Are you interested in starting your own alpaca farm? Owning your own alpacas could be an enriching way to make a living or some extra cash while being close to nature.
Living on a ranch can be soothing and rewarding in many ways. You are able to raise animals for food and also for other benefits.
One major benefit of living on a farm and raising animals is the joy of watching your animals grow.
Alpacas are peaceful, exotic animals that are famous around the world for their rich, luxurious fiber. Alpacas can also help us reduce stress and relax from our hectic lives. They are great with children and can easily be raised on a farm anywhere in the United States.
Before you buy a ranch, you should get an idea of how a ranch should be run and managed. You can also learn a lot by visiting some of the alpaca owners’ sites, such as Alpaca Owners Association. Also visit Mountain Sky Alpacas, Colorado’s Premier Alpaca Breeder. You will find many more useful related links at the end of this article.
What happens on a typical day at an alpaca ranch? Many ranch owners will probably agree that there is no such thing as a “typical day at the ranch;” there are always new things happening. You are able to experience nature at its natural state and watch ecology at work.
You will never get tired of watching nature unfold before your very eyes.
There are several common activities that you need to learn and be aware of when you are starting your own business as an alpaca farmer.
Alpacas need to be fed early, especially during the winter, when your pastures are covered with snow.
Alpacas are ruminant animals with three stomachs and they eat a diet similar to cows or goats. Pasture grasses are the best food for them.
You could easily graze 5 alpacas on an acre of land. They need very little food, but nursing or thin animals might need extra food and supplements. (An Overview of Alpaca Diet, Nutrition & Care | Sustainable Livestock Nutrition)
You also need to clean the living space and animals regularly, and make sure that they are healthy.
Alpacas are naturally clean animals compared to some other types of farm animals; cleaning their stalls is not that bad.
Their waste or droppings can be easily scooped up and removed. You need to clean your alpaca stalls usually once or twice a day.
Special attention should be given to pregnant or nursing mothers, newborn babies, herd sires, and any animal that has an existing physical condition, such animals that are too thin or sick.
You also need to perform routine regular physical checkups, immunize against pathogens and use medicine to control worms.
Alpacas need to be groomed, especially if you are planning to enter an alpaca show in your area. If you plan to raise your animals for fleece or meat, you also need to prepare your animals appropriately.
Cleaning debris and mud from their fur on a regular basis is a good practice. You will also need to clip their toenails.
To get the best fleece from your alpacas, make sure you graze them in an area that does not have any harmful weeds for your animals. Make sure that your pastures are clean from sticks, evergreen needles and other small growing vegetative matter. If you have groomed your pasture, you don’t have to worry about removing vines from the fleece of an alpaca.
The best alpaca fleece comes from the cleanest pastures.
Place your alpacas on a clean paddock at least a week before shearing, with sufficient grass to forage on. Take them off of hay and alfalfa. Some of the debris will fall off their fleece naturally while they play.
Make sure that they are clean and dry on shearing day. Handpick any foreign materials from their fleece. After all the “big stuff” is cleaned, you can use a comb and vacuum cleaner to get all the dirt out of your alpacas. Cleaning with a good shop vac will make shearing much easier.
All alpaca owners must register their animals. Alpaca registration information will also help you to learn about other registered alpacas and their history. You will find more information about alpaca registration at ARI Registration.
To have a ranch of your own could be a delightful experience. It could be relaxing, rewarding and a source of income, all at the same time.
You could decide to start small and purchase just a few alpacas and board them while you make your plans. Mountain Sky Ranch have an alpaca boarding service which would allow you to take your time before purchasing your own ranch.
To buy a ranch, you will need to consult a realtor near you. To learn about buying alpacas and buying a ranch, visit some of the sites listed below.