BATTLE RIVER ALPACAS, is owned by Ernie & Denise Gamroth, is located in East Central Alberta, between Galahad and Forestburg. We have 10 acres of land and were looking at raising small livestock, which led us to alpacas. We fulfilled our dream of raising alpacas when we purchased our first alpacas in 1994. We now have a herd of around 60 alpacas, consisting of Chilean, Peruvian, Bolivian, and crosses.
Subsequent to purchasing and caring for our alpacas, we have developed a very successful Custom Shearing business. At this time we have sheared approximately 10,000 alpacas. This has afforded us the opportunity to learn, to teach, and best of all develop relationships with other breeders.
1. Alpaca Sales/Product Sales
4. Custom Shearing/Sale of Shearing equipment/Teaching
5. CD on Shearing a Show Fleece and Preparation of the Fleece for Show with Tracey Riopel, International Alpaca Judge
We have developed a strategy to produce exceptionally high quality alpacas. We have animals that are "double registered" (with the CLRC and ARI registries).
We have enhanced our genetic pool, thereby improving established fibre and conformation attributes. We breed for fibre fineness, crimp and density. We are very active in developing markets for alpaca fibre, and for finished alpaca products. We recently have begun using Yocum's EPD program to help with genetic prediction and the further improving of our herd.
Ongoing buyer support is an important and integral part of our program. All of our breeding stock is sold with fertility guarantee. We invite you to visit our ranch to see, touch and experience alpaca beauty and tranquility.
Alpacas are a member of the Camelid family. They were domesticated over 5000 years ago, and became a cherished treasure of the ancient Inca civilization. Their fine cashmere-like fleece was once reserved for Incan royalty.
Alpacas have a life span of 20-25 years.Adults weigh 130-190 lbs. And stand 34-36 inches at the withers. Baby alpacas, called crias, generally weigh 14 to 21 lbs. at birth. Gestation is a little over 11 months, with an average of 342 days. They usually give birth between 10am and 2pm. They communicate through soft humming noises and unique body language.
Today, in Canada, alpacas are raised for their exquisite fibre, and are enjoyed for their delightful personalities as well as their sound investment returns.
Alpacas are clean, intelligent, peaceful animals that can be handled by anyone and are safe around children; caring for them is not difficult. Fences should be designed to keep out predators, yet safe for the alpacas. A three-sided enclosure or lean-to is adequate for shade, as well as winter wind protection. Alpacas require less than 2 pounds of good 10-12% protein hay daily, mineral supplementation and fresh water. They require little pasture; approximately 6-8 animals per acre, making them an ideal small acreage livestock. They have common dung piles, thus clean-up and parasite control is a relatively easy job. Alpaca droppings are almost odorless, are low in nitrogen and make an excellent fertilizer. They can be easily transported in a pick-up truck, van or trailer, and they usually lie down in transit. Alpacas are extremely hardy and adaptable to most climates, altitudes and conditions.
Canada's young Alpaca industry will be focused on breeding stock for numerous years to come. The existing herd is small, alpacas have a slow reproduction rate, and as of December 31st, 1999, both the Canadian and American registries are closed for screening of importations from South America. Demand for these animals is supported by the real and positive attributes of the Alpaca. They are earth-friendly, safe, easy to handle and care for. They require minimal feed, and shelter. They produce a yearly cash crop in the form of fibre. They are fully insurable, and have tax advantages, such as expense deductions, depreciation, and the deferred recognition of accumulating wealth. Returns on a small herd of good quality animals have varied from good to generous! Many farms, including Battle River Alpacas, are willing to board and manage Alpacas for those who wish to invest in them, but do not have the time or facilities to do so otherwise.
They are truly the world's finest livestock investment!