Now that we're all back to normal routines, may I please draw your attention to some really excellent seminars we have coming up over the next few weeks. Open to all.  Please contact me  to get booked on these days, they really they are too good an opportunity to miss. There's something for everyone, from the very new to the very experienced. Gain knowledge and a deeper understanding. The seminars are not expensive, especially when you consider the amount we all spend on our alpacas.

(I did have one query today from someone wanting to know if the Alpaca Evaluation and the Breeders Seminar overlapped - this is the response from Nick Harrington-Smith who is a lecturer for both days.)

"There may be some overlap but that is always the case.  The BAS one day course is designed to give a basic understanding of those traits that are of importance in a breeding programme, however it is probably more pertinent to say that its main objective is to make people start thinking about the why’s and wherefores’ in respect of fleece characteristics.
The breeder’s day will cover some of this by necessity, but will focus heavily on issues that are of importance and that can be readily influenced by careful and informed breeding decision-making.

Both courses will only give brief oversight in to trait evaluation and can be but a start in any learning process.  Alpaca breeding is complex, understanding fleece even more so, therefore repetition is both necessary and useful, and will always prove beneficial.  All the BAS tutors will tell you that we learn something every time we give a course."

Saturday 4th February 2012 "Alpaca Evaluation" with Liz Barlow
We have one of our British Judge Liz Barlow coming to Meon Valley Alpacas to give the new one day British Alpaca Society (BAS) Alpaca Evaluation for Breeders Course. Limited to just 12 places, this is a fabulous days education, not to be missed, all classroom based, so we will be cosy in the training room whatever the weather's doing outside - lunch and refreshments included. Please get in touch to find out more and book your place soon. £60 per person plus vat and including lunch.

Saturday 3rd March 2012 "An Introduction to Alpacas" with Karen & Peter Oglesby
Alpaca management how to look after alpacas day to day and routine husbandry to keep them healthy. We cover vaccinations, worming, toenail trimming, teeth care, nutrition and feeding, shearing, biosecurity, breeding. Learning takes place in the lecture room and on our farm with the alpacas.
Financial considerations whether keeping a couple as field pets or when starting up an alpaca business.
Handling systems - a look around Meon Valley Alpacas to see how we run our herd, discussing fencing, catch areas, shelters, field maintenance, farm set-up and equipment etc.
Fleece and conformation - what to look for when buying an alpaca. Alpaca assessments- a practical session with hands-on look and feel of the differences in conformation and fleece.
Viewing of Meon Valley Sale alpacas.
The course fee of £40 per person £60 per couple which includes lunch and refreshments. The day starts at 10 am and finishes around 4 pm.Courses fill quickly, so please check for availability and request a booking form. We're also happy to give courses tailor made to suit your requirments... perhaps on halter training, identifying fleece characteristics and how to skirt a fleece, or preparation for a show, etc. If you would like a private course then please contact us to arrange a date. Cost for a half day £100 per family. 

Saturday 10th March 2012 "Training your alpaca for Shows" with Jay Holland
This is a one day course taken by Judge and Qualified Camelidynamics Alpaca Trainer Jay Holland. Training Alpacas for Showing and Show Etiquette. very much a hands-on with the alpacas and will be fun and fascinating. £60 plus vat per person including lunch.

Wednesday 28 March 2012 "Breeders Seminar" with Nick Harrington-Smith
We are hosting a one day Seminar for the Southern Alpaca Group which is top be given by International Judge Nick Harrington Smith which is designed to help better understand how to select and breed successfully for the bloodstock market and the fibre industry. Gain an insight into the importance and relationship of those traits most important to all markets. £60 per person including lunch.

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