Wondering about raising alpacas as pets? Well, wonder no more. These sixteen questions and answers will help you decide if raising exotic farm animals will work for you.
1. How much room does an alpaca need?
One acre will keep five alpacas healthy and happy.
2. What kind of fencing and shelter are needed for camelids?
Alpacas will not challenge a fence. A fence is needed to keep predators out, especially the neighborhood dog. It must be a fence that a camelid can not stick its head through and get stuck, too. 2 x 4 no climb fencing works well. Be sure a dog can not dig under the fence or gate. A three-sided shelter is plenty in most climates, in really cold areas you may want a barn.
3. What does an alpaca eat?
Hay. They will, also, need some feed supplements.
4. Are children safe around alpacas?
Yes. Children can learn basic skills of caring for a pet with these animals as they are very gentle creatures. They can, also, use these exotic pets for 4H or FAA activities.
5. What other expenses are involved in caring for camelids?
These farm animals must be sheared once a year. You need to worm them and vaccinate them depending on the area where you live.
6. Can I own just one?
Alpacas are herd animals and you should keep a minimum of two otherwise they may become stressed and unhealthy.
7. Aren’t alpacas expensive?
Not if you purchase geldings or pet quality females. The price ranges from $500-$1000 each.
8. Can alpacas be trained?
Yes. Alpacas easily learn to lead with a halter on. You can train an alpaca to perform simple tricks if you take time to work with them.
9. What can you do with an alpacas fleece?
An alpacas fiber is very fine. It can be spun into yarn for knitting or crocheting. Or you can felt the raw fiber into garments, rugs, and other items.
10. Besides feeding an alpaca, what other routine care do they need?
Alpacas toenails need trimming about every two months. You’ll need to shear and worm them as mentioned before.
11. How large do alpacas get?
An adult alpaca weighs from 120-180 pounds on average.
12. Do alpacas spit?
Mostly at each other, rarely at humans.
13. What climate is best for alpacas?
Alpacas are hardy farm animals and do well in most climates.
14.Can I show my pet quality alpaca?
Yes. There are show classes for fiber/pet animals.
15. Which type of alpaca is better as a pet, the hucaya or suri?
Hucaya alpacas have crimped fiber that makes the alpaca appear puffy. The suri has straight fiber that hangs from the animals body giving it a dreadlock appearance. Suri’s are rare and it may be hard to find a pet quality priced suri. Either animal would be a great exotic farm animal pet.
16. Where can I purchase an alpaca pet?
Search the internet for an alpaca farm near you and contact them to see if they have any pet quality animals for sale.
Alpacas are exotic farm animals that make excellent pets. These very cute farm animals will win your heart and produce fleece so you can make winter hats and scarfs for family and friends. Check them out. There may be an alpaca pet in your future.