With their gentle kind and friendly faces, they are more than capable of brightening up everyone’s day. Native to South America, alpacas are popular for their warm and very soft fibre which, besides silk and cashmere, is one of the most precious fabrics in the world. Due to its unique structure, it is exceptionally temperature regulating, keeping warm in winter and cool in summer.
Alpacas are sheared once a year and on average, according to the ‘Alpaca Association of Ireland (AAI)’, some animals have the potential to produce up to 5kg of fleece. Once sheared, they do look quite different and their long slim legs and neck become obvious.
In 2003, the AAI was founded to help grow the alpaca industry in Ireland. Bringing together owners, breeders, lovers, and veterinary specialists, there are currently 60 members in the association, including ‘K2Alpacas’.
“The primary reason we breed alpacas is for their fibre. But because of their temperate nature, we also use them for lots of other non-traditional farming activities,” says Joe Phelan, from K2Alpacas.
To find out more about his business, click below for a brief interview by Dublin SmartPhone Film Festival.
Alpacas are very social and curious animals that feel most comfortable with their mates living in herds. Due to their gentle being, they are easy to handle, and especially at a young age, they can be halter trained very easily.
K2Alpacas based in County Wicklow, usually offer unique alpaca trekking experiences pairing each visitor with one animal for the trek. Additionally, their alpacas can even be booked for various special occasions such as hen/stag parties, weddings, and birthdays.
Unfortunately, due to recent level 5 restrictions, K2Alpacas had its last trek just before the whole country went into lockdown. However, they adapted their business and offer virtual tours for the time being instead. These still provide the chance to experience a close encounter with the animals. Private video calls can be booked to either view the whole farm and all alpacas for a duration of 25 minutes or a chat with one of the animals can be scheduled for 15 minutes. The ultimate opportunity to make the most of your next online meeting – invite an alpaca!
K2Alpacas will be open for trekking again from Saturday, 5th December. Book your alpaca trekking experience in Wicklow, here.
Furthermore, alpaca products sold in their farm shop can also be ordered from home. Available online are for example slippers and socks, which are all handmade with fibre from animals farmed in Ireland and the UK. Also on offer are handmade alpaca figures and accessories crafted by a family business in Peru.
With a following very close to the 10k mark on Instagram, K2Alpacas provides its followers with a daily dose of cute photo and video content of the alpacas, their cria (the young animals), and farm life.