ABOUT OUR COLLOMBATTI NATURALS ALPACAS
About our Collombatti Naturals Alpacas
At the time of writing this post, we are the happy owners of eight alpacas. All of our alpacas, except for one barren female, are wethered males, as we keep alpacas for their fleece rather than for breeding. Wethered males not only produce a lovely fleece but are also highly sought after as herd guards for smaller farm animals such as sheep and goats, although in our experience this hasn’t always been the case.
That's Gorgeous George!
Our eldest alpaca is a white male called Gorgeous George. He’s the unofficial leader of the herd and is a kind, gentle and very patient boy. I’m actually surprised he’s the leader of the gang, as he’s not remotely forceful or bossy, but I think he’s recognised as being a wise old soul by the others. He’s the only one of our alpacas that was not bred locally, coming from a breeder south of Port Macquarie. We’ve had him since he was 18 months old, so at the time of writing, he's around 6 years of age.
Our sweet old girl, Pandora
Next came Pandora, she’s our only female, passed on to us by a local breeder as she was unable to fall pregnant. Panda is also our eldest alpaca, being around 11 years of age now. She has a beautiful steel grey fleece, and although it’s become shorter and coarser with every passing year, I like to blend it in with other fleeces because of it’s beautiful colour.
Texas sunbaking after breakfast
Texas is another wethered male with a lovely, mid-fawn coloured fleece. Always with a long, crimpy staple, his fleece is lovely to spin. We nearly lost Texas a few years ago when a grass seed caused a huge abscess under his eye. It gave him trouble for several months requiring daily injections but he pulled through ok seemingly without any damage to his eyesight.
That's Big Red on the left, Texas in middle and Baby on the right.
Big Red came from a local breeder who was selling her animals due to the sale of her property. Probably due to his size, Big Red is second in charge of the herd and is more of an enforcer, especially when it comes to food. Big Red likes his tucker, and let no one stand in his way when dinner is being served. He has a beautiful red-brown fleece of a very fine micron and like all alpaca, is a joy to spin.
Baby is Big Red’s buddy, they came together from the same property and have been together since birth. Although not one of our biggest alpacas, Baby likes a good wrestling match with a usually not-so-willing opponent. An alpaca wrestling match is quite a sight to behold, with lots of grunting and groaning going on until one party succumbs by being held down by the other. They use their necks to bring their opponent down, much like the techniques used by giraffes! When the copious amount of dust has been removed, Baby’s fleece is a lovely light fawn colour with lots of fine crimp.
That's Cooper on the left, Titian to the right
Cooper is my show boy. For me, it was love at first sight when I first saw him as a newborn 3 years ago. I have always been fond of grey alpacas, but Cooper's beautiful markings and two-tone fleece had me from the start. It was a joyous day when the shearer rang to say they wouldn’t be keeping Cooper as a stud male as he’d failed to grow out big enough. I was around there in a flash and bought him home the same day. His fleece is soft and silky and the most beautiful silver grey. His fleece is always kept for special spinning projects only.
Next is one of our youngest alpacas, little Casper, he's also a grey, slightly lighter than Cooper and he also has a beautiful silvery sheen. He is different from all our others, having a very fine bone structure and huge, beautiful eyes fringed with long black lashes. He’s very timid and gentle, but not when it comes to feed time. Sometimes we have to physically remove his head from the feed bucket so we can spread it out in the trough. I guess when you’re little like him you need to be a bit pushy!
Last, but definitely not least, is the little cutie-pie, Titian. He’s our youngest white male and has a lovely snowy white fleece. Unlike his good buddy Casper, Titian has more rounded features, reminding me of those cute little Ewoks from the Star Wars movies. Unfortunately, Titian will be facing neutering when we take them for shearing in September. I do not look forward to these events, and although I know it’s for the best, I can’t watch it being done.
Yes, I'm the Worst. Farmer. Ever.