Alpaca auction, a Gympie first
ALPACA breeders in the Gympie area have come together to offer a selection for sale in the region's first ever auction of alpacas.
If this auction proves the success organisers are hoping for, it is planned to make it an annual event.
Auctions often prove a great place to pick up a bargain and the alpacas offered will include those suitable for pets as well as breeding males and breeding females.
Some of the females will be pregnant and some will have a cria (baby alpaca) at foot.
The breeders will also be auctioning services from some stud males and this could be an opportunity for established breeders to pick up a discounted mate for their females.
The auction will take place at Dandaloo Alpacas at Dagun tomorrow. Gates open at midday and the auction will start at 1pm.
The Gympie area has 12 registered alpaca breeding studs, with more than 300 alpacas.
Six of these local studs are participating in this inaugural event.
Alpacas are a growing industry in the region, with the number of studs doubling in the past few years.
There are two breeds of alpacas: the Suri and the Huacaya.
The Huacaya is the more common breed, with a fleece similar to a merino sheep.
Huacaya fleece is used for a variety of things from wool garments to blankets and quilts and even some luxurious carpet.
Huacaya fleece has about twice the thermal properties of sheep's wool, meaning that a much lighter jumper keeps you very warm.
Alpaca wool does not have lanolin, so it is much easier to clean prior to spinning.
The Suri alpaca is a rarer breed, and makes up only 10 per cent of all alpacas worldwide.
The Suri alpaca fleece hangs down the side of the body in ringlets that are often said to resemble dreadlocks.
The Suri fleece is slippery and shiny and makes beautiful evening wear with fabulous drape.
Alpacas come in a range of natural colours from white, through creamy fawns and caramels to dark browns and black.
There are even some that are natural shades of grey.
Alpacas have soft toe pads with toenails (no hoof) and therefore have a much lighter impact on our soils.
They are very efficient in processing their food, meaning that they eat less than you would expect.
Alpacas are clean, don't suffer from fly strike and use a communal toilet, making the manure easy to clean up.
Their manure is a good garden fertiliser.
For more information about the first Gympie Alpaca auction, visit the website for Dandaloo Alpacas at www.dandaloo.com