About A to Z Alpacas

"A to Z Alpacas" is a small family farm located in Southern Alberta. We own over 300 alpacas and have been building our herd since 1999.
I am Leslie Unruh, my daughter, Kayla and I live on the family farm with my dad, Rod Unruh. Kayla and I moved back home after my mom passed away.
About of farm name: When we first started with the alpacas we named each cria crop with a single letter starting with A and we have kept the tradition and just finished naming 35 female cria with names starting with the letter N!

Our Story... My parents (with a huge push from me) bought a herd of 20... some Canadian registered and some dual registered (Canadian and American), over a decade ago. They were all very average alpacas but when we started we didn't know anything.... except what we were told. We did everything by the book and registered all the cria, hand bred, dna tested and the whole bit... Until we literally ran out of cash and just simply couldn't afford to dna test and register. The hand breeding went out the window as soon as we hit 30 females to breed and we simplified the entire process by allowing a single herdsire to reside with a pen of females for the duration of breeding season. We have 3 or 4 pastures running from May 15- July 15. That way we have shortened up our cria time to just the summer and have way less problems with birthing. Our records are fairly minimal. Each cria gets assigned a number the day they are born and an ear tag is put in before their first night. We don't bother worrying about anything except producing great fiber. Our herd is downright amazing and we would be willing to put our herd up against any other in Canada..

We are currently working on getting alpaca meat made into sausage, hamburger, jerky and steaks. This is a harsh reality that proves to be a necessary factor for anyone who wants to succeed in the alpaca industry. Alpacas do not produce prime fiber when they are older and so for us to produce the necessary lbs of prime fleece we need to keep our herd fairly young. The meat industry will ensure we can produce high quality alpaca fiber in larger masses.
In 2005 my mom passed away and since then my daughter and I have been staying with my dad on the alpaca ranch. I love it here and feel at peace around the animals and my dad. I have always been involved with the business and the two of us have been working on getting something going for the past five years. Just recently we started working with a Mill in Alberta. We got socks, and yarns made and have been slowly building a local and online customer base.

Raising alpacas is fun and easy and something I couldn't imagine my life without. They truly are one of the greatest animals on earth!

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