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"Paul’s extensive knowledge of Spanish has been an invaluable asset to me recently. When my husband passed away suddenly, Paul made himself available at all times to guide me through the difficult process of Spanish protocol. I could not have wished for a more helpful and sensitive friend during this tragic time.”
Jill La Pêche, Montejaque, January 2010

Visit an Alpaca Farm PDF
 

Visit an Alpaca Farm

Why not pay a visit to one of the top Alpaca-breeding farms in Europe, never mind Andalucía? 

Nigel and Ginny Cobb invite you to visit them at their finca near Ronda.  Here’s their story...

“We are Nigel and Ginny Cobb, the first breeders of alpacas in Andalucía, Southern Spain.  We started in the industry in England in 2003 and moved to this wonderful part of Spain in 2005. In May 2008 we were lucky enough to win the coveted Supreme Champion Alpaca prize with Ella, our first born alpaca in Spain. Come and see these lovely animals in our farm, or better still, see how you could enjoy them yourselves, if you have a little land.

We have a herd of some 30 alpacas, including breeding females, stud males and other males that can be bought as pets. They are easy to look after, are kind on the ground and will keep your grass and other vegetation under control. We can help you start up in business with them. As President of the Spanish Alpaca Association, Nigel has the contacts to be able to help you find the alpacas to suit you, if we cannot provide them ourselves.

Alpacas come from South America and belong to the camelid family which includes llamas, vicu?as, guanacos and camels.  They are most numerous in Peru, where there are some three million of them. In Australia and America there are about 100,000 in each country, with the UK having some 20,000. The rest of Europe has about another 10,000.

Alpacas eat grass or hay and only about 1.5 kilos a day which is about 1/3rd of what sheep will eat. They need some shelter but need very little looking after on a daily basis. They have their nails cut two or three times a year. Other than regular twice-yearly injections they need very little veterinary care, but like all such animals can suffer from ruminant diseases. At the same time, being natural guard animals they will help keep foxes and other predatorss from encroaching on your land.

Alpacas are very clean.  They don’t need ‘dagging’ and only defecate in a few selected places around the field, keeping their own eating and sleeping quarters clean. They have soft feet, so don’t harm the pasture. Their feet are a bit like our hands and feet, but with only two toes. They don’t get foot rot.

Alpacas are great companions for horses and other animals. So rather than just having one horse by itself, give it some company with perhaps a couple of alpaca wethers (castrated males). This avoids doubling your workload by having two horses.
Alpacas are shorn once a year and produce a wonderful fleece. A fine quality fleece can fetch a good price. The Incas of Peru called their fleece ‘The Gold of the Andes’. The quality of the fleece is important for its value and generally breeding goals are linked to producing a better quality fleece. The fleece industry in Europe is in its infancy, with a number of initiatives on-going. If you are interested in producing your own knitwear, then doing it with your own fleeces will be really special.

Each female will produce one cría a year. The gestation period is 11 to11½ months, and the female can be mated again about 2/3 weeks after she has given birth.  They live between 15 and 20 years. They are not bred in Europe for their meat.
Alpacas are shy, but inquisitive. They will eat out of your hand and can be halter trained.” 

You are welcome to come and visit, even if you just would like to see them.  But please call Nigel or Ginny to make an appointment. Groups can be accommodated, although there is a charge €2.50 per person for group visits.

Alpacas de Andalucia, El Parchite, 10 mins from Ronda
Contact number: (0034) 952 114 263
Email address: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website address:www.alpacasdeandalucia.com