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Tips On How To Purchase Your First Alpacas For Your Alpaca Farming Enterprise
To ensure that your alpaca farming adventure is successful, you need to put a lot of thought and time into choosing the right animals as your starting herd. Since alpacas are pack animals, you will need at least 2 alpacas as you start your farm. Companion animals such as goats or horses have been shown to be ineffective. The choice of two or more alpacas to buy should be based first on what you want your farm to produce and then on your own personal preferences.
Alpaca farms are mainly divided into two categories: Fleece (wool) production and breeding farms. If you have enough time and/or space. you may be able to achieve both categories. However, as you are starting out, you should really choose one of these areas while planning to branch out as you grow. Too many goals in the beginning while you are on the learning curve of working with these animals will make all your efforts weaker and more prone to failure.
If you are buying animals for fleece, then fleece texture and color may be the most important characteristics to look for in your starting alpacas. There are two types of alpaca fleece. Suri which is straight, long and silky (and very rare) and Huacaya which is thick, curled (or pleated) and has a more woolly feel. Accoyo is a type of huacaya fleece, from animals raised in Peru.
If you are going to buy animals to start your own breeding program to sell alpacas, then you will look at the health of the animals, their physical conformation and their personality traits (docile and friendly). You should also make sure to buy females and males that are not related to each other, this will give you healthier babies, called cria, as well as the ability to enhance the best traits and breed the weaknesses.
Now that you have basic guidelines, you can start your search for animals directly online. Do a search for alpaca breeders in your area and schedule visits with as many as you can manage. Knowing that you have another date can prevent you from making an impulse purchase of an alpaca and realize that this will be tempting as they are very gentle animals, very cute animals and you will be tempted to make your purchase quickly. Remember that you have many appointments and you should hold off on making decisions until you have made all of your visits. This will also allow you to see all available colors and if you are starting a breeding program, choose animals that are not closely related.
You can send your alpaca, but do your homework! A bad carrier can seriously stress your new animal and although it may have left the breeder healthy, you may be dealing with diarrhea and weight loss for the first few weeks. So make sure your carrier takes frequent breaks, doesn’t cram too many animals into the trailer, and provides fresh water and food at every stop. Make sure you draw up a very specific contract if you are buying long distance.
If you are inspecting an animal for breeding purposes, then you want to consider whether the female has given birth in the past, ensuring that she is fertile. Same for all males if you plan to buy a pack leader. You should draw up a purchase contract that includes commitments from the seller that the animal will meet health and breeding criteria. You can also buy a female who is already pregnant.
These gentle animals can live on one acre for up to 5 alpacas, making them a perfect choice for small hobby farms. They are full of personality and lighthearted. They adapt to most climatic conditions and give you a luxurious fleece. Yours alpaca farming it should be fun, and if you choose your first animals well, you may be making a profit within a few years of starting your new alpaca farm.
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