First open day at north Suffolk alpaca farm
The owners of a north Suffolk alpaca farm will be holding their first open day since starting the farm five years ago.
Pauline Sandell and David Cooper started their Weybread farm - Woodbine Farm Alpacas - with six pregnant females and now have a flourishing herd of more than 50 alpacas.
The open day takes place today at their farm in Hoxne Road.
Over the last five years, the couple have improved the quality of the herd by careful breeding - demonstrated by the numerous rosettes they have won in the show ring.
They concentrate on breeding coloured alpacas, in particular black and dark brown, although they do have some white and fawn.
Alpacas are from the South American camelid family and are closely related to llamas, although they are smaller.
There are two kinds of alpaca; the huacaya, which has sheep-like woolliness, and the suri, which has long spiral locks. The colour of their fleece ranges from black, brown, fawn, grey and white, and within those colours there are about 23 different shades.
The females give birth to one cria - the name for a baby alpaca - every year, although very occasionally they have twins.
Described by the couple as highly intelligent animals and a joy to look after, alpacas are easy to maintain and although timid and shy are also very inquisitive.
The animals are kept for their fleece which although hard wearing and strong, is very soft with a silky feel to it.
It is also said to be hypoallergenic.
The animals are shorn once a year, and the couple send the fleece off to a mini mill to have it made into yarn which is then either sold as yarn or made into garments for sale.
The open day will run from 10.30am to 4.30pm, with a charge of £2 per car to cover costs.
Visitors will be able to walk around the farm and see the alpacas up close.
There will also be a good range of alpacas for sale, as well as the farm’s own Suffolk baby alpaca yarn, alpaca clothing by Concepts of Peru and Purl Alpaca Designs, alpaca cards, wrapping paper, pencils and colouring books by The Nosey Pacas.
Along with that there will be spinning, weaving and felting demonstrations, with refreshments provided by Country Cottage.
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Weather for Diss
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 4 C to 8 C
Wind Speed: 21 mph
Wind direction: South
Temperature: 6 C to 14 C
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