Stedephra Alpacas was created in 2010.
For many years we attended the local Camden Agricultural Show and would watch the alpacas and talk to their owners. At the 2009 show, I was overcome by the enthusiasm of a particular coloured breeder, who would become a mentor and friend.
In June 2009, we purchased three older pregnant females from Linda at Follyfoot Alpacas. It was the only way to learn, and they taught us well. These older girls and the cria they delivered brought us so much enjoyment, that we decided to become more involved with these majestic animals.
With the intention of developing a stud, an Agricultural Course at TAFE, specialising in Alpaca Production, was undertaken. It was our strong belief that before becoming involved we should gain as much knowledge as possible. We developed a strong appreciation for the needs of the animals and what was considered a commercial fleece. It was during this course that we realised our main breeding objective would be fleece quality, rather than a specific colour. The passion exhibited by our teacher Graeme Dickson was contagious and opened our eyes to the beauty and luxurious feel of a quality fleece.
Our breeding plan is based on the belief that for fleece to be considered commercially viable, it must exhibit good fleece weight—after all we sell by the kilogram, but at the same time it must exhibit the qualities that make alpaca a luxury fibre. It must have ultra soft handle, crimp definition and high lustre. If we are breeding for greater fleece weight, we must breed animals with strong frames and good confirmation to carry and grow these large fleeces, rather than chasing low micron on smaller framed animals.
We attended the major shows, documented the outcomes, and went in search of the genetics to build a herd. Our goal:
We incorporate genetics both new and old, to reach our intended goal, choosing specific lines for different characteristics:
The health and welfare of our herd is of the utmost importance—dietary requirements and nutrition are foremost on the agenda at Stedephra. A strict husbandry routine is followed, and careful planning and genetic analysis is untaken before joining our animals.
We pride ourselves in breeding lovely strong frames—our cria are well grown and robust, exhibiting soft, lustrous, crimpy, dense fleeces.
We are active members in the AAA Sydney Coast & Highlands Region, holding positions on the committee and now convening the Camden Show. We continue to learn and further develop skills by continually attending industry courses and seminars.
The endeavour to be active participants in the education and increased awareness of Alpaca is also important to us:
The farm gates are open to the public on two weekends in May, dates are posted each year, or visitors are welcome by appointment any other time.
Stedephra will continue to strive for excellence and be an active participant in the development of the Australian Alpaca Industry.
A new facet of Stedephra Alpacas has just been developed: “Wedding Alpacas”. We have just secured a booking for three of animals to attend a wedding, for a fee we can transport social, well groomed animals to be present at Weddings, to meet the guests and be photographed with the Wedding Party.