FAQ

tn_DSCF0008Where do Alpacas come from?

Alpacas are native to South America where they are farmed in Peru, Chile, Bolivia and Argentina.

Are Alpacas related to Llamas?

Yes alpacas, llamas, guanaco and vicuna are all members of the camelid family.

What is the difference between an alpaca and a llama?

Alpacas are primarily bred for their beautifully soft fibre.
Llamas who are known as the "ship of the Andes" are much bigger than the alpacas
and are used as pack animals.
The llamas have a double coat; short softer fibres and long course guard hair.
They are also quite different in appearance.

What do you do with an alpaca?

Alpacas make great pets. They are shorn once a year for their fleece.
They make also excellent companion animals and can be taught to lead on a halter.

How many alpacas can be kept per acre?

Stocking rate is equivalent to sheep equating to around 5-6 to the acre.

Are alpacas intelligent?

We think so! They learn routine extremely quickly, find gates with ease,
and adapt readily to change .
Alpacas are also extremely curious by nature.

What sound does an alpaca make?

The sound most often heard is a soft "humming" a mild expression befitting
a gentle animal.
They also have a distinctive alarm call quite often heard when they have
spotted an unfamiliar cat or dog approaching the field.

Are alpacas dangerous?

Alpacas have loveable dispositions and are gentle and docile by nature.
They are gentle enough to be handled by children.

How many alpacas do I need?

Alpacas need the company of other alpacas so one should not be kept on it’s own.
Therefore the smallest herd possible would consist of two alpacas.

What use is a gelding alpaca?

Gelded males are known as a Wether, they make excellent low cost companions for alpacas, sheep, goats or horses.
They still produce a valuable fibre clip each year and make extremely rewarding pets.
A high percentage of young males are castrated each year because they are not sufficient quality
to become a breeding male, or fall below the standard of existing stud males.
Once castrated they can safely be kept with females without the possibility
of them fathering substandard offspring.

What do alpacas eat?

Alpacas are ruminants and chew their cud like cows.
They are grazers and browsers and do well on most qualities of pasture.
During winter supplementary feeding with hay and pellets may be necessary.
It is important to ensure they have access to sufficient quantities
of trace elements, vitamins and minerals. We give our alpacas flaked garlic and ginger to boost their immune systems.
Having evolved in incredibly harsh conditions,
alpacas utilize their food far more efficiently than other domesticated animals.
Unlike goats they are not in the habit
of ring-barking trees but they do a lovely job of pruning hedges.

Do I have to house my alpacas during winter in New Zealand?

Alpacas are very hardy and will live outside during winter. A simply field shelter for
shade in summer and cover in winter is adequate for most situations.

Do alpacas require special fencing?

No, alpacas rarely jump and generally do not challenge fences.
4ft high sheep fencing is entirely adequate.
Barbed wire should be avoided, and electric "hot wires" are not needed.

How do you transport alpacas?

Alpacas are comfortable travelling either in a horse float, or in a van or ute.
They usually sit and enjoy the ride.

More Information

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