View & Print Coupons
  • |
  • |
Please insert a friend's information that you would like send an email to.
Friend's Email Address:  
Friend's Name:
Your Email Address:
Your Name:
Special Message:

Alpaca Farming Tips & Advice


An alpaca mother and a baby alpaca in the mountainsAlpacas are hard not to love. Originally from the mountains of South America, these livestock animals are prized for their silky fleece. There are 2 types of alpaca, the Suri and the Huacaya. The Suri breed has a longer, threaded fiber-like coat-similar to a shag carpet. The Huacaya have a shorter, denser coat which make their coat appear similar to that of a sheep.

Alpacas are smart, curious and gentle animals. They are also very well-suited for small farms and because of their wool and breeding value, can be a great agricultural investment.

They don't require a lot of space-only one acre is needed for four to eight alpacas-and their padded feet are easy on pasture. "Fiber herds are becoming increasingly popular, and it's the simplest husbandry," says Ruthanne McCaslin, an alpaca veterinarian in Chardon, Ohio.

Tips For Beginner Alpaca Farming:

Start a herd. Because alpacas are flight animals and their only defense against predators is to run, they have a strong need to live together as a herd. "You want to have at least four alpacas for them to feel safe and comfortable," says McCaslin. "They don't have fangs, hooves or even upper front teeth to fight with. So having the ability to take turns being on guard makes them feel much safer than being alone."

Fence them in. Provide perimeter fencing to keep predators out of your farm. "Alpacas aren't like goats that are always trying to get out. They'll respect a fence as long as you remember to keep the gate shut," advises McCaslin. Make sure your fencing material does not allow your alpacas to stick their heads through any openings, as they could be injured.

Provide a clean home. "Rather than trying to clean your alpacas, clean their environment," McCaslin suggests. "Don't let your grass get high enough to go to seed, or the seed heads can get caught in their fleece. You'll also want to avoid burs and thistles that can get caught in their fleece and ruin it." Second- and third-cutting hay is preferable because it has fewer seeds. Read more about pasture management.

Let them forage. Alpacas eat a diet of grass, high-quality grassy hay, and a salt or mineral supplement. "It's important that at least 90 percent of an alpaca's diet come from forages (hay and pasture)," says McCaslin. "A lot of people think of the pellets as their feed, but really it's just a supplement." Place pellets at or near ground level. "Alpacas were designed to be grazing animals, and they are much less likely to choke when they eat with their heads down."

Keep them cool. On hot summer days, alpacas need shade and cross ventilation. According to McCaslin, the underside of their bellies is where the heat exchange takes place. "They get into what's called a 'cush position' where they're lying down with their legs tucked under them," she says. They especially like to cush on a sandy area in the shade, or on sand that has been hosed down. "Alpacas don't like standing water or soggy conditions, but they love it when we turn on the sprinklers on a hot day."

Find out more information on Alpaca Farming by coming into your local Southern States to talk to one of our livestock experts, and also online from the United States Department Of Agriculture website on camelids.


Related Products

GridList

Tarter 5gal Bucket Holder
COMPARE
$37.99
Tarter 5gal Bucket Holder
Check Store Availability
Check Store Availability
Tarter Heavy Duty Elevated Bale Feeder
COMPARE
$669.99
Tarter Heavy Duty Elevated Bale Feeder
Check Store Availability
Check Store Availability
Little Giant Better 20qt Bucket Black
COMPARE
$16.99
Little Giant Better 20qt Bucket Black
Check Store Availability
Check Store Availability
Little Giant Better 20qt Bucket Green
COMPARE
$16.99
Little Giant Better 20qt Bucket Green
Check Store Availability
Check Store Availability
Little Giant FlexTub 11gal Green
COMPARE
$15.39
Little Giant FlexTub 11gal Green
Check Store Availability
Check Store Availability
Little Giant FlexTub 11gal Hot Pink
COMPARE
$15.39
Little Giant FlexTub 11gal Hot Pink
Check Store Availability
Check Store Availability
Tarter Heavy-Duty Galvanized Bull Hay Feeder
COMPARE
$374.99
Tarter Heavy-Duty Galvanized Bull Hay Feeder
Check Store Availability
Check Store Availability
Lancaster Chicken Coop Small 3' x 5' Cedar
COMPARE
$879.99
Lancaster Chicken Coop Small 3' x 5' Cedar
Check Store Availability
Check Store Availability
Lancaster Chicken Coop with Nesting Boxes 72
COMPARE
$1,429.99
Lancaster Chicken Coop with Nesting Boxes 72" x 54" x 74" Red
Check Store Availability
Check Store Availability
Apache Creep Feeder on Wheels 12' Double Sided
COMPARE
$3,699.99
Apache Creep Feeder on Wheels 12' Double Sided
Check Store Availability
Check Store Availability
Southern States Creep Feeder without Cages 165 Bushel
COMPARE
$3,799.99
Southern States Creep Feeder without Cages 165 Bushel
Check Store Availability
Check Store Availability
Tarter Portable Creep Feeder with Cage 140 Bushel
COMPARE
$3,699.99
Tarter Portable Creep Feeder with Cage 140 Bushel
Check Store Availability
Check Store Availability


Product availability and pricing may vary by location.
These products may be purchased at your local store.
Images are representative only. Color and size may vary.
If you enjoyed this post, please leave a comment!

0 Comments:

Post Your Comments

Login or register now to comment.


To help us provide you with a better experience, including
promotions in your area, please provide your zip code:

Update Cancel
Updating...