Meet Nutmeg – an orphaned baby Alpaca who now lives at Johanna River farm & Cottage along with other friendly farm animals.  Nutmeg was born on 28th December 2022.  We will be bottle feeding for a while.  Our big alpacas were keen to meet her and show her around the farm. . 

Guests staying in our cottages often ask what the difference is between an Alpaca and a Llama.  Alpacas originate from South America and are bred from the wild Vicuna which is now a rare and protected species. The Llama is bred from the wild Guanaco, which is still relatively common through out South America. They are both in the camelid family, which also Includes the Asian camel.

There are a few large Alpaca farms in the Otway region.  If you’re travelling along the Great Ocean Road, you will see them grazing in the paddocks.   Those farms aim to breed a high quality, fine grade wool/fibre.  Our Alpacas here at Johanna River Farm and Cottages are used as ‘Guardians’ for our sheep (and are much loved pets too).  The instinct for one or two alpacas to bond with other grazing animals, and especially their proven ability to protect sheep and goats, has resulted in the use of alpacas as sheep flock guardians – especially during and after lambing/when baby sheep are born.  We’ve seen our Alpacas chase away foxes from our paddocks and also away from our hen house. 

At birth, a baby alpaca, also known as a Cria, weighs from 6 to 8 kg. As adults, they can weigh up to 70 kg.  A female alpaca, called hembra.  Males are known as ‘machos’. 

Mum Alpaca carries her baby for approximately 11 months,   Crias can stand up shortly after birth. So they are quite resilient.  Alpacas are herd animals; they love to be with Alpaca family and friends.  (We think a much better collective noun would be “ A pack of alpacas”  😊

Alpacas are known to be gentle and mild-mannered. Even though they’re curious and love exploring on their own, they get scared easily. That’s why they prefer the companionship of other alpacas.

Baby Alpaca (Cria) Nutmeg at Johanna river farm & cottages Great Ocean Road Johanna Otways