringa Alpaca stud is still the main focus on Ms Haese’s 400-hectare property Coomooloo at Bald Hills, but 1500 sheep, including 500 Corriedales and 1000 crossbreds, have been added since moving from Currency Creek 18 months ago. Ms Haese has run Huacaya alpacas, along with some Suri, since 2000.

“I moved because I was trying to run a commercial enterprise on a hobby-sized farm,” she said.

“I wanted the ability into diversify to other livestock and hay production.”

Ms Haese said a “significant factor” in the move was the cleaner alpaca fleeces.

“We are not getting fleeces full of sand or vegetable matter so they are more saleable,” she said. “This property has much better pastures and we are not overstocked.”

Ms Haese said to an extent, alpacas were a lifestyle industry rather than a livestock industry.

“Each year alpacas are getting closer to being a livestock industry and as a consequence, income is linked to economic conditions. When the economy is strong, people are more likely to buy alpacas than when the economy is poor,” she said

“With sheep, you know your lamb and fleece sales will be in a particular month, so you can budget a bit better having a second stream of income.”

On-farm, the livestock is run separately until the ewes are lambing and alpaca wethers are put in with the sheep to protect the lambs from foxes. The herd is large enough to produce its own stud males but a male is bought every two years from interstate to provide genetic diversity.  She aims to breed alpacas with 18 to 22 micron fleece with a low standard deviation, and sells her clip nationally and to Europe. It has been a successful year for Ms Haese, with her fleece taking the top gong for Huacaya fleece at the Royal Adelaide Show and her first national win in August.

“I won my first national championship and that male was exported to the United Kingdom in September,” she said.

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