Answers to Your Alpaca Questions
These are some of the most commonly asked questions. If yours isn’t here, please contact us any time –we love to hear from potential Alpaca owners. Remember, we were once in your shoes!
Q: What do Alpacas eat?
A: Mostly grass hay, sometimes a bit of Alfalfa, pellets that contain minerals and other nutrients, and free choice minerals. They also eat anything else they like if they can reach it.
Q: Do Alpacas bite?
A: Only their food. They do not bite humans.
Q: How many acres do I need for Alpacas?
A: If they are all the same sex (i.e. no unplanned babies) the minimum space is about 1 acre, to comfortably house several Alpacas. As your herd grows, you may need more space to accommodate different sexes and needs.
Q: Do Alpacas spit?
A: They can, but very rarely do. Typically when an Alpaca spits, it is at another Alpaca who has tried to take their hay, pellets, or a female. Humans have been inadvertently struck by spit when they are ‘in the line of fire’ during an Alpaca ‘argument’.
Q: Can I have just one?
A: No. Alpacas are a herd animal, and need the bond of a herd mate or mates to be happy. This ‘friend’ can be an Alpaca or a Llama. They prefer to be in a herd of at least 5 to be considered a happy, healthy herd.
Q: What kind of basic care do they require?
A: Good quality feed, fresh water at all times, shelter from the elements (such as a tree plus an enclosure to escape from wind, snow, rain, heat, etc.). They need annual vaccinations as recommended by your Veterinarian. They also need to be shorn annually (Spring time), as well as have their toe-nails trimmed, and other care as needed. Appropriate fencing is a necessity as they can fall prey to wild animals or even local dogs.
Q: How much does an Alpaca cost?
A: This depends on a number of factors. Show quality animals are understandably more costly. A pet animal may be very affordable, starting around $800 (we include training) Those with the highest quality of fleece can be costlier, up to $9,000 or more. Some show animals have sold as much as $30,000 or more.
Here are some answers to questions we Wish people would ask more often!
Q: Can we set up a schedule so I can learn how to handle Alpacas?
A: Of course! We highly recommend learning before you take your Alpacas home. We provide training right here on our ranch.
Q: Is there a good Alpaca Veterinarian in the area?
A: Yes! We will provide you with a list of resources to make owning your Alpacas easy.
Q: Do You Accept Cash?
A: Absolutely! We are always happy to take cash.
Q: How should I set up my fencing and catch areas to best support my Alpacas and make their care easy for me?
A: We offer assistance with ranch design and will gladly provide you with all the information you will need to set up your Alpaca area properly the first time. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it does need to be efficient and safe.
And, for fun, here is the most humorous question we’ve been asked:
Q: What nice toes they have! Can you paint their nails?
A: We don’t recommend it, but they certainly can be painted.