Recent Post: Cold January in Peru

Image 02The recent cold weather in Peru kills over 180,000 alpacas.

Unseasonably low temperatures and drought in Peru is responsible for the animals' deaths. Alpacas are not particularly good at foraging in cold weather, this report was made in January 2017.

Recent cold weather in the Ayacucho region of south-central Peru is being blamed for the deaths of up to 180,000 alpacas. These usually hardy animals appear to have been made vulnerable to the cold weather by a series of ongoing environmental factors.

Much of the region has been experiencing drought conditions since August 2016. Lack of water in lagoons had a direct impact on the alpacas' breeding season. Lack of rainfall also resulted in stunted grass growth, so the animals have endured poor grazing for several months, weakening them further.

Large numbers of deaths of alpacas, and the other South American camelids - llamas - are not unknown.

Outbreaks of extremely cold air from the Antarctic, known as friagens, occur during the winter months. The friagen of 2003 killed more than half of all the country's alpacas when temperatures plunged to minus 35 Celsius. Last winter's cold weather reportedly killed 50,000 alpacas in the southern Puno region.

The fact that these deaths have occurred in the summer months do make it very unusual, but alpacas are not quite as tough as people often think. They are not particularly good at foraging in cold or snowy weather. They also do not carry much body fat and their coats contain no water-resistant lanolin. In recent days, there have been reports of heavy rain in the region. It may be that the animals' coats have been penetrated by water, making them vulnerable to the combination of low temperatures and strong winds. Alpaca wool is a major export in Peru. More than $150m of fleeces are sent abroad each year.



Never before has there been such an exciting time to become a YAG member. We have lots of plans for 2017 which are all "hush-hush" at the moment, but come Spring our plans will be revealed. Whether you're a breeder or simply keep alpacas as pets, join YAG as a member and enrich your alpaca experience during 2017. For details visit our members page now and complete the online form.




Success once more for YAG committee - following an appeal (via email) the first meeting was held on Tuesday 8th March of the newly formed Show Committee and was attended by a dozen alpaca breeders all keen to provide their services to ensure YAG maintain and deliver quality and professional shows. The group formed a committee and appointed tasks to various members attending the meeting, who will plan and communicate the complicated stages required to make YAG shows impressive and fun for all. Keep a watch on here for updates of plans and dates!

Something to sell?:

We are currently looking at setting up a page on the YAG website dedicated to our members items for sale. These could include Alpacas, Farm Equipment, Spare Hay, Feeding Troughs or Stock Trailers. If you have an item for sale, send us a picture, contact number, email address and price with short description. We can post it on the page for you for £10 for 3 months.