PODCAST

Alpaca Tribe

Steve Heatherington

The Alpaca Podcast for all things alpaca. Alpaca Tribe is for anyone who feels a connection with alpacas. It is for existing owners, everyone interested in keeping alpacas, people working with alpaca fleece or providing alpaca services, or those who are just alpaca mad. With our guests, we will look at getting into keeping alpacas; making the most of the ones you have got (and enjoying it); ways to use the fleece, not just store it; opportunities to develop business activities relating to alpacas; and growing in your experience, wherever you are starting. Each week we will be talking to people like you and to breeders, vets, producers and professionals. The Alpaca Tribe Podcast is your place for wisdom, guidance and great stories about all things alpaca, from people who know because they have already done it. Join the tribe at alpacatribe.com

Play Trailer
Alpaca Tribe - Trailer
16-12-2018
Alpaca Tribe - Trailer
##Introduction A trailer introducing the Alpaca Tribe podcast for all things alpaca. Discussion with guests on a wide range of topics relating to keeping alpacas, working with their fleece and providing alpaca services. If you have the alpaca gene you need to be part of the alpaca tribe. Need help or want to know more? This is your place for wisdom guidance and great stories on all things alpaca. ##Alpaca Tribe Podcast The Alpaca podcast for all things Alpaca. A great place for owners and anyone who is thinking of keeping alpacas; for people working with alpaca fleece, or providing the wide range of alpaca services (walking with alpacas, shearing, training, holiday lets etc.) Have you got the alpaca gene - you somehow just connect with them. You need to be part of the Alpaca Tribe. With our guests, we will look at getting into keeping alpacas; making the most of the ones you have got (and enjoying it); ways to use the fleece, not just store it; opportunities to develop business activities relating to alpacas; and growing in your experience, wherever you are starting. Each week we will be talking to people like you and to breeders, vets, producers and professionals. The Alpaca Tribe Podcast is your place for wisdom, guidance and great stories about all things alpaca, from people who know because they have already done it. Check out the website - (alpacatribe.com) and subscribe now, wherever you get your podcasts. This is the Alpaca Tribe and I am Steve Heatherington.
What does success with your alpacas mean to you?
5d ago
What does success with your alpacas mean to you?
Welcome to the podcast for alpaca people! In this episode, we will be thinking about what success means to us. It could be the first time you do something, the repeats that increase your skill, or it could be consistency over time. Success means different things to different people and also over time. (The Carbon Almanac) is going to be an amazing printed resource for people who care about the planet and all life on it, including alpacas. To be published soon - paper supplies permitting. Meanwhile, there are downloadable resources and (four different podcasts) to listen to. I have included the trailer to the kids' podcast, (Generation Carbon). I hope you enjoy them and decide to go check them out for yourself and also share them with others. Thanks for listening and I hope you enjoyed it. If you would like to be in touch, please contact me by email - steve@alpacatribe.com - or leave me a (voicemail) from your browser. Alpaca Tribe is hosted and produced by Steve Heatherington of (Good Podcasting Works), which is part of (The Waterside (Swansea) Ltd)
Alpacas and the future
15-06-2022
Alpacas and the future
Welcome to the podcast for alpaca people! In this episode, we are thinking about the future and change and how we can prepare, or at least ask the right kind of questions. When change happens slowly we may not notice it as much but we will still experience the impact at some point. Climate change, sourcing feed, delivery challenges, sustainability and regeneration. We have to take account of so much. But don't panic, or slide into eco-anxiety. There are things we can do. LINKS for listening and I hope you enjoyed it. If you would like to be in touch, please contact me by email - steve@alpacatribe.com - or leave me a (voicemail) from your browser. Alpaca Tribe is hosted and produced by Steve Heatherington of (Good Podcasting Works), which is part of (The Waterside (Swansea) Ltd)
A successful shearing season
08-06-2022
A successful shearing season
Welcome to the podcast for alpaca people! In this episode, we talk about finishing the shearing for the whole herd. So welcome! Learning as always - about the alpacas, individually and collectively. Learning about ourselves. Confidence and clarity. Preparation and mindset. It all works in together. What does success look like to you? Moving target, so take the small wins and let them build together to make progress. Thanks for listening and I hope you enjoyed it. If you would like to be in touch, please contact me by email - steve@alpacatribe.com - or leave me a (voicemail) from your browser. Alpaca Tribe is hosted and produced by Steve Heatherington of (Good Podcasting Works), which is part of (The Waterside (Swansea) Ltd)
Time for an alpaca haircut
01-06-2022
Time for an alpaca haircut
Welcome to the podcast for alpaca people! In this episode, we talk shearing and give a valley update. I had forgotten how physical shearing is and am now suitably tired and we are only partway through! Thanks for listening and I hope you enjoyed it. If you would like to be in touch, please contact me by email - steve@alpacatribe.com - or leave me a (voicemail) from your browser. Alpaca Tribe is hosted and produced by Steve Heatherington of (Good Podcasting Works), which is part of (The Waterside (Swansea) Ltd)
Things that surprise alpacas
25-05-2022
Things that surprise alpacas
Welcome to the podcast for alpaca people! In this episode, I explore some things I have found that surprise alpacas. Their curiosity normally intervenes but sometimes they do make a little jump first. It includes: sudden movements loud sounds unexpected objects things underfoot things being blown around Check out your local environment to reduce potential impact. What things have surprised your alpacas? Drop me a line and let me know. Thanks for listening and I hope you enjoyed it. If you would like to be in touch, please contact me by email - steve@alpacatribe.com - or leave me a (voicemail) from your browser. Alpaca Tribe is hosted and produced by Steve Heatherington of (Good Podcasting Works), which is part of (The Waterside (Swansea) Ltd)
Talking with my alpacas
18-05-2022
Talking with my alpacas
Welcome to the podcast for alpaca people! In this episode, I want to explore how we can talk with our alpacas. I am sure we talk to them but do you know when they talk back? Our aim is to better understand what our alpacas need. If we listen (including watching) they will talk to us. Three questions: What do you notice? What does it mean? What should I do about it (and when)? Not a magic wand, just a step along the way to being better alpaca owners. Let me know what you hear. Thanks for listening and I hope you enjoyed it. If you would like to be in touch, please contact me by email - steve@alpacatribe.com - or leave me a (voicemail) from your browser. Alpaca Tribe is hosted and produced by Steve Heatherington of (Good Podcasting Works), which is part of (The Waterside (Swansea) Ltd)
Change is here to stay
11-05-2022
Change is here to stay
Welcome to the podcast for alpaca people! In this episode, I explore change, considering how we approach it and the difference between things we have no control over and things we can affect. World scale changes will affect us, maybe not today or even tomorrow, but soon. As always, I encourage you to go spend some time with your alpacas and enjoy the moment. Let me know your thoughts. The podcasting timeline and where the term podcast came from for listening and I hope you enjoyed it. If you would like to be in touch, please contact me by email - steve@alpacatribe.com - or leave me a (voicemail) from your browser. Alpaca Tribe is hosted and produced by Steve Heatherington of (Good Podcasting Works), which is part of (The Waterside (Swansea) Ltd)
Mistakes as learning opportunities
04-05-2022
Mistakes as learning opportunities
Welcome to the podcast for alpaca people! In this episode, I encourage us to be kind to ourselves and allow mistakes to be learning opportunities - but it is not easy. Listen in to a valley update and Amelia's latest strangeness. Planning for a mini-series on growing older - both our alpacas and us! Thanks for listening and I hope you enjoyed it. If you would like to be in touch, please contact me by email - steve@alpacatribe.com - or leave me a (voicemail) from your browser. Alpaca Tribe is hosted and produced by Steve Heatherington of (Good Podcasting Works), which is part of (The Waterside (Swansea) Ltd)
Life Lessons I have learnt from my alpacas
27-04-2022
Life Lessons I have learnt from my alpacas
Welcome to the podcast for alpaca people! I have learnt many things while keeping alpacas - obviously about them but also about me. In this episode, I share three of those life lessons that transfer to 'normal living' not just alpacas. Patience Attention Loss and love What have you learnt from alpacas? Thanks for listening and I hope you enjoyed it. If you would like to be in touch, please contact me by email - steve@alpacatribe.com - or leave me a (voicemail) from your browser. Alpaca Tribe is hosted and produced by Steve Heatherington of (Good Podcasting Works), which is part of (The Waterside (Swansea) Ltd)
Understanding traction and friction to be a better alpaca owner
20-04-2022
Understanding traction and friction to be a better alpaca owner
Welcome to the podcast for alpaca people! In this episode, I give a valley update, talk about what spooked the girls and what we can do about it and consider how we move forward in our experience of keeping alpacas by increasing traction and reducing friction. (A CAMELIDynamics Virtual Conference) - 2-day virtual conference with amazing guest speakers and camelid focussed knowledge. Thanks for listening and I hope you enjoyed it. If you would like to be in touch, please contact me by email - steve@alpacatribe.com - or leave me a (voicemail) from your browser. Alpaca Tribe is hosted and produced by Steve Heatherington of (Good Podcasting Works), which is part of (The Waterside (Swansea) Ltd)
Understanding your alpacas
13-04-2022
Understanding your alpacas
Welcome to the podcast for alpaca people! In this episode, I notice some things and invite you to become more aware of what you notice. Alpacas are great to be around when your head is spinning with problems and questions that don't have answers. It kind of puts things into perspective. So do yourself a favour and spend some time with an alpaca - or the next best thing, an episode of alpaca tribe! (A CAMELIDynamics Virtual Conference) - Amazing speaker line up - you need to check it out! (Paka Apparel) - "The products we build, the experiences we create, all support a simple mission: Consumers and creators made equal." Thanks for listening and I hope you enjoyed it. If you would like to be in touch, please contact me by email - steve@alpacatribe.com - or leave me a (voicemail) from your browser. Alpaca Tribe is hosted and produced by Steve Heatherington of (Good Podcasting Works), which is part of (The Waterside (Swansea) Ltd)
Felting with many needles with guest Lanette Freitag
06-04-2022
Felting with many needles with guest Lanette Freitag
Welcome to the podcast for alpaca people! In this episode, I am in conversation with Lanette Frietag of FeltLOOM. Lanette has long-term experience of alpacas and other fibre animals, and even owned some of the early imports of alpacas to the US. Before that she had llamas. How do you scale up your use of fleece to make living, or at least cover the costs of feeding your alpacas? We all face that challenge. Lanette discovered first wet-felting and then needle-felting, by hand. Recognising a machine was needed to scale up, they searched but could not find one, so they developed their own! The FeltLOOM. I hope you enjoy this episode of how things began for Lanette and why. Also, watch out for a bonus episode coming soon, that will give even more of the backstory. (FeltLOOM website) - description of the machine with pictures and videos (Punched card - Wikipedia) - Some background to punched cards for computing for those who are too young to remember them. Developer of the FeltLOOM. Involved with early importing of alpacas to the US (Lanette's Facebook page) (Lanette's Website) (Lanette on YouTube) Thanks for listening and I hope you enjoyed it. If you would like to be in touch, please contact me by email - steve@alpacatribe.com - or leave me a (voicemail) from your browser. Alpaca Tribe is hosted and produced by Steve Heatherington of (Good Podcasting Works), which is part of (The Waterside (Swansea) Ltd)
Revisiting where Alpaca Tribe started
30-03-2022
Revisiting where Alpaca Tribe started
Welcome to the podcast for alpaca people! In this episode, we will be revisiting the first episode of the podcast - over three years ago - hardly seems possible. It was a good reminder to me of where we started and why - I would love to know what you think and what you would like more of - drop me an email to steve@alpacatribe.com. Can't wait to hear from you. Spring is my favourite time of year - well today is my favourite time of year really but currently, that means Spring. On the website, we have some pictures from the valley of what is going on. Check it out here ( you can, go spend some time with an alpaca. Thanks for listening and I hope you enjoyed it. If you would like to be in touch, please contact me by email - steve@alpacatribe.com - or leave me a (voicemail) from your browser. Alpaca Tribe is hosted and produced by Steve Heatherington of (Good Podcasting Works), which is part of (The Waterside (Swansea) Ltd)
Spring is sprung for the alpacas
23-03-2022
Spring is sprung for the alpacas
Welcome to the podcast for alpaca people! In this episode, we are thinking about Spring. As we pass the spring equinox the sun gets stronger and warmer. Ideal alpaca sunbathing weather. Thoughts also turn towards... spring things. What is the word that comes after Spring? In the US it may well be... Break as in Spring Break. Here in the UK my thoughts turn to Spring Cleaning Listen in to find out more. (Foxgloves) - Easy to see the leaf rosettes in the Spring. Uproot them while you can see them before other vegetation grows up to hide them. Your next chance will be when the flower spikes emerge but don't let them seed. Thanks for listening and I hope you enjoyed it. If you would like to be in touch, please contact me by email - steve@alpacatribe.com - or leave me a (voicemail) from your browser. Alpaca Tribe is hosted and produced by Steve Heatherington of (Good Podcasting Works), which is part of (The Waterside (Swansea) Ltd)
Making alpaca breeding decisions can be challenging
16-03-2022
Making alpaca breeding decisions can be challenging
We look at the alpaca dam and sire but may still not have a clue about the cria that will result. Join me as I muse on breeding decisions. The first consideration is the bloodlines and avoiding potential inbreeding. Next, we should be considering the desirable traits and how to increase the likelihood of adding to them in the next and following generations. At one level it seems simple but there are issues of genotype and phenotype and which traits are clustered together. One of the important factors is data over time which means keeping records - and referring to them. We do not just need more alpacas but better ones and our breeding choices will affect this. This is more challenging for owners of a few animals since the data requires quantity over time to be more accurate. LinkHere is a link to the British Alpaca Society discussion of (Estimated Beeding Values) me with your thoughts on breeding decisions steve@alpacatribe.com
Everything in a state of flux
09-03-2022
Everything in a state of flux
Change is the one constant. Join me on the alpaca feeding round on a wet late-winter afternoon. For basic equipment like troughs and buckets, investing in some long-lasting ones will serve you well. Take care of yourself.
Alpacas are creatures of habit, usually...
02-03-2022
Alpacas are creatures of habit, usually...
We are all creatures of habit but alpacas especially so. From feeding preferences and positions to grazing routes and times of the day. Millie and her daughters have particular behaviours that are noticeable but so do the others, even if they tend to hang back. Noticing the tendency to form habits, how do we make good use of it? Calling them, feeding them at the same time in the same place and knowing where they are likely to be at different times of the day can all be used to our advantage in simplifying how we manage our charges. It also means we get to spend more time watching them and interacting with them. Which has got to be a good thing.
Have you noticed the alpacas in the middle?
23-02-2022
Have you noticed the alpacas in the middle?
Here in the UK, we survived the three named storms in five days, with some trees down in the valley but not any serious damage thankfully. The alpacas kept themselves indoors when the winds were strong and were producing driving rain. Millie was a little unwell with some diarrhoea but we were able to get her balanced up again pretty quickly. To give a little extra protection we added a waterproof coat. We got a couple to help the older girls and they are really appreciating them. Bright red so I can see where the vulnerable ones are at a distance. It seems to have been a real boost to them and they are back in the midst of the group during feeding times rather than hanging back. This made me realise we can overlook the ones who are in the middle - those who are not outstanding due to their behaviour or looks or problems (or red coats). Worth intentionally checking they are doing OK now and again. A job for the next feeding - look out for the alpacas in the middle.
Alpacas have family and friends too
16-02-2022
Alpacas have family and friends too
Alpacas recognise each other - and us. From a distance and close up, they pick up on cues from all of their senses to know where they are and who they are with. What can we learn from them? The herd group dynamics of alpacas always amaze me with their complexity and detail. From who they will share a feeding trough with, to who they will sit down next to. From who they know to be part of their family to who they count as friends. It is easy to anthropomorphize but from my experience, I would say there are definite relationships and interactions between alpacas that suggest a high level of awareness and decision making. Even as they stare at you inscrutably they know so much more than they let on. They know me by sight sound and smell - I sometimes confuse them unintentionally by wearing a hat. But once they see and hear me up close - and catch a whiff! - they are happy again. Why not spend some time watching and noting what is going on with a group of alpacas. Give them time to settle, then start taking notes. And have fun!
Thinking hazard and risk assessment when you have alpacas around
09-02-2022
Thinking hazard and risk assessment when you have alpacas around
Listen in to find out about the fox drama followed by the lifebuoy drama. The things these alpacas get up to! I always loved the concept of (managing by wandering around) since I first came across it in a previous life (ie before alpacas). Who knew you could apply it to managing your alpacas? "What are you doing Steve?" "Oh, I am just managing the alpacas!" - no really! Some things to look out for when having your risk assessment wander Tangles Gaps Risk of physical injury - thorns, nails, collapses, mud, water, fighting Holes - eg molehills or tunnels, or rabbit holes, or gopher holes, with stumble points Poisoning TAKE ACTIONRemove Exclude Repair Prepare