About Us

Catherine and Kees

In 1992 Kees & I bought the property, now known as Styx River Farm, as a bare block of land. We spent a year building our family home. After moving in we were faced with the huge task of deciding how we were to develop the land. 15 years later, after having made a few mistakes, we are proud and privileged to be farming alpacas.

Our long term breeding goal is to produce alpacas with fleece characteristics which are consistent across the herd. Breeding from animals with proven genetics and by accessing the knowledge of more experienced alpaca farmers we hope that our dream will become a reality.

In the meantime we have achieved one of our goals and that was to process the fibre into yarn and produce a range of hand-made alpaca garments. You can use this link to view some of our products .

 

We have been part-time farming alpacas since 2003. Kees is a builder-joiner and I am a midwife. We continue to work full time in our primary occupations as we build our alpaca business. We started out tentatively and bought two wethers as pets but it was not long before we bought a pregnant female to add to our herd. The day that our first cria, Styx River Farm Carolina, arrived was a very exciting one indeed. Our herd is now rapidly expanding and in November 2008 we have 21 alpacas.


In the short time that we have been in the industry our progeny have been multiple 1st place and broad ribbon winners at A&P Shows around the South Island and at Expo in the North Island in 2007 (See our alpacas ). We also entered some 100% Alpaca hand knitted baby wear in the Creative Fibre Class at Expo 2007 and were awarded a 3rd placing and a 1st placing in the baby and nursery section at the National Alpaca Conference 2008. (see Products).

FACTS ABOUT ALPACAS

  • Alpacas belong the the camel family along with llamas, camels dromedaries, guanacos and vicunas.
  • Alpacas originate in the countries of South America - Peru, Chile and Bolivia
  • Alpacas live in herds of 2 or more animals and were first imported to New Zealand in 1986. If you are planning to own alpacas then you will need to start with at least two. A lone alpaca will fret for a friend and will be very miserable!
  • A female alpaca is called a HEMBRA
  • A male alpaca is called a MACHO
  • A baby alpcaca is called a CRIA until it is one year old and then is called a TUI
  • There are two types of alpaca, the fluffy ones are called HUACAYA (pronounced wa-ky-a) and the ones with long sliky dreadlocks are called SURI
  • Alpacas are naturally inquisitive and make wonderful pets.
  • Alpacas are farmed commercially in NZ for their fine fibre. Some of this fibre is used in the textile industry and some is used for other products like duvets. Fibre from Styx river Farm is spun into yarn and knitted into high quality baby clothes.
  • There are 23 natural shades of alpaca fibre ranging from white through to fawns, browns, greys and blacks. Not all alpacas are solid in colour some may be multi coloured for example white with a fawn spot.

 

group alpaca

 

  • Alpacas are easy care animals, good animal husbandry will ensure your alpacas stay in top health.
  • An alpaca pregnancy is eleven and a half months in duration and they like to give birth on a fine day between the hours of 10am and 4pm!
  • When an alpaca is giving birth it is called unpacking!!