The Alpaca Hacienda
So, you want to buy an alpaca of your own? We love these gentle creatures and are happy to help you on your journey of alpaca ownership. We generally have alpacas for sale here at The Alpaca Hacienda, from non-breeders which will sell in the $500 range, to breeders in the $1,000 to $3,000 range, depending on quality, age, show history, breeding history, and ancestry. We also offer boarding if you would like to have us care for your alpaca here at the ranch.
We love every alpaca here at The Alpaca Hacienda, and only sell to those who have done their homework in regards to alpaca husbandry, and who can provide adequate shelter, fencing and protection for their alpacas. Here are a few guidelines that every potential alpaca owner needs to know:
- Alpacas are herd animals and can never be housed alone. Stress from living alone can cause ulcers, suppressed immune function, and even death. They do best in a group of at least three, and more is better, according to them. They feel safety in numbers and safety eases stress.
- Alpacas are NOT pets. They are semi-domesticated animals and although they can become accustomed to humans, eating out of your hand and standing close to you, they don't generally like to be petted, held and cuddled. Humans need to accept and love alpacas on the alpacas' terms.
- Alpacas are NOT guardians for other livestock. They are a prey animal and offer no protection from predators except to stay in a group and run. Please use livestock guardian dogs for the purpose of protecting your alpacas. Anatolian Shepherds, Great Pyranees and Komondors are all great breeds to consider. Coyotes can be a threat to young alpacas, and stray dogs who find their way into the alpaca paddocks can kill mercilessly. It goes without saying if you live in mountain lion country the alpacas should be housed in a barn at night.
- Alpacas need shade in the summer, and protection from the rain in winter. A barn is necessary in snowy climates. They need to be shorn before the summer heat to get their heavy coats off. Hyperthermia can cause death.
- Alpacas are not like goats in regards to clearing land of vegetation. They are particular about what they eat and prefer tender pasture grass or hay. Shrubby plants are generally not appealing to them, and many weeds can be poisonous. Oleander is deadly and must be completely removed from your property.
- Alpacas should NEVER be housed with horses or donkeys. There have been many instances of alpacas being kicked and killed by these larger, more powerful animals. Ask your vet before intermingling them with goats or sheep; many parasites, viruses and bacteria associated with goats and sheep can be deadly to alpacas.
We happily mentor all buyers of our alpacas, because the alpacas' well-being and the success of their new owners are of utmost importance to us. We want you to enjoy your new additions, and be fully aware of the responsibilities as well as the joys associated with alpaca ownership.
Still interested? Give us a call and we'll talk about your vision in owning alpacas. Then let the journey begin!