The Art Of Alpaca Farming

There are many benefits of alpaca farming. Alpacas are fun to farm. Their fiber is lovely, light and warmer than wool. The animals come in a wide variety of colors, so dyeing is optional. They are environmentally friendly since they have low impact on the landscape. Their feet are soft and much like cushions.

It is cheaper to farm for fleece than for breeding purposes. The fleece of alpacas can be shorn bi-annually, suggesting a quick turnaround. However, it is important to remember that patience is a very necessary attribute in alpaca farming.

Alpaca see very well. Due to the acuteness of their sense of sight, they make very efficient “guard dogs.” They keep predators away from sheep, protect their own progeny and can protect poultry from foxes or wolves.

Incidentally, alpaca have admirable toilet-training habits. They are known for deciding on a certain spot and always relieving themselves there. Their manure is stench-free and is valuable for farming vegetables, ornamental flowers and orchards.

Alpacas are ruminants, which means they feed on hay and pasture. They often nibble on shrubs and bushes. Due to their diet, they are inexpensive to feed. Any change to alpaca feed should be done over a period of about a month. This is to ensure that intestinal microbes become used to the new diet. Alpaca can drink up to 1 gallon (4 L) of water a day.

Shelter is a necessity. Even a run-in will suffice. A three-sided structure with a roof and the back turned to the prevailing wind will protect the alpaca from the ravages of rain, sleet, slush and snow.

Shade is also very important to the alpaca. Heat stress can be reduced or eliminated by shearing animals when it’s hot. Feed animals well, but do not overfeed them. Obese animals are seldom sought-after since they are less heat-resistant.

The effects of the extreme variance of the surroundings can be minimized by proper nutrition. Vitamin E or tocopherol, zinc, copper and B-vitamins like thiamine and selenium must be consumed in adequate amounts.

You need to fence in your alpaca. Fences should be made of strong mesh and about 5 feet (1.5 m) in height. Alpacas require running water.

Alpaca farming is not labor intensive. 15 to 20 minutes in the morning and about the same in the evening should be sufficient to make sure the animals are comfortable and stress-free.

The animals should be de-wormed and have their toenails clipped every few months. These are simple tasks. Alpaca farming as a home business is more profitable with less effort than other home businesses.

Beware of the kick zone of the alpaca. They don’t have the kick of a donkey, but depending on where the kick lands, you could be out of commission for a while!

Your children can participate in the farming activities and will benefit from the work. They will listen better, become more moral, become more compassionate and do better in school due to farm chores which teach responsibility.