Pauline Sandell & David Cooper | alpacas@woodbinefarmalpacas.co.uk | 01379 854454 | 07774 675365 | 07771 966112

UK Alpacas for sale, Suffolk / Norfolk. We are established alpaca breeders offering sales and stud services in East Anglia. We can export to Europe.

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Older News & Events

Farm Open Day - Sunday 12th August 2012


We held our first Open Day on 12th August 2012, on a lovely summers day. Over 500 people came and had a look around the farm and saw our alpacas close up. The day was a success with people enjoying the weaving and spinning demonstrations and were able to buy some of our wool and products (see products page). Alpaca clothing was on sale from Concepts of Peru and Purl Alpaca Designs.

The name the Cria competition was very successful with the winning name, Olympia (shown left), chosen by Janice Gee.


Click here to see more photos of the day


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Futurity Show 2012 NEC Birmingham

We were very pleased that four out of eight of the alpacas that we took to the Futurity Sow were placed. The standard was very high and over 400 alpacas were shown over the weekend. In the photograph, right, is our fawn junior male, Dijon, who was given 3rd place. Charlie, our black intermediate male, was placed 4th. Dempsey, our brown junior female, was placed 5th and we also received a 6th place for Devon, a black junior female. It was the first time that the Futurity was held at the NEC and this proved to be an excellent venue.


1st Cria of the year - February 2012

Our first cria of 2012 was born on 25th February. This was the first time that we have had a cria born as early as February but luckily, the weather was lovely and warm for Enigma to enter the world. At only 5.4kg we made sure that he was warm and feeding well but also gave him some water and honey to give him a bit of extra energy for his first few hours.

Alpacas Go to University - October 2011

On 22nd October we were invited by the Cambridge University Veterinary Zoological Society to talk about alpacas and to take along a few alpacas for some hands-on instruction. We took three males, two females and one cria. The session consisted of a presentation on alpacas followed by some hands on time with the animals.


We talked about behaviour and the reasons why we have alapcas. We also discussed feeding, husbandry, mating and showed them a short video clip of a mating and a birth which they found very interesting. About 30 students attended the talk that lasted about one hour and then we took them to where the animals were penned to explain how we handle them. The alpacas were extremely well behaved and allowed each student to catch and hold them so that they could get a close look at their fleece, feet and teeth. We also showed them how to test their condition score and discussed injection sites. It was our first experience of giving a talk on alpacas and very different to our evening with the Rainbow Unit (see below) but we found it very enjoyable and were pleased to give vets of the future some understanding of camelids.


  


Visit from the Rainbows - October 2011

The local Rainbow Unit contacted us to ask if they could come along and see the alpacas. When the evening arrived about 14 girls aged 5 and 6 arrived with 5 of their helpers. The girls were very excited about seeing the alpacas. We had penned some of the cria apart from their mothers so that the children could get a closer look at them and touch them. There was a constant stream of questions that kept David and I on our toes. Questions like 'how long is the front leg of the tallest alpaca' and 'how do we know the alpacas are happy' really got us having to think fast. The children then helped us to herd the cria back to their mothers. We were very impressed with the behaviour of the children who did exactly as we asked them. Once the cria were back in the paddock the children watched from behind the fence and continued to ask even more interesting questions.


Futurity Show - February 2010

We took four of our animals to the Futurity Show this year. Although we had been to the Futurity before we had never previously shown our animals. We took Bess, a 7 months old brown female, Persephone our newly purchased fawn female and two black males - Barclay 9 months old (shown right) and Bentley 7 months old. Four weeks before the event we started halter training. Barclay and Persephone were fine, but Bentley and Bess were very reluctant to move and Bess in particular dug her heels in and refused to budge while Bentley just laid down on the floor. However, after some gentle persuasion and a lot of patience we got them walking and after 4 or 5 days we were able to walk all four without any difficulty. We decided to give them as many experiences as possible while walking so that when they arrived at the show they would not be fazed by the different environment. This training was certainly worth doing this as they went into the trailer without a problem and when we arrived and they had to walk over the disinfectant mats and into the hall they were absolutely fine. Phew!!


On the day of judging all four animals walked into the ring without having to pull them and apart from Bentley, who took an instant dislike to the judge, they all behaved impeccably. There were four entries in the black junior male and we were extremely pleased that Barclay was awarded a second place and Bentley third. Persephone was in a large class of 14 and she got a fifth. Bess, unfortunately, did not get placed, but to receive a second, third and fifth out of four animals we thought was pretty good. There were fewer entries this year at the Futurity, mainly because of the TB scare. However, the organizers had made sure that there was a 3 metre gap between each pen and disinfectant mats at the entrance so that animals and people had to walk across the mats to get in and out of the hall.

The End of the Year - December 2009

Well, it’s the end of the year and one which has had its ups and downs. We had six successful births, 4 males (2 black, 1 fawn and 1 white) and 2 females (1 brown and 1 dark brown). We bought Holly; a beautiful fawn pregnant female, Purdy; pregnant and with cria and Darcy a young black maiden, so our herd has grown to 24. 10 of our females have been scanned pregnant so, if all goes well, we could have 34 next year. As for the downs, two of our females aborted and although the foetuses went to the VLA we were unable to find out why this happened.


Later on in the year one of our females went to the Cambridge Veterinary Hospital with a tooth abscess. She was operated on and appeared to recover well, but a few days later she took a turn for the worse and her liver stopped functioning. Unfortunately we had to have her put down and her three month old cria, Bramble, was left without a mum. We brought her home from Cambridge and attempted to bottle feed. Although she was reluctant and fretful at first and with a great deal of perseverance she eventually started to accept the bottle and drink a little. To begin with it meant that we were feeding her 5 or 6 times a day and this was pretty exhausting, especially as to start with it took well over half an hour for each feed. However, in time we managed to get her to take more milk at each feed and reduced the feeds to three a day. She is doing very well now, although small for her age, but she has become very friendly and follows me everywhere I go.

A new cria - Saturday 11th July 2009


David has always wanted a Bentley. He has dreamed of owning one since he was a boy. So imagine his delight when yesterday morning a brand new Bentley arrived. Jet black and shiny. Yes, you have guessed, Bentley was our new male cria (our second this year) born yesterday morning, sired by Farquhar of Aszu Alpacas. A fine looking male. Hard luck David, keep dreaming!


Kenilworth Show - Sunday 7th June 2009

We went to the Kenilworth Show on Sunday 7th June with 3 males and 1 female + our new stud male (Marley) that we have recently purchased in association with Morden Hall Alpacas. This was the first time that we had shown our animals and we were very nervous. Our biggest fear was whether they would behave themselves in the show ring. We had spent several hours training them on the halter, but had no idea how they would behave once they got in the ring.

Sunday morning arrived and the weather was absolutely terrible, cold and heavy rain. Hasty arrangements were made so that the judging could be moved under cover. Judging started and to our relief our alpacas all behaved themselves very well. We were delighted when our young brown male, Atlas, got a first in the Huacaya Intermediate Male Brown class and another of our young males, Apollo, got a third in the same class. Atlas then went on to win the Huacaya Best Brown. Our new black stud, Zarza Marley-Rizardo II, also got a first in his class.


We arrived home late Sunday night, very exhausted but pleased that our first experience of showing had been so successful.


New 100% Alpaca Yarn for Sale - January 2013


Last year’s Woodbine Farm alpaca fleece has now been processed into 100g Aran Yarn balls.


This premium quality 100% alpaca yarn is a strong natural fibre and is supremely soft making it a joy to knit.  It is hypoallergenic and has a hollow fibre keeping you warm in winter and cool in summer.


Each ball is of natural colour (no dyeing) and therefore the colour will never fade after washing.  We have 6 gorgeous natural colours available here.

British Alpaca Futurity Show - 15th & 16th March 2013


Once again we attended the NEC, Birmingham for the annual British Alpaca Futurity & Fibre Festival 2013.  Over 400 alpacas were entered in the show halter classes and with all of the UK’s largest and most successful breeders present, competition was at an extremely high standard.


Overall we had a very enjoyable weekend and were pleased to achieve high placings for two of our male alpacas.  Woodbine Digby won a 3rd place in the Intermediate Black class and Woodbine Dijon achieved a superb 2nd place in the Intermediate Fawn category.


All of our alpacas were extremely well behaved and walked impeccably when taken in the show ring.  It seems that all of our winter halter training has paid off!!

Alpacas Go to University - February 23rd 2013


For the second time we were invited by the Cambridge University Veterinary Zoological Society to present a talk about alpacas and to take along a few of our animals for some hands-on instruction.

We talked about behaviour and the reasons why we keep alapcas.  We also discussed feeding, husbandry, mating and showed them a short video clip of a mating and a birth which they found very interesting.  About 30 students attended the talk that lasted about one hour and then we took them to where the animals were penned to explain how we handle them.  The alpacas were extremely well behaved and allowed each student to hold them so that they could get a close look at their fleece, feet and teeth. We also demonstrated how to test an alpacas condition score and discussed injection sites.  


We found the day to be very enjoyable and were pleased to give vets of the future some understanding of camelids.


First Cria of the Year! – 23rd March 2013


Usually baby alpacas (crias) are born in the warmer summer months of May to August, but this year we had one alpaca, Turmeric, due to give birth as early as March.  Alpacas generally give birth in the morning and try to choose a warm, dry day which will provide the newly born cria with the best conditions possible.  This time last year we were enjoying almost tropical temperatures, but unfortunately at the moment the weather has been cold and unpleasant for our alpaca herd.  

Today at 9am just as the snow began to fall, Turmeric wandered out into the field and promptly sat down looking rather uncomfortable, leaving the other alpacas within the relative warmth of the shelter.  We watched her closely as we know that when an alpaca is ready to give birth they will often move to an area to be on their own and within a few minutes we could see the appearance of a cria’s head followed by two front feet (always a relief to see as this shows that the cria is in the correct position and minimises any potential birthing complications).  


As the bitterly cold wind and snow continued, Turmeric thankfully decided to head back into the shelter and it wasn’t long before a bright white cria fully emerged without any problems.  After a quick check we determined it was a girl and have appropriately named her Tuhina, meaning “snow” or “ice crystals”.


To ensure that Tuhina was kept warm we put a special cria coat on her and also placed a heat lamp in the shelter to offer further protection from the cold.  Turmeric is proving to be a fantastic first time mum and is already providing Tuhina with plenty of nutritious milk.


South of England Spring Alpaca Show - 5th & 6th May 2013

After a very early start we made the trip to Ardingly, West Sussex for the 2013 South of England Alpaca Show.  We decided to take four of our most promising young males to the show; Digby, Dijon, Denzel and Espresso.


Our Junior Black entrant Espresso was first to enter the show ring and we were pleased when the judge placed him 3rd.  Digby and Denzel were next up, both in the Black Intermediate Class and we were delighted that they were placed 1st and 2nd respectively.  Digby later went back into the ring to be judged against the other black winning males and showed his potential to be a top stud male when he was awarded the prize of Reserve Black Champion.  To round off a fabulous day, Dijon, our promising Fawn male was also given a 1st place.


Overall, a very successful show and the future looks bright for our potential stud males.

British Alpaca Society National Show - 11th & 12th May 2013

This weekend we attended the BAS National Show at Bury Farm Equestrian Village, Slapton, Buckinghamshire.  The National Show is regarded as one of the highlights of the year and attracted over 300 alpaca entries from all over the country.


We had a really enjoyable time and the event was well organised with plenty of activities and entertainment provided for visitors throughout the weekend.  We particularly enjoyed the Gala Evening on Saturday where we were treated to a lovely meal whilst looking out over the arena to see a spectacular entertainment show featuring dog/alpaca agility, gymnastics on horseback and even camels to music!


We came away with success inside the show ring and were delighted with Digby, winning 1st place in the Black Intermediate category for the second successive week.  Dijon also backed up his impressive results at this year’s shows with a 3rd place, whilst Denzel was placed 5th and our young adult female Capri was awarded 2nd place in the interesting Modern Grey category.

Crias, Shearing & Harvesting - May/June 2013

As always the months of May and June have proved to be an extremely busy time here at Woodbine Farm.  We have had 8 crias born so far (4 males & 4 females) with a real mix of different colours and characters.  It’s a delight to see them adapting to life so quickly and playing with their fellow newborns.


Our annual shearing day took place in mid-June and we were pleased that all went smoothly and relatively quickly.  We now have bagfuls of fleece ready for processing and most importantly, 60 cool and comfortable alpacas!


We let the grass grow on a couple of our paddocks this year and at the end of June it was ready to be cut, dried and baled.  In total, we harvested nearly 500 bales, providing more than enough hay to feed the alpacas through this year’s winter.

Woodbine Farm Alpacas Open Day - 11th August 2013


On Sunday 11th August we hosted our second annual Open Day here at Woodbine Farm.  The day was a huge success with a good number of visitors in attendance. The sun was shining and many people enjoyed the opportunity to see our alpacas up close and take a relaxing walk around the farm.  


There were several fun activities throughout the day including alpaca talks & walks, spinning & felting demonstrations, children's quizzes and a special ‘name the alpaca’ competition.  Special thanks to Purl Alpaca Designs, Butlers Farm Alpacas, Spin City UK & Bouquet Garni, who all contributed to a wonderful day.