Thinking of buying some Alpacas

Miniature Horse Talk Forums

Help Support Miniature Horse Talk Forums:

Greystone

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2002
Messages
175
Reaction score
0
We are having here in Lebanon a National Alpaca Farm Day and there is a farm close to my house. So I did a little (very little) research and I think I like them. I have read they are pretty easy on the pasture which is a plus having a drought for 2 years here in Lebanon. Not sure I totally want to switch over from minis to alpacas but am thinking of getting a couple.

Any experienced alpaca owners out there?
 

Diana

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2003
Messages
617
Reaction score
0
I got my first alpacas (3) last November and have 3 minis also. The alpacas are in a separate pasture from the minis but in the winter are next to each other in the winter paddocks. I love my alpacas, I have since gotten one more that needed a home and has settled in nicely with the others. They are a joy to watch and very easy to care for. We did the first shearing this spring on 3 of them and have gotten back my yarn to use and some to sell. We are hoping that we can make enough money off the alpacas so that they pay for themselves. They are pretty good in keeping the pasture mowed down which was our intention to begin with. In my opinion and several other alpaca owners is that you need at least 2-3 alpacas as they are a very herd driven animal. Love to watch them run in the pasture. Not as cuddley as the minis but a real neat animal. Depending on what you want to spend, I got myself fiber males and had them gelded as I didn't want to breed or show the animal, well thus far. I say go for it.
default_risa8.gif
default_thumbup.gif
 

Shari

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2003
Messages
5,676
Reaction score
132
Location
Now in Virginia
I have 3 Fiber males...two of which had to be gelded. My biggest advise for anyone looking for Alpaca's...if you want gentled animals...make sure they are really tame and you can handle them all over with no fussing on their part.

I really like having the Alpaca's here.. they are halter trained but only if you pin them in the corner and force them..can't touch them other wise. So even though I wasn't looking for a project... they are being retrained so I can handle them with no fussing. But years of them being handled the old way.. is going to take me a longgg time to get past that. Hope by next spring I will be able to walk in the field and halter them and to clip them, while standing up right and so on. Know it is possible to train them to do this... if Llama's can.. so can Alpaca's. (Heck,, all my sheep were trained!!!) Just seems that most Alpaca owners don't train their animals.

I like them because they are smaller than most Llama's.

Heres some photos of them.

http://the-neesfamily.blogspot.com/2008/08...ng-alpacas.html

http://the-neesfamily.blogspot.com/2008/08...as-arrived.html

I highly recommend this lady's training methods..

http://www.camelidynamics.com/
 

Soggy Bottom Ranch

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2006
Messages
1,091
Reaction score
0
To most people who have alpacas, they are a "business", and the numbers they have in their herd sometimes makes it impossible to take the time each one needs to become tame. If you get them young enough I think it's easier to tame them, but for the most part, alpacas enjoy being in the herd, and don't really enjoy human contact. We used to raise them (sold out in 2006) as a business, and had mostly bred females on the farm, so not wanting to stress them out, they were mostly left alone.

If you have just a couple, or even 3 or 4, it isn't to bad, but when you get a pretty good herd going, they can be alot of work. I think sometimes people don't understand what is all involved in taking care of alpacas. I've seen a couple people who have them, and simply do a Safeguard oral paste for wormer. There is actually more to it than that..............depending on the area you live in, so that should definately be part of your research. Alpacas are highly susceptible to meningeal worm from white tail deer, so if you are in an area where deer congregate or pass through frequently, you should look into the requirments needed to keep your alpacas safe. Meningeal Worm effects the nervous system, and can be fatal. I've seen first hand, alpacas effected by meningeal worm, and it's not a nice sight. The best known prevention is an injectible ivermectin wormer (we used Dectomax) every 30 days. Safeguard paste is also used, and I think I did the Safeguard 1x per season, spring, summer, fall, and winter.

Another thing to be aware of, is what you feed them, and how you feed them. Alpacas require a feed lower in copper (I believe that's it), and some folks I've seen feeding a horse feed mix. Be sure you have a feed specific for alpacas (or llamas will work) because you can get copper toxicity if you overdue. Alpacas can also "choke" very easy. It will most likely happen when they are eating their grain, if they are eating to fast, or if they are eating it low to the ground/on the ground. We always had our feeders set up higher, and put rocks in the feeders to slow them down. I remember the first time I saw one of our alpacas choke........it was the scariest thing!

If I remember correctly, even having fiber males, if you have enough to process and sell the yarn, can be considered a "business", and can be used as a tax deduction. For us, the tax deductions were well worth it, and greatly missed! Check with your accountants on that to be sure, but I know when we started in the business, if you processed and sold their yarn as a business, you could get the tax benefits.

Best of luck with your decision, and have fun!
default_smile.png
 

Shari

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2003
Messages
5,676
Reaction score
132
Location
Now in Virginia
My sheep were a "Business" had upwards of 30 during lambing season. I found time to halter train and tame them all. One reason people kept coming back to me..my "Breeding stock" was easy to handle and care for.

Most people didn't bother taming their sheep(Or other livestock) down but I found it very important. Having them tamed before they are old enough to breed, really does kept them from being stressed, when people are around or new things go on, on the Farm. Found the wild or barely handled ones..in any breed, where more scared and stressed or they were rarely handled,,and when handled, it was roughly.

One reason my fleece won so much, was because I tamed them, no stress = great fleece.
 

Latest posts

Top