Episode 4 – Tanya Russell on the delights and challenges of a new herd

With most things in life, it is important to get started well and have an idea where you trying to get to. This applies equally to keeping alpacas.

The Alpaca Tribe is for anyone who is passionate about alpacas and through this podcast, we are wanting to particularly help people who have only a few alpacas, or are in the process of considering keeping them. There are a number of issues to consider and things to put in place to allow you to get started in a strong way. More ideas and tips to come in future episodes There are many people who have started the journey ahead of you and it is always good to learn from other people who have navigated the same issues.

We recognise that there are also some people who are passionate about alpacas but are unlikely to ever be in a position to actually own some. The podcast is for you too and we hope you enjoy our talking all things alpaca.

In this episode, I am in conversation with Tanya Russell. She and her fiance Charles, have taken on a ready-made herd of 17 that the previous owner had to disperse but was delighted when she was able to pass them on as a group. It is not possible for everyone to cope with that scale when starting but deep-end learning has its benefits too. We chat through a number of the challenges and delights Tanya has experienced and hopefully, you can gain insight and learn from her journey. How would you feel suddenly being responsible for 17 alpacas for the first time?

An interesting additional dimension is that Tanya is a sculptor specialising in animals large and small in either Bronze Resin or Foundry Bronze. She has exhibited at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, and RHS Hampton Court, RHS Chatsworth and RHS Cardiff too. Her work is on show at Pashley Manor Gardens, Cotswolds Sculpture Park and Court Robert Arts sculpture garden.

Some of you will be pleased to hear she intends to try her hand at alpacas and that she also undertakes commissions.

Enjoy the conversation.


Website https://tanyarussell.com/

Facebook @tanyarussellsculpture

Other links

Here are some links to other things that were mentioned in the episode.


Founded by Marty McGee-Bennett with roots in the TTouch method of working with horses, it is an outstanding approach to handling and working with alpacas and llamas. There are a number of training practitioners here in the UK who offer courses. Do yourself and your alpacas a favour and improve the possibilities.


in the uk

  • Roger Barrett Simply Alpaca Worcester WR7 4DF simplyalpaca@btinternet.com http://simplyalpaca.co.uk/
  • Julie Taylor-Browne Carthvean Farm Helston TR13 0JL taylor.browne@clara.net http://www.carthveanalpacas.com

Alpaca Discussion forums (uk)

Facebook – Alpaca Chat UK

Facebook – Alpacas First

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