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Rules of Ownership

Doing What's Best for Your Alpaca

Owning Alpacas
We’re excited that you’ve chosen to start your own alpaca herd or add to your existing one!  Due to the numerous videos arising on social media, we thought it would be best to make you aware of some of the “rules” of alpaca ownership.  All of our animal sales include a contract for purchase and outline basic guidelines that any responsible alpaca owner should abide by. Also, we are 100% dedicated to our buyers who are willing to learn - both new to alpacas and familiar with alpacas.  You don't have to have alpaca experience to start out on the right foot.

Crias Are Not Puppies (not that we condone buying a puppy on a whim)
You may have seen the cute videos on social media that claim crias (baby alpacas) do well on a bottle or make great house pets.  This is not the case.  We urge you to do extensive research before purchasing alpacas and also advise you to visit alpaca farms.  We do not and will not sell a cria before he/she is weaned.  Even if they have to be bottle raised (due to loss of mom or low milk production), our crias spend their time within their herd where they belong.  It is important for them to learn alpaca social structure.  Also, males can develop berserk male syndrome which is unfair to the animal and dangerous for the owner.  Alpacas need to have places to run and endless supplies of forage to graze on.  Do what is right for the animal, not what looks cute for the short run.

Alpacas Belong in a Herd
Please note, alpacas are herd animals and should be kept with at least one other herd mate of the same sex, preferably groups of three or four.  We do not and will not sell alpacas prior to weaning or in single numbers unless the buyer has an established herd.

Boys and Girls Don’t Mix
Males and females should be housed separately.  Alpacas are induced ovulators and can breed at any time.  That being said, you don’t want crias to be born in extreme heat or cold.  Also, the alpaca penis is very invasive.  Over breeding can cause uterine infections in the female leaving her sterile or cause abortions for those already pregnant. Even the most docile male could be breeding females at night.

Alpaca or Cat-Rabbit?
We often get questions regarding alpaca personality – what are they like?  We like to refer to them as Cat-Rabbits.  They are curious and sometimes want your attention.  They like treats and will come up to you.  For the most part they, they can be timid like most prey animals (rabbits) and stand offish/only seeking attention when they want it (like some cats).  This doesn’t always hold true, but for the most part you will find that the majority of animals are not going to seek a daily head scratch/cuddle.

Alpacas May Be Livestock, But They Aren't Goats, Cows or Horses
We hear all to often phrases like, "I have a horse" or "I raise goats."  While we agree that some experience with other types of livestock may provide some proof that you care a lot for your animals, it does not mean that you are 100% prepared to care for alpacas.  Alpacas have their own nutritional needs.  They have their own sets of medical issues.  They have their own housing needs.  That being said, it is impossible for them to live with other species?  Not at all.  It's just important to understand how the two will interact.  What are the pros and cons?  For example, it's very important to understand that goats and sheep can pass on many of the same parasites to alpacas; however, alpacas can't carry the load that goats and sheep can.  Something as simple as this can kill your alpaca or make them go down very quickly.  It's important to do your research upfront so that you don't experience any of the negative side effects of rushing to conclusions.

We hope that you've found this information helpful!  In no way are we trying to keep you from living the alpaca dream - we just want you to be prepared as possible so that you can provide the best care for your herd!  We don't ever want to see one of our buyers posting stories about losses because of the unknown if we can help it!  Please contact us if you have any questions.

 

Updated April 12, 2019