Question and answer

Question: Do Alpacas graze on Olive trees?

Answer: We have Frantoio and Leccino olive trees and aside from being used for shelter and shade, the Alpacas will graze on the foliage. As with most animals, Alpacas will use the trees as rubbing posts and therefore smaller trees will suffer physical damage. Taller older trees are generally safe from harm.

Question: What do I need to know before purchasing Alpacas?

Answer: Firstly, identify your motives in wanting to breed alpacas.

Is alpaca ownership being considered for the purpose of ….

  • Having a nice pet to eat the grass and look nice without being too much trouble to look after?
  • To grow some fleece to spin – but without the intricacies of being in the breeding field?
  • A complete lifestyle change but not dependent upon alpaca income?
  • A long term approach as part of diversification of broad acre farming?
  • A commercial approach to breeding with the fibre and value adding as the end points?
  • Putting together the beginnings of a small alpaca enterprise with the long-term view of simply enjoying the alpacas and of being involved with breeding, but without the expectations of being in the show ring or at the leading edge of an expanding industry?
  • Beginning a serious breeding enterprise with the intention of being at the leading edge of the industry and an attendant suitable income?
  • The ownership of stud sires with genetic development of your stud and income from outside services?
  • Investment over the medium to longer term, without the intention of ever engaging in hands-on husbandry?

Once you have addressed all of these questions you then have to decide on what Alpacas do I buy, Huacaya or Suri, What colour, and how much do I want to spend

Question: How much feed do Alpacas require ?

Answer: The feed requirement of an Alpaca is approximately 2/3 that of a Sheep either in pasture or dry matter uptake. Depending on your pasture, irrigation, rotational grazing programs and other climatic conditions, this could be as low as less than 1 per acre or as high as 5 to 8.

Question: What medications are required ?

Answer: Our basic regime is, at shearing 5 in 1 Vaccine, Dectomax or Matrix wormer, AD&E and if necessary Selenium. Blood tests across the herd each year confirm dose requirements. Further AD&E is given every three months as our Alpacas do not absorb the Vitamin D from sunlight.

Question: What fencing do Alpacas require ?

Answer: We use standard sheep netting with a top and bottom strainer wire making the fences around 1100mm high. The paddocks are separated by a 4.2m laneway (additional grazing) with gates at the end to create a pen to work with the animals.