You can have thriving alpaca farming in any weather. Follow these general guidelines and your success is assured.
So you live in a dust bowl…
With no green grass, you will have to feed your alpacas on hay. Alpacas are small eaters. Two small bales of hay per week are all you need for a single alpaca. Alpacas are from the camel family, but they are not blessed with that morphological water reservoir their grand cousins have. A dry locale may not have flowing streams, so consider the advantages of a well. Wells have become more accessible to the common person as innovative, compact creations like the HYDRADRILL have become popular.
Regardless of the source or route you choose, running water is a must.
High Humidity and Hot Climates
High humidity and high temperatures are as uncomfortable to alpacas as they are to humans. These conditions cause great stress for the respiratory system of the alpacas. Professionally shear your herd prior to the start of the hot season to make them more comfortable.
• Ensure your animals have adequate shade. Trees are a blessing which need protecting. It is prudent practice to protect trees with wire since bored alpacas will chew on them and kill them.
• Ensure air circulation is sufficient if you use a barn. Try setting up a supply system of fresh air and exhaust via fans set up at both ends of the structure. Centrifugal fans are great for this purpose. Hot air rises, so mount the exhaust fan high and the supply fan lower. Calculate the cubic feet per minute of the fans by multiplying the volume of the barn by 10, then dividing the result by 60. The rest is as simple as finding a fan with a CFM close to the calculated value. In a setup as we have described, use half of the calculated CFM since there are two fans. If you were wondering about the significance of 10 in this calculation, consider that your stock will be very comfy if their holding enjoys 10 air changes per hour. This means that the
barn air is refreshed 10 times every hour. The barn volume can be calculated based on length, width and height depending on shape. If cylindrical elements are a part of the structural shape, then pick up your high school math textbook and alter the formula to include the volume of a cylinder.
Go easy on your alpacas on very hot days. Do not interfere with their normal modes of action. Use alcohol/water mixtures to cool very distressed animals. Electrolytes and ice added to water will also help the cooling process.
These cuddly creatures are very adaptable, but keeping them comfy still take effort. Keep these tips in mind as you try alpaca farming in unfriendly climates.