Before even considering buying or adopting an alpaca, there needs to be some serious planning with regard to designing and building an enclosure for alpacas. There are many things to take into consideration.
Pasture and acreage size
There can be up to seven adults per acre for a pasture. However, a single acre may be too much for 2-3 alpacas. Plan the area in a way to make rotational grazing possible. Rotating pastures will reduce the chances of alpacas picking up diseases from parasites, and it keeps the grass on the pasture in good condition.
Breeding farms may need to incorporate an extra acre or two for extra space to keep breeding pairs separated from the rest of the herd.
The types of shelter
Alpacas loathe weather conditions such as rain and snow. They seem to prefer staying dry. It is therefore essential to have some kind of shelter for the herd. Additionally, alpacas do not enjoy excessively warm conditions. This further demonstrates the necessity of setting up a shelter.
Alpacas have thick fur, and they can dehydrate pretty quickly without a constant supply of clean water. Water troughs that fill up automatically throughout the day would be the perfect option. However, these automatic systems need to undergo regular maintenance.
Biosecurity for new alpacas
There needs to be a designated area (away from the herd) for new alpacas joining the herd. Furthermore, new alpacas should also be vetted to ensure they carry no diseases that they can transfer to the rest of the herd
Other essential areas
Other important areas to have may include a designated shearing area, medical room (to treat alpacas or their offspring), storage facilities, and an office for administrative tasks.
Buying or adopting alpacas
The best way to find alpacas for sale is to consult the Alpaca Owner’s Association’s registry. Purchasing alpacas from a local farm may lead to spending a minimum of $10,000 for a healthy male and female alpaca.
Finally, it is essential to have a veterinarian look at the alpacas before commencing with the purchase.