Alpaca Tribe

Alpaca Tribe
The podcast for alpaca people

Traceable alpaca yarn - all the way to Peru and back
May 20 • 31 min
Suzanna James of the eponymous Suzanna James Knitwear ( has a thing about traceability - and it is a good thing. What is its origin? Whose hands did it pass through, and what is their story? An interest in the origin…
My Happy Place with alpacas
May 13 • 8 min
Do you have a happy place? A place where you can go, physical or metaphorical? My happy place is with my alpacas. Come and join me as I think about what makes them so calming to be around. May you know quiet, interested and accepting relationships in your…
Alpacas and Llamas - as pretty as a picture
May 6 • 25 min
This episode is with a lovely artist from Tennessee who happens to have the surname of Llamas - (pronounced Ya-mass in Spanish - This link is via Barnes and Noble…
It’s raining, alpacas
Apr 29 • 9 min
It is nice to have some rain after. long dry spell and the alpacas seem to be enjoying it too. Recently people have been contacting me to see if we have any alpacas for sale. The answer… it depends on what you are looking for. 5 questions to consider when…
Shearing on the Horizon
Apr 22 • 14 min
All the days can seem the same at the moment so having something to make Thursday special can be relaly helpful - like listening to the Alpaca Tribe Podcast! Thanks for listening and subscribing. Feel free to drop us a line or leave an audio message using…
Between Two Mountains
Apr 15 • 30 min
Our old friend Jermiah Owen lives in Southern California between two mountains with the Los Angeles Forest on one side and the Mojave Desert on the other. In the middle, Hiraeth Ranch.
Navigating a Difficult Alpaca Birth
Apr 8 • 26 min
Life continues with alpacas - here is a bit of normal
Alpaca Spring
Apr 1 • 12 min
Alpaca Spring - arriving soon and already here
waiting and remembering
Mar 25 • 7 min
Waiting during lockdown and remembering the show
Ramblings of an Alpaca Shepherd
Mar 18 • 14 min
Take care of yourself so you can take care of others including your alpacas.
The day alpacas entered my life
Mar 11 • 19 min
Twelve years flys by with alpacas
Does anyone need an alpaca dentist?
Mar 4 • 38 min
Allison Quagliani is an alpaca dentist - one of very few, if not the only one, and certainly the first alpaca dentist in Australia. Starting with two pregnant females in 1996 she trained in alpaca dentistry following a problem with one of her own alpacas.…
Cria Comfort
Feb 26 • 14 min
Cria on the way? It is a delightful time of year but can have its moments
Alpacas on purpose
Feb 19 • 7 min
As I carried out my daily chores I realised I was missing an opportunity. If I became more intentional, could I build something positive with this repetition? Regular small steps to make progress.
Fall in love with alpacas - Steve interviewed by Tania Marien
Feb 12 • 40 min
Steve is interviewed by freelance environmental educator Tania Marien for her podcast Talaterra.
British Alpaca Society - the CEO speaks
Feb 5 • 25 min
An interview with Duncan Pullar the CEO of the British Alpaca Society - breed society for alpaca owners in the UK
Making a living from alpacas
Jan 29 • 10 min
Setting up an alpaca business needs planning and preparation. Diversification helps generate more income but it may take time to build. Selling your first alpacas is always a challenge.
Motivation and Behaviour in Alpacas
Jan 22 • 13 min
How might Maslow’s Heirarchy of needs apply to alpacas? Check out this episode to find out
Meeting Your First Alpaca
Jan 15 • 13 min
When did you meet your first alpaca? It is probably memorable and certainly significant. Listen to some different guests express how it happened and how it made them feel.
Getting to Know You 54
Jan 8 • 9 min
Remember the Australian bushfires. An alternative to New Year’s Resolutions - Inspirational; Aspirational; Perspirational. Your alpacas are watching you - don’t teach them bad habits. Create an environment that makes for happy and healthy alpacas.
Old Year New Year 53
Jan 1 • 8 min
The year has been full and interesting and next year looks set to be the same. A brief review and reflection on a year with alpacas.
Alpacas at Christmas 52
Dec 24, 2019 • 10 min
Happy Christmas to one and all! Hopefully you will get to have something of a break at some point and hopefully that will include alpacas in some way. I reached out to some of our guests from the year and asked them what they would be doing over…
Moving Farm with Alpacas Pt2 //51
Dec 18, 2019 • 27 min
Moving house and farm with alpacas is quite a challenge. Alpaca people want to help so do ask. It will take longer than you think. Slow down and enjoy your alpacas
Alpacas Down-Under 50
Dec 11, 2019 • 18 min
What do you do?Well, I call myself an alpaca shepherd but not everybody has heard of one, or has much idea what that means. I appeared briefly on the Wynne Evans show ( on BBC Radio Wales on his GuessWork spot…
What is going on? 49
Dec 4, 2019 • 11 min
An alpaca with a limp may need time or major intervention. How do you decide which? What practical approach can you take to assess the needs of your injured alpaca? Here I give a worked example of what I did with the hope it may be useful for you too.
My Alpacas and Other Animals
Nov 27, 2019 • 9 min
Do alpacas get on well with other animals such as sheep, horses and cows? Generally they do and can even learn to tolerate cats and dogs, though it does take some adjustment. Here are some of my experiences.
Californian Catch Up Alpaca Style 47
Nov 20, 2019 • 28 min
Jermiah Owen has been keeping a small group of suri alpacas for 8 months now, so I decided it was time we checked up on him to see how is doing - the answer is very well thank you. Listen in as we discover what he has been learning.
Basic alpaca appraisal 46
Nov 13, 2019 • 12 min
Watching alpacas is a great pastime but there is a serious side to it too. How to judge the quality of an alpaca is not complicated but neither is it easy. Here are some tips on what to be looking for in a good alpaca.
Having alpacas in your life 45
Nov 6, 2019 • 8 min
Everyone should have alpacas in their life. And it is good to share. Large scale business may not be for you but there are ways of recouping some of the expenses of keeping alpacas. Here are a few simple ideas. Let me know what you do.
Season Change and Welsh Alpaca Show 44
Oct 31, 2019 • 16 min
The clocks go back, the leaves fall, the nights draw in and there is mud everywhere. Looking at the alpacas you can tell it is autumn. Four Season Change Tips for alpaca owners
Building your alpaca business 43
Oct 23, 2019 • 23 min
Wouldn’t it be nice if it was possible to combine keeping our alpacas and running a business, or even running a business keeping alpacas? The good news is that it can be done with thought, planning and application. In this episode, we hear more from Joe…
Building an alpaca business in Ireland 42
Oct 16, 2019 • 17 min
Many people want to build a business with their alpacas. Joe Phelan of K2 alpacas near Dublin has grown significantly over the last 5 years and shares some of his wisdom, business philosophy and plain common sense with us. Learn from his journey.
Alpaca Success 41
Oct 9, 2019 • 10 min
If it feels like a fight and a struggle every day with your alpacas, there may be a different way. A different way of thinking, being and doing to bring you alpaca success.
Alpaca Vision 40
Oct 2, 2019 • 13 min
Alpacas have amazing eyesight that they put to good use in protecting themselves from predators. They can also take on the role of fashion-police and are fascinated by reflections, and cows, and cats, and foxes, and most things actually.
The right number of alpacas 39
Sep 25, 2019 • 12 min
SHOW NOTESAlpacas are herd animals and herd animals thrive best in a herd. What makes a herd? Not one; and in my view not two either. A minimum viable herd would be three, though there are always exceptions. 1. How much can you afford?Work with a budget…
Expected Alpaca Behaviour 38
Sep 19, 2019 • 14 min
We need to recognise three things about expected alpaca behaviour. 1. There is a normal - for alpacas in general and each alpaca individually. 2. Expected behaviour has a cause as does unexpected behaviour. 3. You can help or hinder developing good…
37 It is all about the fibre with Bridget Tibbs-Hamilton
Sep 11, 2019 • 28 min
Fibre is the prime product from alpacas. Beautiful in its native form as fleece it is truly beautiful when turned into fibre that is processed and used for alpaca products. Listen in to Bridget Tibbs-Hamilton of Cotswold Alpacas as she talks about her…
36 Brian Schieber of Purely Alpaca, California
Sep 4, 2019 • 29 min
Having started with alpacas in 2001 in Washington State, Brian Schieber of Purely Alpaca is now based in California just outside San Diego and though he no longer keeps his own alpacas, he is heavily involved in supplying merchandise for alpaca farms to…
35 The Critical Alpaca
Aug 28, 2019 • 9 min
Alpacas have a way of watching you - almost a rude stare, certainly a critical gaze. If you let them they will teach you by their look and their behaviour. Spend time with them in alpaca school.
34 Planning a Farm Open Day
Aug 22, 2019 • 19 min
Running a Farm Open Day can be a great opportunity to share your alpacas with a wider audience. There are plenty of things to plan and prepare. Here Steve shares some of his thoughts on what to think about.
33 time in the alpaca barn
Aug 15, 2019 • 9 min
Barn envy is understandable but to be avoided. Though seeing other people’s facilities can help you to identify what is both desirable and essential in your own barn, stable or field shelters.
32 Seeing alpacas through your eyes
Aug 7, 2019 • 11 min
What do people see when they look at an alpaca? What do you see? Some see a strange alien creature; some see a pet; a fibre producer - or cloud on legs; others see a potential show champion. I see fascinating friends. Take a closer look and you will be…
31. Confident & Fulfilled Owners
Jul 31, 2019 • 11 min
The aim of the Alpaca Tribe is confident and fulfilled owners of happy and healthy alpacas. In this episode, we consider what makes for a confident and fulfilled owner including 5 confidence builders.
Happy and Healthy Alpacas
Jul 24, 2019 • 11 min
The overall aim of the Alpaca Tribe is confident and fulfilled owners of happy and healthy alpacas. In this episode we look at what happy and healthy alpacas might mean.
Choosing our alpacas
Jul 17, 2019 • 10 min
We started with 5 pregnant females and this is how we got there
Waiting for the expected - cria that is
Jul 10, 2019 • 13 min
A shorter summer episode with cria birth stories. Waiting for the expected is a delight, though not without its surprises
Alpacas - a metaphor for life
Jul 3, 2019 • 11 min
Musings on what alpacas have taught me over the last 12 years. 3 tales involving some of my favourite M’s. Millie; Megan and Mair.
Review of 6 months Part 2
Jun 26, 2019 • 25 min
Part 2 of a review of episodes from the last 6 mths. Includes what you can do with the fleece and the most important equipment on your farm.
Celebrating 25 episodes
Jun 19, 2019 • 23 min
25 Episodes seem to require marking by a review of some of the best bits from our guests sharing about being captivated by alpacas and growing in confidence.
Jenny MacHarg part 2
Jun 12, 2019 • 18 min
Continuing the discussion with Jenny MacHarg we talk about learning with and from your alpacas and the most important piece of equipment on your farm.
Jenny MacHarg of Fowberry Alpacas
Jun 5, 2019 • 25 min
Jenny MacHarg and her husband Graham met their first alpaca 17yrs ago and since then have developed an award-winning herd of alpacas. They are always ready to learn from others and pass on their knowledge to other owners and breeders. Join us as we learn…
Expect the unexpected
May 29, 2019 • 14 min
By definition, the unexpected is just that. However, Steve Heatherington suggests we can both expect and prepare for it as we care for our alpacas. Expect the unexpected.
A passion for alpaca fleece with Julia Berry of Apple Cross Alpacas
May 22, 2019 • 28 min
In conversation with Julia Berry of Apple Cross Alpacas who has a passion for alpaca fibre and a mission to share the delight of top quality fleece with everyone.
Preparing for shearing
May 15, 2019 • 28 min
Join Steve & Sue Heatherington as they talk through five questions to help you prepare for shearing.
Victoria Barrett of Simply Alpaca
May 8, 2019 • 26 min
Victoria Barrett has over 10 yrs of alpaca experience. Here we talk about what new and prospective owners need to know; her alpaca fibre workshops and handling courses, including animal-assisted interventions.
Selling alpaca fibre and products to crafters
May 1, 2019 • 26 min
Taking alpaca fibre to the craft market. A great day out at Wonderwool Wales with alpaca owners and their gorgeous products. With Sue Heatherington
Alpacappella Jewellery with Marta Kwasniewicz
Apr 24, 2019 • 25 min
Marta Kwasniewicz designs and produces beautiful jewellery with alpaca fibre using a range of techniques including Kumihimo the Japanese braiding technique.
Ted & Bessie - sustainable and ethical alpaca knitwear
Apr 17, 2019 • 25 min
Ted & Bessie is the great trading name for Catherine Price who designs and produces sustainable and ethical knitwear from alpaca fibre. Hear her talk about the journey and the challenges overcome to achieve this.
Handling and starting well with alpacas with Julie Taylor-Browne
Apr 10, 2019 • 26 min
With 20 years of alpaca and llama experience, Julie Taylor-Browne is a champion of sensible and sensitive handling of alpacas to get the best from them and care for them well. Well qualified and experienced Julie is a great source of alpaca common sense
BAS Show Reflections by Steve Heatherington
Apr 3, 2019 • 24 min
A personal and eclectic reflection on the BAS National Alpaca Show 2019 by Steve Heatherington. We also catch up with Jeremiah Owen and his experience of his first alpaca show in California.
Topical Alpaca Tips from Steve Heatherington
Mar 27, 2019 • 12 min
A small selection of topical tips for alpacas as we enter the Spring. From mating, to shearing, to birthing there are things to be thinking about and preparing for. As a bonus there are some equipment suggestions too. Have a spring clean sort out and get…
Jeremiah Owen of Southern California
Mar 20, 2019 • 24 min
Jermiah Owen might have some Welsh roots if you go back far enough but he and his family are well established in Southern Califonia with the recent additions to the ranch - 7 suri alpacas. Hear about his journey so far, what he is learning along the way…
Mike Griffiths of Greenside Alpacas
Mar 13, 2019 • 24 min
A conversation with Mike Griffiths of Greenside Alpacas in Cumbria, Northwest England. He and his wife have kept alpacas since 2001 and his herd is currently around 100. We explore when he first met alpacas and how he came to be keeping them.
Tynewedd Alpacas in Carmarthenshire - Steve & Emma Cooper
Mar 6, 2019 • 24 min
Join me in conversation with Steve Cooper who together with his wife Emma, in the last three years has grown both in herd numbers and in developing alpaca fleece products for sale in a variety of Farmer’s Markets.
Moving experiences with alpacas - Steve Heatherington
Feb 27, 2019 • 13 min
Some thoughts about moving your alpacas from one place to another. Mostly this is straightforward but you would be amazed at the complications that can arise if you don’t keep your wits about you.
Knowing your alpacas - Steve Heatherington
Feb 20, 2019 • 14 min
Caring well for your alpacas is helped immensely by knowing what is normal for alpacas in general and what is normal for your alpacas in particular. Steve Heatherington looks at ways you can answer these questions and enjoy the process of knowing your…
Hannah Williams of Penrhallt Alpacas
Feb 13, 2019 • 25 min
Learn from an experienced and successful breeder of alpacas based on the beautiful Gower Peninsula in South Wales. Her journey will inspire and encourage people thinking of keeping alpacas, or those who already have some. Possibilities with fleece and…
Could I keep alpacas? Questions to answer before you buy
Feb 6, 2019 • 11 min
How to plan and prepare for success keeping alpacas. What you need to know before buying an alpaca. Steve Heatherington offers 5 questions to ask yourself plus a bonus extra 5 questions.
Alpaca Tribe - Episode 5 - Nick and Jo Davies on adding alpacas to holiday accommodation
Jan 30, 2019 • 27 min
Alpacas can contribute greatly to many things you already do. Nick and Jo Davies added them to a holiday-let business and found people love having them as part of their visit. Plenty to learn but very rewarding follow their journey.
Alpaca Tribe - Episode 4 - Tanya Russell on learning to cope with an instant herd
Jan 23, 2019 • 27 min
A conversation with sculptor and alpaca owner, Tanya Russell on the delights and challenges of a new herd.
Alpaca Tribe - Episode 3 - Jen Delucia on fibre
Jan 16, 2019 • 26 min
An interview with Jen Delucia who hand spins, dyes and weaves wall hangings with alpaca fiber. Her story of getting started and pointers for people wanting to explore using alpaca fiber.
Alpaca Tribe - Episode 2
Jan 9, 2019 • 27 min
A good introduction to some of the issues around keeping alpacas and things that will make your life simpler as you learn about these fascinating animals. Steve Heatherington interviews Rowan Flindall-Shayle about her experience of discovering how to best…
Alpaca Tribe - Episode 1
Jan 2, 2019 • 14 min
This is the first episode of the new alpaca tribe podcast and introduces your host, Steve Heatherington and his experience getting started with Welsh Valley Alpacas in South Wales. The Alpaca Tribe is for people with the alpaca gene, who somehow feel…
Alpaca Tribe - Trailer
Dec 16, 2018 • 1 min
A trailer introducing the Alpaca Tribe podcast for all things alpaca. Discussion with guests on a wide range of topics relating to keeping alpacas, working with their fleece and providing alpaca services. If you have the alpaca gene you need to be part of…