Are alpacas easy to work with?
Yes, alpacas are very intelligent animals that respond to a variety of training and handling techniques. They learn to halter and lead in just a few training sessions, and even children find most alpacas to be safe and easy to handle.
Are there organized exhibitions and competitions for alpacas?
Yes, there many alpaca shows (both showring and fleece-judging competitions) held throughout North America where owners can showcase their animals and fleece.
Minnesota Alpaca Expo, 2nd weekend of April each year.
Shepherd's Harvest Fleece show, Mother's Day weekend (May) each year.
Is it OK to have just one alpaca?
As a general rule, the answer is no. Alpacas have very strong herding insticts and need the companionship or other alpacas to thrive. Gender-appropriate (or neutered) Llamas sometimes will successfully bond with an alpaca. Otherwise, it is best to provide each alpaca with a companion alpaca of the same gender.
Do I need a lot of land to raise alpacas?
No. The specific answer is quite variable and is contingent on such factors as: type of terrain, amount of annual precipitation, seasonal factors, availability of pasture and/or hay, etc. For arid climates animals are usually fed on "dry lot", with little or no pasture feeding. In this instance, the number of animals that can be raised is generally between two to six per acre. In milder, wetter climates with abundant fresh pasture available, however, ten or more alpacas per acre might be the norm.
I live in the city; would it be possible for me to own alpacas?
Absolutely. Urban dwellers can board (or "agist") their alpacas at nearby farms/ranches so that they can enjoy the benefits of ownership while living in a large city or suburb.
How much do alpacas cost?
The price of an alpaca will depend on its quality (especially conformation and fleece qualities); its bloodlines; positive traits proven to be heritable in its offspring; whether it is a male or female; age; breeding history; and a host of other traits and factors. We recommend talking ro a varity of breeders before making a purchase decision. Also, please be sure and consult with your tax advisor about the effects of alpaca purchases on your specific tax situation. for most breeders, the purchase of alpaca breeding stock offers many favorable tax advantages, as well as the potential for significant income generation.