Murrumbateman breeders celebrate Alpaca Week

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MURRUMBATEMAN alpaca breeder Rob Harborne visited the lawns of Parliament House yesterday with 30 alpacas to celebrate 25 years of the industry in Australia.

Mr Harborne, president of the Southern Region Alpaca Association, has 150 alpacas on his property and is opening the gates of Eaglewood Alpaca Stud this weekend to mark the start of Alpaca Week, from May 2-10.

“[The public] can meet the animals this Sunday from 10am to 3pm and learn about halter training and come and take photos,” he told Scoop.

The stud is a household name in the district, with the animals making popular pets, good for breeding, used as good ‘lawnmowers’ on acreage and even used to guard mobs of sheep and lambs.

Children especially love them and Murrumbateman is home to hundreds of the adorable mammal, he said.

One Tree Hill Alpacas. PHOTO: Briony Barac

One Tree Hill Alpacas. PHOTO: Briony Barac

Matthew and Angela Smith, from One Tree Hill Alpaca Stud in Murrumbateman, regularly attend the Murrumbateman Village Market with their herd and also welcome visitors by appointment at their property.

Mrs Smith has found many uses for the fleece her animals produce and has created her own range of hand-made products, which she also sells at Canberra’s quarterly Handmade Market.

From pet beds to felted bears, alpacas and even mushrooms, Angela has found a niche market of people wanting to know more about anything alpaca-related.

From their doe eyes and beautiful colours to the fabulous wool they produce, it’s not hard to fall in love with these gentle creatures and their curious noises, she said.

If you can’t make it to the open day this Sunday, you can catch Angela, Matt, and Rob at the Murrumbateman Village Market the following Saturday (May 9) from 9am to 1pm at the Recreation Ground.

Felted Mushrooms from One Tree Hill Alpacas. PHOTO: Angela Smith

One Tree Hill felted mushrooms. PHOTO: Angela Smith

One Tree Hill Alpaca Stud. PHOTO: Angela Smith

One Tree Hill felted alpacas. PHOTO: Angela Smith

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