Breeding Alpaca's

Autumn is here and so its finally time to join our stud alpaca with our girls. We have changed our mating dates in the last couple of years due to the scorching heatwaves and to make it a more pleasant experience for our alpaca mum’s and cria’s.

We now prefer our births from March to June as the weather is cooler and we have plenty of enclosures to keep the cria and mum warm and out of the rain for the first couple of weeks. Rain, wind and the cold can kill a cria so make sure you have fully-enclosed shelters/pens that will accommodate mum, cria and a companion alpaca in the shed when the weather is not so nice.

What we do:

  1. Summer in the Hunter Valley can reach over 43+ degrees with several days in a row at this unpleasant temperature. So please ensure you have adequate shelter (deep shade) in each paddock. If its hot for you its hot for the alpacas.

  2. Make sure all your alpacas are shorn every year. We shear every October when the sun is not burning hot as we have witnessed sunburn on alpacas shorn December and January when the sun is at it hottest.

  3. Ensure your alpacas have deep shade as well as a large shed as a backup. They do prefer to sit under tree’s but will definitely use the shed when hail or heavy rain appears.

  4. Make sure all your water troughs are placed in a shaded area and not sitting out under the sun. Change the water daily to keep it fresh and cool and use an auto-filler trough. Some days we place ice cubes / bags / bottles inside the trough to keep it chilled.

  5. Shower the alpacas under their bellies on hot days and wet their legs where their sweat glands are. Give them the dam but please ensure they do not get their long skinny legs stuck in the mud and drown.

  6. Summer time is tick time and your young alpacas are more susceptible to ticks. We have found the older alpacas seem to fight it off. So make sure you shear October when the ticks are out and check them all the way until Autumn. Its easier to find a tick on an alpaca once they have been shorn. We have guinea fowl that roam the paddocks looking for ticks also.

  7. For cria’s born in the wind and rain make sure you have a alpaca jacket (dog jacket) for them to wear. Keep the jacket dry at all times and depending on the weather place the jacket on late afternoon and then secure in a fully enclosed pen with mum. Remove jacket early morning.

  8. Make sure your trim your alpaca’s nails every three months. Don't let them get to long and out of shape as they will never be comfortable, look good or be easy to trim again. So trim regularly and it will make the whole process a whole lot easier for you. Hint also trim after the rain as the nails are lovely and soft to cut.

  9. Lucern hay for mum and cria in the pens and some hay for cria to sit on and keep itself warm.

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Alpaca Farm stay BOOKING info

Little Valley farm is an off-grid farm with a 1950's Sydney Train carriage - the famous Red Rattler train.

Rustic farm stay 'glamping' style at Little Valley Farm:  Satisfying your craving for the outdoors and your penchant for a good meal, nice glass of wine, and a comfortable bed. Its nothing like a hotel, your room does open up to a beautiful landscape instead of a lobby.

More information

A unique 'glamping' farm stay experience for adults plus its the perfect place for star gazing and so much more.

The Space 

We live in a small beautiful secluded valley surrounded by bushland. Our paddocks are the local Wollaroo favourites with good grass all year round. We grow seasonal produce, especially in autumn, spring and summer.

Our train deck is the perfect place to hang out and watch our huacaya alpacas, guinea fowl and chickens moving about the farm totally surrounded by bushland and creek frontage.

We are a working alpaca farm so you will see us about and about. You can get involved in as little or as much as you like. Our house is located up the hill behind the train.

Bedroom 1 - rustic red rattler train carriage features: 

  • Queen bed,

  • Kitchenette with 12 volt fridge and small gas cooking hob,

  • Glam bathroom with hot and cold shower,

  • Waterless-composting toilet,

  • Undercover Gas BBQ,

  • Outdoor wood-fired pizza oven (Requires booking in advance: needs 3 hours slow burn - BYO Pizza). Total Fire ban restrictions may apply during some seasons.

  • Relaxing outdoor bath,

  • Indoor lounge with gas heater,

  • Limited 12 volt lighting,

  • The 'hang-out' deck overlooking the alpaca paddocks. Plus we have two comfy hammocks and a couple of yoga matts available.

General Information
We are an off grid farm and the train is only 12 volt so you can charge your mobile or torch but its not suitable for hairdryers or coffee machines.

The train is not insulated but there is a gas heater in the lounge area and lots of heavy donnas in the bedroom for winter - true glamping style! 

Winter will be cold and summer can be hot - so be prepared for the ‘clamping’ elements.

Bookings:  Spring, Summer & Autumn 2+ nights bookings we take. Winter we take 1 night bookings and our booking calendar will stipulate this.  

Getting Out and About 

GNTP - Great Northern Trading Post has an amazing weekend dinner menu plus brekkie, lunch and great coffee and is only 4.5km. Book for dinner on a Friday night.  Laguna Village Providore will have fresh fruit, veg, deli and providore goods available. Check their website for opening hours.

Mount Yengo and Finchley Track for bushing walk and sight seeing is a short drive away. Find more info here

If you would like to hire bikes to get around please contact Wollombike hire for more info here.  

If you would like a wine tour, please contact Grape Experience Tours fore more info here

For things-to-do, eat and explore please visit the visitwollombi website for more info. 

If you are attending a Pokolbin concert or hot air ballooning - its approx 40 mins drive.

Guest access

Road access is by standard 2WD & 4WD but you will need detailed directions. Our road is not suitable for motorbikes. Our road is a dirt track road with potholes and surrounded by thick bush. It is steep but only in a small section. It looks rough but any standard 2WD car can get up it.  Low cars will need to go super-slow. 

The wedding pick up bus will have to pick you up and drop you off near our letterbox. You will then need to drive to the train. Our driveway is not suitable for buses.

We have limited wi-fi (unreliable) and there is no mobile reception in Laguna, which is a great excuse to unwind from it all. If you pop up to the house we can sort out the wi-fi and we have a fixed landline phone that you can use.

Interaction with guests

We are here for your arrival and departure and to show you around. I will give you a quick tour of the kitchenette and also how the waterless-composting toilet works, 12V lighting plus a couple of other lovely features.

Other things to note

  • We are off-grid & we love it. That means there are no toasters, hairdryers etc

  • The Train has limited 12volt lighting/240volt access is possible on a sunny day. The entire farm is solar run.

  • Rainwater is harvested for the house, livestock & the produce we grow.

  • Please shut all gates to protect our livestock.

  • Drive slow down our 1k driveway as there are wombats, roo's, lyrebirds, goanna's and a lot of native birds and pot holes!

  • Look out for our neighbours kids on their horses and ponies.

  • We are a working farm so you will see us about attending to our daily chores.

  • Pack an esky so you can enjoy brekkie, lunch or dinner on the train.

  • The wood fired pizza oven takes 3 hours slow burn to set up so book it in advance.

  • The train is not insulated nor the bedroom so its cold in winter.

  • Make sure your car is suitable for our driveway. Good for standard car and 4WD.

  • Sheets and towels are provided.

  • Please ensure you take the time to read our T&C's or feel free to send us a query.

  • ID will be requested on booking and confirmation time.

  • Find us on face book and instagram to see what we are working.

  • This is a couples farm stay and we don't accept children under the age of 12.

House Rules

  • No smokers

  • No pets

  • No parties or events

  • Check in 3pm

  • Check out 12noon (if you would like an earlier check-in you will need to book two nights).   

Enjoy!

Little Valley Farm has been featured on the ABC Newcastle and Hunter Coastal Lifestyle magazine and best of all, it's a unique glamping experience in the Wollombi Valley. Find out more about Little Valley Farm on our facebook and instagram accounts. 

 

 

 

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Autumn at Little Valley Farm

The spotlight shines on autumn, a season renowned for its cooler temperatures and fall foliage. 

Autumn leaf color is a phenomenon that affects the normal green leaves of many deciduous trees and shrubs by which they take on, during a few weeks in the autumn season, various shades of red, orange and brown. A perfect setting for photographers. Visit Little Valley Farm and stay in our red rattler 1950's train and shepherds hut for your unique farm stay in the Hunter Valley. 

Tree change occurs Autumn so make the most of this beautiful farm in the Hunter Valley.  Book airbnb   https://www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/16481553?s=51

Tree change occurs Autumn so make the most of this beautiful farm in the Hunter Valley.

Book airbnb
https://www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/16481553?s=51

CommBank Podcast "Leave Nothing to Chance"

When I am not running around the alpaca paddocks, I have my media-hat on and this week we caught up with CommBank to talk about small business. “Leave Nothing to Chance” in their Podcast series.

Click on the links below to hear Daniela Riccio of Little Valley Farm and BOUTIQUE Public Relations discuss small business.

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7 Reasons to visit Little Valley Farm, Hunter Valley

1. Neve the friendly Laguna Alpaca.  Neve loves guests, the camera and alpaca pellets.  Take the time to sit in the paddock with all our girls and boys.

2. The famous 1950’s Red Rattler train with an outdoor bath and hammocks overlooking the Alpaca paddocks. Need I say more?

3. Get totally off-grid and enjoy the digital-detox with no mobile reception on the farm.  Ahhh Peaceful at last! 

4.  Book in the wood-fired pizza oven and enjoy making your own delicious pizza.  Just add wine!

5. Sample Wollombi Valley’s Boutique wineries such as Stonehurst Winery  or head towards Broke to Krinklewood Vineyard.

6. Enjoy an amazing Friday night dinner at GNTP and hang out with the locals in this iconic Laguna destination.  

7.  Sleep in and wake up to the sounds of Farm life - guinea fowl, chickens, lyrebird’s and kookaburra‘s. 

Find out more on our unique alpaca farmstay at Little Valley Farm.  

Image courtesy: arlie4Mel and mellybic

Image courtesy: arlie4Mel and mellybic

Book your alpaca farm stay today click here.

Roma Tomatoes by Little Valley Farm

Our Roma Tomato’s have arrived at Little Valley Farm. We have been growing these beauties for over five years and our customers love them. See what our customers are saying about our seasonal chemical-free Roma’s.

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Its not easy growing produce right now due to the super dry-season in the Hunter Valley. We are constantly pumping water to care of our tomatoes. Our over 40+ degree days are a bit tough especially when its 3-4 days of non-stop scorching heat and then the hot wind blowing. I am cursing the weather constantly. Luckily, we had a sunflower ‘trick’ that helped shade some of our plants and are pleasantly growing acid free Roma’s right now. Our seasonal tomatoes will be available until March and then we start to prep the soil for our Turban Purple garlic.

Its time to make my passata. See you soon.

Photoshoot at Little Valley Farm

Yesterday we had the most magical photo shoot at Little Valley Farm. Neve, the friendly Laguna Alpaca did not disappoint. Soon as she met the kids, she gently ate from their hands and then plonked herself right in between the kids and posed for the camera.

Neve, the friendly Laguna alpaca is amazing with her desire to be with people. She picks her people and will happily sit with them for hours in the paddock. The look of disappointment when we get up to leave is hysterical and yesterday she just wanted to sit with the kids under the huge liquid amber tree and just smile away. There are times and its always on her terms, that when she is done, she simply gets up and walks away but she really loves hanging out with people.

Before we introduce Neve and the other alpacas whom are mostly pregnant and a couple of cheeky weathers. Our working stud is in another paddock watching over us. Our advise to people when meeting our alpacas for the first time is to walk slowly to the alpacas, no loud talking and try and whisper, don't try and pat them on their head but when they are ready gently stroke their necks. Moving slowly and quietly the alpacas feel calm and relaxed and will come up to you. One thing for sure is that we keep the working stud (entire male) away from the alpaca herd and especially when we have guests over.

Alpacas are inquisitive and gentle creatures but will occasional spit when food is present. They really don’t have the the desire to spit at you but you could always be standing in the line of fire! Maybe our Little Valley Farm alpacas are just well behaved, beautifully treated and know that they are very much loved.

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Little Valley Farm is a member of the Australian Alpaca Association and sells registers and unregistered alpacas. We sell wethers as guards, alpacas as pets and or breeding females. Our alpacas are shorn every October and are regularly groomed - nails trimmed, teeth check, fleece check, vaccinated and wormed.

If you are a small farm owner and are looking for alpacas, simply let us know what you are looking for and how your farm is set up ie., shelters, fencing, water and small pens so we can give you the best advise for housing alpacas.

Extreme heat in NSW - taking care of your alpacas

We are all feeling the mercury rise, and this week extreme heat is emerging as an issue around the country.

Managing animals in high temperatures requires good forward planning. Keeping an eye on the weather forecasts, and developing a plan for days of high to extreme temperature is essential in ensuring that your animals will have sufficient shade and water on those very hot days.

Extreme heat causes significant stress for alpacas. There are a few simple guidelines you can follow to reduce the impacts of high temperatures on animals.

  • The provision of a plentiful supply of clean, cool water and shade is essential.

  • Water troughs or containers should be large enough and designed in such a way that all animals have easy access. The number of watering points and/or water flow should be increased if a large number of animals are kept together. Troughs or containers should be firmly fixed so they cannot overturn. They should be kept clean and should be designed and maintained to prevent injuries.

  • Animals need to be provided with shelter during extended periods of extreme temperatures. Shelter is especially important for very young or old animals or animals that are in poor condition or birthing.

  • It is recommended not to handle animals in extreme heat unless absolutely necessary. If necessary, make sure it is done as early or late in the day as possible when temperatures are lower.

Animals at high risk of heat stress include young animals and dark coloured animals These animals should be watched more closely for signs of heat stress during days of high temperature. Remember that alpacas are more prone to heat stress than sheep and goats. There are many signs of heat stress that you can look for in your animals. Some general signs of heat stress include:

  • panting

  • increased respiration rate

  • increased water intake

  • loss of appetite

  • listless/lethargy

  • increased salivation

  • in severe cases may become unconscious.

 

Remember: The most important things you can do for your animals in hot weather is to provide them with rest and shade in the hottest parts of the day, and plenty of clean cool water.

You have a responsibility to ensure the well-being of animals under your care. Animal Welfare - it's your duty to care.

This information taken from the Australian Alpaca Association. Visit their website for more information on caring and health of Alpacas. https://www.alpaca.asn.au

 

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What to do with your alpaca fleece?

We have been asked many times, what we do with our left over fleece. So here is a tip or two.

  1. Scrappy leg fleece. To short and course for spinning and felting. We use it as mulch in the garden. Simply break it loose and spread about. It will eventually break down and even better is when you see the birds, sneaking some out of the garden to make their Spring time nests.

  2. Saddle - the good fleece. Even if its course, simply grab a laundry bag, use LUXE clothing wash detergent. Make sure you break down LUXE flakes in a jar of hot water and let it melt. Do not put flakes direct in your washing machine! Once you have washed the fleece, leave it in the sun to fully dry and make a cushion or pillow stuffing out of it.

  3. You may need two or three washes to get the fleece clean but at least you are using the fibre. The best way to wash the fleece is by hand and we would only do this with quality fleece as its very time consuming.

  4. You can spin your fleece raw but it needs to be a good long length. We dislike to see fleece thrown out so the best you can do is use it in your garden as mulch.

Poor Harry. The entire-male

Alpacas are mostly inquisitive, sweet and charming but this does happen (male beserk syndrome), and if you have ever been body-slammed by an alpaca or any other livestock over 80 kilo's - it truly hurts, if not deadly! Sadly, we do hear stories like this one about Dirty Harry. Now Harry is an entire-male (not castrated male). You should only keep entire-males if you have a large herd or if you are a breeder. There is no need to have an entire-male if you just want pets -  so please get yourself females and or wether alpacas which are castrated males as they have lovely temperaments and fleece!

The best advise, as an alpaca breeder for over 6 years now is... make sure you purchase the correct animal for your hobby farm, visit the breeder and don't buy from a farm that only ever had one alpaca mixed in with other livestock (This is a recipe for disaster).   Alpacas need to be trained and should have some human contact from birth to adult life (but not treated like a puppy). You should always purchase alpacas from a registered breeder, like us, or from a member of the Australian Alpaca Association.

Sadly, Harry the brown alpaca will be euthanized, which is just plain sad.

Happy to report the two ladies are now recovering and doing well.


Little Valley Farm provides training days for people wishing to have a couple of alpacas as pets. Find out more on our website at www.littlevalleyfarm.com.au

Read the full ABC article here 

 https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-05/alpaca-attack-had-wa-women-fearing-for-their-lives/10581494?pfmredir=sm&sf203631986=1&smid=Page:%20ABC%20Rural-Facebook_Organic&WT.tsrc=Facebook_Organic

#littlevalleyfarm #littlevalleyalpacas #lagunansw #australianalpacaassocation #wollombi #huntervalley #alpacabreeder #alpacafarm  @australianalpacaassociation Little Valley Farm - Alpaca Far

Registered Alpaca Breeder in Wollombi Valley

Little Valley Farm is a member of the Australian Alpaca Association. That mean’s we have a registry of our alpaca’s and their birth lines. It also means for new alpaca owners, when you purchase an alpaca from us, you know what you will get - a happy, healthy, friendly alpaca.

Little Valley Farm also runs alpaca working shops and training days. Follow our facebook page for our 2019 event listings.

Alpaca fleece buyers day happens Nov - Dec - Jan every year where you get to purchase our beautiful fleece in white, fawn and chocolate brown.

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Alpacas coming up for sale

A couple of times a year, we release several of our alpacas for sale. The best time to purchase alpacas is after shearing so you can see what’s underneath their beautiful fleece. 

This month, we will be releasing a couple of wethers. They are 3 to 5 years old. They are great mates and should be kept together. Remember alpacas are herd animals and need to be kept with other alpacas, not other livestock.

Wethers are known for their lovely soft fleece and also good guarding nature.  Please note, they can challenge a fox or kill a small domestic dog but they can not fight off a wild dog or a pack of wild dogs.  

Alpaca's need to be shorn every year and we shear every October.  We can give you a rundown on their annual vaccinations, worming, drenching, teeth and nail trimmings.  

Little Valley Farm runs training days a couple of times a year so let us know if that is something that you need to do. We can also give you advice on the best shelters and pens to house alpacas. 

To find out more about our alpaca's send us an email. 

Alpacas start from $550++ depending on age, sex and fleece quality. 



Loves to be hand fed, will follow you around the farm with a bucket of food, inquisitive and lovely natured.

Get your PIC ready before purchasing livestock

Ready more on our blog to find how we use the alpaca fleece.

Fibre Fest 2018

Today we visited Singleton’s Fibre Fest 2018 organised by the Knitters Guild NSW. It was a pretty huge turn out on their Sunday ‘retail-day’. Saturday was full of fibre workshops. Now just one spinning wheel demo and now I want a new spinning wheel and a weaving loom…. oh, plus I want more coloured alpacas.

The alpaca yarn and rovings on sale today was absolutely amazing quality and we know its something that we can produce at LVF down the track.

Here I am demo-ing a two peddle spinning wheel which is made in Holland. Its super easy and I just need to get my hands drafting the alpaca fleece a lot faster. The perfect wheel to spin our alpaca fleece at Little Valley Farm.

#littlevalleyfarm #alpacafarm #alpacabreeder #lagunaNSW #huntervalley #alpacafleece FibreFest #fibrefest2018 #getspinning #getweaving

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Spring into Little Valley Farm

Spring is the best time to visit the Hunter Valley. The valley is alive with colour and finally our paddocks are lush green after thankfully, receiving a lot of rain in October. It was amazing! Our alpacas are happily frolicking across the fresh grass and feeling cool after their big shearing day.

Don’t forget we have our unique farmstay in our rustic train carriage by the alpaca paddocks. So you can book on airbnb.

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Farmstay Rustic Train Carriage Alpaca-farm Laguna

#airbnb #littlevalleyfarm #alpacafarm #farmstay #alpacabreeder #trainstay #uniquefarmstay #smallfarms #lagunaNSW #visitwollombi #touristdrive33

Summer Natives

Summer natives are out in force and paddocks back to their deep green. Thank you for the rain. 156 mls fell in the month of October. Loving Spring again.

Our glamping train and shepherds’s hut is booked out until December 2018. From January you will be able to book for a one night stay as summer is hot-hot-hot in the hunter valley and our alpaca’s love to see visitors.

Visit our Farmstay rustic train carriage alpaca-farm Laguna here.

#lagunaNSW #wollombi #littlevalleyfarm #visitwollombi #touristdrive33 #alpacafarm #farmstay #alapcabreeder #alpaca #alpacalove #alpacafarmstay www.littlevalleyfarm.com.au

Team building stay at Little Valley Farm

Working behind the scenes again…. Little Valley Farm organised a team building event last weekend with our tents, our petite Shepherd’s hut, our unique Train stay plus our huge hang out deck overlooking the alpaca paddocks.

A wonderful snag bbq dinner by Daniela followed by entertainment provided by Neve, Allessandro and Winston the alpacas. I forgot to add the alpaca's in the video! oopps!

Camping and dining at LVF and building down the road at WPF check out the video of the new duck home at WPF.

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Alpaca supplies

Alpaca shearing season has started so make sure you have your vaccinations, worming, vitamins ready.  If you are low on supplies we have supplies available to purchase. Simply email us what you need and we can arrange pick up at Laguna. Please note, we don’t post as most of the supplies requires proper refrigeration.

Ivomec Injectable

Cydectin Injectable  

UltraVac 5:1 Injectable 

Propaca vitamins  (powder) 

ADE supplement Injectable  

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You can ask your your local vet to run a fecal worm count before worming so you don’t run the risk of over or under worming. We can supply the supplements in 1, 2 or 5 ml syringes so you don’t need to buy in bulk if you only have a couple of alpacas.

The day after shearing

The day after shearing. We are exhausted. Now it can rain! The alpacas are a little naked but happy. We are now ready for the hot summer days.

A very big thank you to our shearing team. The Cole family, Kierran, Socie, Frank, Frances and Drew Shearman Our favourite shearer who is gentle and kind with our alpacas. It’s a long exhausting day in the shed with a touch of spit-dodging.

The fleece is drying and our ‘fleece buyers day’ will be happening some time in November.

#littlevalleyfarm #alpacafarm #alpacabreeder #shearing #alpacagleece#alpacas  #lagunaNSW #wollombi #visitwollombi#touristdrive33 Daniela Riccio Drew Shearman Thank you!

I will do nothing today! Thank you, Daniela


Our dear sweet Lilly.

Our dear sweet Lilly.

Alpaca Shearing Day

Here’s a couple of images from our shearing day. Its a long day in the shed with shearing, worming, vaccinations, nail trimming and teeth checking.

Our girl Bianca was the most relaxed and seemed to have enjoyed it. Winston was the most vocal drama queen and kind Allessandro (our first born), comforted little Neve on the table.

What a lovely alpaca family we have at Little Valley farm.

Shearing for October 2019 already booked in

Enjoy the photos.