Over the last few years we have come to know Fiona, her love for her alpacas and passion for their fibre is very evident in everything she does! We had a chat with her to find out some insider information for you! Fiona and Ian moved to Australia from England in 2002 and bought a property "Birrong" in the Southern Highlands. Fiona and Ian weren't sure what they wanted to farm. Their property wasn't suitable for farming cattle, sheep didn't appeal to them and it would have been too hard to secure the fences for goats. Their property has lots of wombats which means constant fence damage and goats are notorious escapees!
Fiona and Ian saw some alpacas on an open farm in the Hunter Valley and decided to give them a go! They had very clear goals from the start, they chose Suri alpacas as their fibre is so unique and not a competing fibre to merino in the way that huacaya alpaca fibre can be. Their focus was white suri fleece and they continue to believe in this goal. Whilst it was an "accidental progression" as Fiona describes it to farming alpacas their passion for alpacas is inspiring.
Fiona and Ian kept the original property name of Birrong and extended it to be the stud name for their alpacas. Birrong is an aboriginal word meaning star.
We have used Birrong fibre in a number of projects and it is lustrous and silky soft!
Thank you to Fiona for sharing this information with us and for the photos! Oh how I wish I could hug that cria (a cria is a baby alpaca and is pronounced creea) too!