The growth possibilities for alpaca farming are very strong, and even a small foundation herd can grow in a few years. The current high prices of some alpacas reflect the demand for high quality breeding stock on which the future of the U.K. alpaca fibre industry will be built. There are also alpacas available to purchase from Bozedown at lower prices, especially favourable when a number, or package of alpacas is required.
Bozedown females and stud males are in demandas breeding stock for serious breeders. Young pet quality males are also in demand as exotic, low-maintenance pasture trimmers for the many owners of small acreages who prefer not to breed, but who appreciate the beauty and tranquillity these intelligent, eco-friendly animals impart. Pet quality males are also in demand as stock protectors.
Alpacas have been in the U.K. since the middle of the 19th century, mostly in zoos. The first privately-owned alpacas in England were surplus zoo stock, and these formed the foundation of several early alpaca herds, including this. In 1989, when Bozedown Alpacas was established, there were only about 150 alpacas in the UK. Wider interest was stirred when a group of 300 huacaya alpacas was imported form Chile in 1995.
With Bozedown Alpacas first selection of breeding stock from Peru in 1998 – the first Peruvians in UK or Europe – came the chance for Bozedown and other breeders to tap into the advanced alpaca genetics which the Peruvians had already developed for their thriving alpaca fibre industry.
In 2012 we estimate that there are about 30,000 alpacas in the UK. Many breeders now compete for prizes at specialist Alpaca Shows and general Agricultural Shows around the country. The competition is very strong, with many British alpacas of World Class standard. Bozedown Alpacas, along with our clients, have achieved an unparallelled number of Champion prizes and placings.
Many breeders, when they have their first alpacas sheared, want to own and/or give as gifts garments made from their own alpacas’ fleeces. Many breeders have their own alpaca fibre processed into yarn by one of the small mills which cater for them. They then have this yarn made up into end product. Some mills are buying clean fleece to produce various luxury quality end products, such as yarn, knitwear, throws and fabrics. Second quality fibre is also converted into wonderful yarn, throws, rugs, socks and duvets. Currently about 40 tons of highest quality blanket fibre is produced annually in the UK, and this amount will continue to grow.