What to consider before purchasing your alpacas

Written on April 23, 2015 at 1:22 pm

You’ve decided to keep alpacas? Great decision! Our herd here at Mulberry Alpacas are a huge part of our lives and most definitely established members of the family, each with their own fantastic personalities.

Before you go ahead and purchase your alpacas, there are a number of considerations you should think about to ensure that they are the best animals for you.

Purpose

Why would you like to keep alpacas? It may be to manufacture and sell their fleece, to protect your current livestock, to keep as family pets or even to start your own breeding herd.

How many?

Alpacas are highly sociable animals and require the company of at least one fellow alpaca (we are much more comfortable). Like us humans, they can suffer emotional, mental and sometimes even physical deprivation so make sure you take this into account.

Space and shelter

A Field of Alpacas

As small acreage livestock, alpacas are ideal for those with just a few acres. We would suggest a maximum of 5 alpacas per acre with the understanding that it is important to ‘rest’ pasture occasionally. Alpacas are also ‘earth-friendly’ which means they do not destroy the root system of the grass as they graze.

As relatively hardy animals, alpacas are content with simple shelter structures during the cold months. Good ventilation and shade should be available during the summer.

Food

Due to their evolution in frugal conditions, alpacas have the ability to utilise their food very efficiently although they flourish on good quality pasture and benefit from access to plant material with long fibres such as hay.
In addition, there are a number of commercial alpaca mixes available that provide essential vitamins and minerals.

Upkeep

Although known as low-maintenance livestock, it is important that you know how to care for your alpacas.

- Shearing your alpacas, is very important especially come summer when this is vital to keep your animals comfortable. It is best to do this in the late spring/early summer.
- As you would for a cat or dog, regular worming is required
- Your alpacas toenails will also need to be trimmed regularly
- Fresh water must be supplied daily

So are you convinced? We are hugely passionate about our animals at Mulberry Alpacas and always ensure you are in-the-know before setting out on your new venture.
We will not pressurise you in any way to buy from us.

However, we offer free training and ongoing support to all our customers.
This write-up provides you with a brief summary, contact us today to find out more about our various courses and events where you will receive further, in-depth information or to arrange a visit for a chat.

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