What is an
How to Start
List of a few things necessary for the alpacas.
Land - Alpacas are hardy and adaptive, making
the selection of suitable property relatively easy. In most areas
you can keep about 5-10 alpacas per acre depending on irrigation,
forage, etc. Alpacas are "browsers" and will sample almost anything
that is growing. It is important to be sure that your land is
free of toxic plants.
Shelter - for most climates a three sided loafing
shed will give them protection from strong winds, rain and snow.
Colder climates might need a closed barn. Make sure you provide
shades for those hot summer days. Alpacas always enjoy a wading pool or sprinkler in summer.
Fencing - most alpaca breeders prefer 5 foot
no-climb fence. Since alpacas rarely challenge a fence, its primary
purpose is to keep predators out. Domestic dogs are one of the
largest contributors to lost alpacas.
Feed - grass, hay, grain will do. If they are
given raw treats such as carrots, apples, etc it should be given
to them every day. Each alpaca will consume 1-2 pounds of hay
a day, depending on pasture. Free choice mineral supplements are
necessary in many areas. Prepared feeds are also used by some
alpaca farms. They should have fresh drinking water all times.
Veterinary care - vaccinations, worming and annual
health checks are generally all that is required. Veterinary care
should always be done in conjunction with the advice of a licensed
veterinarian. An experienced alpaca vet is a valuable friend.
Treat them well. Fortunately, most common procedures and first
aide can be done by the alpaca owner. Your worming routine and
medication should be worked out with your vet. Alpacas should
be vaccinated 1-2 times a year, dewormed 2 to 12 times per year
depending on your area.
Shearing - alpacas are sheared once a year. A
good set of shears will last a lifetime for the small alpaca farm.
Miscellaneous supplies, tools and equipment -
halters, leads, nail clippers, feeders, water buckets, health
supplies, first aid kit, etc. Alpacas will need their toenails
trimmed 3-4 times a year.
Scales - Cria scales are a necessity. Scales
to weigh your adult alpacas are a plus.
Books - for general information or health issues,
keep some books round for easy reference. Check out our bookshelf
for recommended books.
To contact us regarding investments in Alpacas, click here and we will be glad to assist you.