Visit to Appledene Alpacas

Our June meeting saw some of the members get in their cars and drive off to Appledene Alpacas in Marden. Unfortunately for some they had got caught in he traffic chaos of the M20 bridge repairs and they arrived a couple of hours late. When we arrived we were met by Maurice and we set up in the barn where Sara was busy setting up the tea making facilities. There was a lovely array of Alpaca items to purchase on the day. There was also bags and bags of Alpaca fleece to buy and if you bought one you could choose another from another pile which Sara suggested to use for felting.

Maurice then made us cup of tea and Sara gave a short talk on the Alpacas. She told us that they were birthing quite late this year due to the warm weather we had been having.  There was one Alpaca which they hoped would give birth while we were there but unfortunately she did not oblige. Maurice led in their Stud male who was most handsome. We were told that he was bought so they could breed him for his colour. But of all the Cria he had sired, only one was a female but she had a brown spot on one side which meant she could not be shown in the single coloured category and that would depreciate her value.

After the talk we followed Maurice and Sara into the paddocks to see the animals themselves. First we were shown the geldings (Castrated Males) they ranged from soft creams to a beautiful Guernsey Brown. They all had different faces and characters. We then carried on up the paddock to where some Alpacas were with their cria. A couple of the cria were only a day or 2 old and they were very inquisitive but if they got too close to us they were promptly moved away by their mums. In the next paddock were some Alpacas that were waiting to give birth. So, a short while we headed back to the barn for our lunch and a bit of spinning and purchasing of various items. The group that was caught up on the M20 arrived and they were given a cup of tea and then they went off up the paddocks to look at the Alpacas. As it was Sara’s birthday a card was signed and presented to her. Thanks were giving to ours hosts for such a pleasant day but it came to an end all too swiftly. There are a couple of open days coming up and if you get the chance to go, do. The Alpacas are such a pleasure to see.

Darren Taylor