Alpacas are a lot like humans. They are social animals who don't like to be isolated and alone so all of them live in a herd. Have you ever wonder can you have one for yourself as a pet in your backyard?
The answer might surprise you. Yes, you can, but only if you are ready to take care of at least three alpacas. Why three? Because as we said earlier they are used to live in a herd. One alpaca will get sick and die living alone, with two of them, one will be a leader and another one will be suppressed.
With a group of three alpacas, you have a leader who is always a female, and another two members of the herd who knows their role. Hierarchy is a very important thing in their lives. Many studies prove this, so a herd of three or more alpacas are happier and live longer.
How much land is needed for alpacas?
You will need one morn of land for every five alpacas. It's recommended because of the amount of grass, you can have ten alpacas in one morn if you want but then you must endue them with hay leastwise once or twice a day because there isn't enough grass for everyone. To ensure your alpacas always feed on crisp grass you can spin herd on different pasture areas. To avoid any diseases it's necessary to clean the grassland leastwise twice a week.
What about fences, protection, and medications?
Alpacas spit alimentary juices as their defense but it's not really that strong so you'll need a strong railing to protect your animals from predators. Depending on where you live your alpacas can be assaulted by dogs, coyotes, or bears. Avoid a prickly wire fence because it can be dangerous for your animals.
As long as they are in a herd there are small chances of any disease but once they got sick, it's very hard to heal them again. The reason is the medications you use for horses, for example, won't work on alpacas. They processing medications differently than other cattle so they need completely different dosages. To keep them healthy enable ordinary veterinary care that includes ordinary checkups and vaccination versus hepatitis and other sicknesses they can be vulnerable.
Are alpacas good pets?
More and more people get alpacas as pets, and yes, they can be amazing pets while you take good care of them. Alpacas are very similar to cats and by that, we mean curious and intelligent. When you get closer to them, they may eat out of your hand and you can teach them many things.
One thing you should know that unlike cats, alpacas don't like to be held and cuddled. They are very sensitive to any kind of touch. Alpacas aren't meant to be propagated further, their main role as pets is to ensure companionship to you and your family.
Can you eat alpaca?
If you’ve ever wondered if you can eat alpacas, the answer is yes. Some people grow them for this very reason, and their meat can be found as part of the gourmet offer of restaurants and supermarkets.
The laws around animals that are killed for meat are different. For example, in New Zealand, alpacas can only be eaten by the owner and family. Any sale of meat and export is an illegal activity. Some people even made special alpaca burgers. The flesh is quite tender and mild in taste. It has a low-fat content, about 6-7%. It also has very few calories, about 150 calories per 100 grams of meat.
Alpaca or llama
Many people mistakes these two. Llamas and alpacas are far relatives of camels but they aren't similar. Alpacas are smaller, they usually grow to about 36 inches and weigh around one hundred pounds. Llamas, however, are around five feet tall and weigh over three hundred pounds.
Some facts about alpacas you may didn't know
- Alpacas expend less amount of water than goats but producing more wool. For example, alpaca make enough wool for three or four sweaters over the year while the goat produces wool for one sweater in the same period.
- Alpacas interface through body language, often spitting when they are afraid.
- Alpacas are sound and pleasant animals to have around, they won't bite, they also don't have sharp teeth, horns or claws.
- Alpacas can live up to 20 years
- Alpacas eat almost every sort of plant life, herbs, leafage, and grass
You can have alpacas in your backyard but as we said earlier make sure you have at least three of them at a time. Also, before they become your pets, make sure to check everything needed for that with your local laws. If you have space, resources, and time, alpacas are a perfect choice for a pet.