— The Openherd Team

Suridipity Ranch

Where your alpaca "happenstance" begins!

Ian Catangay
County Road 118Elizabeth, CO 80107
720-216-3620
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Sunday, August 12, 2018

How much space do I need to own alpacas?

Our crias starting to eat hay

Our crias starting to eat hay

Mel giving Taylor some grain as treats

Mel giving Taylor some grain as treats

During shearing with Rolling Plains Ranch

During shearing with Rolling Plains Ranch

This question is one of the most asked questions when I am showing or meeting new folks about alpacas. Surprisingly, alpacas do not need much space. Depending on the amount of grass and hay supplement you will feed, you can fit 10-15 alpacas in an acre. When that number is maximized, please be aware that you will have to supplement your feed with good quality hay and with some added alpaca pellets for treats.

The fantastic thing is that alpacas do not eat a lot of grass like cows and horses. According to the Alpaca Owner's Association guidelines, they only eat two pounds per 125 pounds of body weight per day! That is not much at all considering the average alpaca weighs 150-180 lbs. Their digestive tracts are so efficient that 2-3 lbs of hay is all they need in a day's worth of eating. I can recall during the 2017 winter I had 12 pregnant mothers who took 3 days to eat a 65 lb bale of hay! (A great tip is to purchase only second cuttings to maximize nutrition with less waste)

So there you have it! Alpacas do not need a lot of space and they do not need a lot of feed. As long as you can provide great quality hay, shelter, fresh water, and ample space they will be happy. A great fact to note is that alpacas do not poop everywhere like cows or horses. They choose a community poop spot and the whole herd defecates only in that area alone, so clean up is a breeze since it's all in one spot. This makes for a cleaner enclosure!

If you have further questions I would suggest you visit the Alpaca Owner's Association website. They have an alpaca academy link to help you understand alpacas even more. They even have a frequently asked question section! The link is posted below. Feel free to copy and paste. And as always, we are happy to show you and help you learn more about alpacas in any way we can. Email us, call us, or schedule a ranch visit and we can help you hands on! We do offer boarding for your alpaca if you feel that you do not have sufficient room. We will take care of them for you and you are free to visit your friend anytime! We are not far from Castle Rock and Parker and only 40 minutes drive from Denver, Colorado.

We hope to talk to you soon!

http://www.alpacainfo.com/academy/about-alpacas