Alpacas at PorterBray Pines was started in 2002 near Fresno, California. Barbara Bray and Charis Campbell are owner/managers now with its new ranch name!! Alpacas are originally from South America and importation is no longer allowed in the U.S. So we are proud to have been THE FIRST ranch in Fresno, Kings and Tulare counties to breed and shear these animals for their fleece.
And it all started with an advertisement. A television commercial got us interested in this unique business opportunity. We visited several alpaca ranches in California and one in Oregon. We fell in love with these wonderful animals that are in the camelid family and a cousin to llamas. They are raised for their wonderful fleece and for breeding. Quality products that can be made from alpacas fleece are endless and only limited by the imagination. Some are yarn, dresses, hats, horse cinches, rugs, blankets and throws, toys, pillows, dog beds, comforters, quilt batting, scarves, socks or just raw fleece for fiber enthusiasts to spin and felt.
Alpacas are extremely intelligent and we have found them to be very gentle. Ours are all registered with the Alpaca Registry, Inc. and most are insured. New alpaca ranchers start with as few as two or three alpacas or with as many as nine like we did. Our nine included three pregnant females and the herd grew to 12 within 90 days of our purchase. With three new crias in the fall of 2003, we were up to 15 at the end of 14 months in business. We breed for fall and spring babies to avoid the hot summer and cool winter months.
Alpacas come in 22 different colors and have an 11 to 11 1/2 month gestation period. They are sheared annually in the spring. Each animal nets approximately 3- 8 pounds of fleece.
Alpacas graze on grass and tree leaves and eat alpaca/llama pellets and orchard grass hay. Our alpacas love fruitless mulberry leaves, too. They are very gentle on the land and we would personally recommend no more than 6-8 per acre.
All of our animals are registered (or pending) with ARI. Some of our herdsires and dams are insured. We are members of AOBA, Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association, CALPACA, AFCNA, Alpaca Fiber Co-op of North America.
We would love to tell you more about our alpaca business, the network of owners and breeders in California and across the United States.