Anyone who has alpacas is invited to a free workshop this weekend.

"Alpacas 101", on February 25, is being organised to help anyone who has a "few alpacas in the paddock" right up to those starting their own breeding programme. Alpacas Association of New Zealand southern region chairwoman Barbara Lomax is hosting the workshop at her Honeyfields Alpacas property at 691 Tram Rd, Ohoka, near Rangiora.

"It's for anyone who wants to know more about how to interact with them and they don't have to be association members. We just want to encourage people."

Mrs Lomax said the practical hands-on workshop would "be invaluable to all alpaca owners who have purchased their first alpacas in the past few years and wanted to know more about their general management and how to make the most of having alpacas in the paddock".

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There would be practical interactive demonstrations, including how to handle your alpaca, toenail trimming, basic health care, halter training, shearing and fleece skirting. The workshop would also be an opportunity to meet other new alpaca owners and talk to experienced breeders.

Registration is essential, contact southernregion@alpaca.org.nz. Bring your own lunch. Tea, coffee and water will be provided.

Honeyfields Alpacas is the first house on the first driveway on the left going west on Tram Rd after passing Jacksons and Edmunds Rds.

david.hill@alliedpress.co.nz