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Alpaca Academy Wales – Training Workshops

We are regularly asked about keeping alpacas and how we became smallholders, so we have decided to share our knowledge and experience through a series of bespoke workshops, delivered through our in-house training resource, Alpaca Academy Wales.

Our workshops are delivered by members of the Amazing Alpacas team and are run on a 'one to one', couples, or family basis, so that we can tailor the content to match your plans and experience. Our courses are perfect for beginners, or more experienced owners looking to refresh their understanding.

We invest in specialist training for our tutors, to enable them to pass on their husbandry and veterinary knowledge, so that your alpacas live healthy, enriched lives and your skills are honed, to make your job as easy as possible.

Here's what we offer:

Getting started with Alpacas: This workshop covers the basics of why choose alpacas, preparing your holding, animal selection, feeding & nutrition, health & husbandry, breeding & cria care, the fibre market and diversification. The workshop will offer participants lots of opportunity to learn how to handle alpacas and develop their husbandry skills. Full day workshop.

Quit the Rat Race - A guide to becoming a Smallholder: Most of us have dreamt of living the Good Life, but if you really think that this is for you, then this course is the place to start. We'll discuss the reality of being a smallholder, we'll challenge your vision and investigate farming life, warts and all. If we haven't put you off by morning coffee, we'll get into the joy of working outdoors, the responsibility and rewards of caring for animals and the miracle of creating new life. We hope that at the end of course you will know whether the smallholding life is for you. Full day workshop.

Refresher for Alpaca owners: In this workshop we'll help you update your knowledge with the latest thinking on nutrition, routine husbandry, parasite control, treatments and medicines, training and, if applicable, breeding. Half day workshop.

Breeding Alpacas for profit: Through this workshop we'll explore how you can breed alpacas as a business, exploring the various routes to market, how to choose your niche, cost control and the many pitfalls to avoid. Our aim is to help you dodge costly errors and maximise your chances of success. Full day workshop.

Pesky parasites and how to beat them: Climate change, warmer wetter winters and uncertain summers, have seen a significant rise in parasite numbers. Blanket treatments are no longer considered appropriate. This workshop focuses on what bugs are on and in our alpacas, safe parasite levels, how to find out what you have and how and when to treat them. Full day workshop.

Basic Alpaca first aid: Accidents happen – and usually at the worst time. Through this workshop we'll show you how to tackle minor injuries, flystrike, lameness and a whole host of similar problems. You'll learn when a vet is required and what to do until they arrive. We'll help you prepare a farm first aid kit, which hopefully you'll never use. Half day workshop.

Halter training Alpacas: Visit us and we'll show you the simple way to halter train your alpacas. Half day workshop. We can also conduct this workshop at your location, with your alpacas, but additional fees apply. Half or full day workshop.

Shearing Alpacas: On our half day workshop, we'll show you how to catch-up, pen and prepare your alpacas for shearing. We'll explain how to minimise the stress of shearing day for all concerned, including your alpacas. We'll discuss how you can assist your shearer on the day and how to store your fleece once sheared. On our full day workshop, which we run between May and July, our own shearer can teach you how to catch, restrain and shear an alpaca and give you the opportunity to practice these new skills. We can also conduct this workshop at your location, with your alpacas, but additional fees apply.

Geriatric Alpaca care: There is a growing population of older alpacas and they often have special health requirements. This workshop focuses on caring for senior alpacas, their nutrition, health conditions, palliative care and practical end of life decisions. Half day workshop.

Coming later in 2024, we plan to run a series of craft workshops including Using my fleece; Spinning; Felting and Dyeing. Attending this series of courses will take attendees on a 'field to fashion' journey.

Our workshops are informal, practical and hands-on. Each full day workshop (10am to 3pm) costs £95 per person or £175 per couple. Half day workshops (10am to 12.30pm or 1pm to 3.30pm) costs £48 per person or £88 for couples. As a good deal of the content is outside, check the weather forecast and come prepared!

Please contact us if you'd like more details of any of our workshops, or would like to book.