Alpaca farming is mastered with diligence. There are numerous things to consider when buying your first alpacas. The alpaca is from the camel family but does not have the same water storage capacity. They are very calm animals with soft, padded feet.
There are two types of alpaca: the suri and the huacaya.
The suri is more rare, with long, silky, uncrimped hair.
The huacaya has much more wooly hair that is thick and curly. The fleece of the alpaca is very well suited to spinning into yarn. The Occoyo Ranch in Peru is famous for fabulous fleece. Some alpaca fleece can be sold as is and, when dyed, makes great products. Fashion designers use the 22 natural alpaca fleece colors to make pretty purses and other unique fabric products.
Alpacas are grown for fleece and as breeding stock for selling. In the case of breeding, much more attention is required from the farmer. If you are far away from the breeder, you should enter into a detailed contract with the transporter, as the alpaca likes numerous stops and a lot of fresh water. Not being cautious in this aspect of your business affair can mean sick animals who can take weeks to recuperate.
A strong, beautiful alpaca male or female who is unable to reproduce can end up being somewhat of a proverbial white elephant, and, if sold, may yield lower profits than truly desired. Purchasing a pregnant alpaca is a very prudent business strategy. Fledgling alpacas are referred to as crias. Alpaca are herd-oriented creatures, and purchasing a solitary animal is most unwise. The loner could easily pine away, languishing in seclusion. This fact regarding alpacas should not be taken lightly.
An alpaca population density of at most seven animals per acre is commonly employed as a general rule of thumb.
The alpacas are gloriously light eaters and have positive dispositions and character traits. You could find yourself with seven new friends on a one acre farm after sixteen or so months. Yes, in the opinion of many successful alpaca farmers, they man’s true best friend.
Three considerations govern alpaca purchasing
1. Frame: Herd protectors, breeding females, stud males and simple pets all require different physical structures. The buyer must be a “benign butcher,” analyzing limb size and muscle groups and keeping in mind terms like “sirloin.” Alpaca can lead demanding lives at times. A good mouth that is conducive to proper feeding should not be overlooked. Get a vet to provide a certificate of proper health prior to purchasing.
2. Fertility: Assess heritable traits and family history. Health and nutrition directly affect fertility. Nutritional supplements may be necessary. Vets, farmers, grazers and even neighbors can prove valuable sources of information. Check as many sources as you can.
3. Fleece: The type of fleece depends on breed and age.
Mandatory fleece testing is an important part of fiber production. Fleece micron can be reduced by starving the alpaca. This practice is popular, although some see it as inhumane. The prize alpaca has a formidable structure and fabulous fleece and is capable of natural reproduction.
Purchase insurance to cover unforeseen losses.
If you are diligent in assessing these matters, you will become a bastion in the field of alpaca farming and your stock or fleece will eventually become legendary. Be vigilant when buying your first alpacas. Soon alpaca farming will have you hooked.