543 Day Writing Journey

Alpaca Research. Day 520.

In our research on what to do with the back field, Max, Baylee, and I chose to check out information about Alpacas last night. We watched YouTube videos created by Old Redding Farm in Connecticut. They raise emus, chickens, and alpacas, to name a few.

The video gave basic information and costs associated with raising alpacas. John, one of the farm owners, said how much land we would need per alpaca, and we have enough! 

Alpacas eat little grain, but they gobble up hay and grass, so it is important for them to have enough grassy land to graze on. John said that we could put three alpacas on a half-acre of land, enough to make a herd. 

Herds are important to certain animals and they don’t do well in solitary living environments. A herd could actually mean two, but he said to have at least three just in case. A half-acre is sufficient enough for a herd of three alpacas, as long as they were all the same gender.  

Mixing females and males is not a good idea because it causes the animals to become restless, so we would have to look into the pros and cons of each gender and go from there. I’m thinking we would do best with females, but will do more research on that later. It would be nice to have females, also, so we could possibly breed them and maybe generate an income from it. (I doubt I would be able to let them go.) 

We took the cost breakdown from the video and adjusted them to our state and the smaller herd we would have. If we’re correct, the costs would be under $2000 per year. This includes hay, feed, accessories, vet bills, etc. We could attempt to balance that by selling some of the fibers (their fur) for yarn. Of course, there are start-up costs we need to figure out as well.  

Alpacas need a barn or a shelter which has three sides, and I believe he said 400 square feet per animal. I would, if I decided to add alpacas to our family, make one big enough for probably five, because why not? Also, because of the storms we could potentially be hit with here in Eastern North Carolina, I believe a fully-enclosed barn would work best.  

All in all, it seems doable. I’m kind of excited about the possibility of filling that back field with alpacas. Of course, I would do more extensive research before we committed. Tonight, I think we’ll research raising emus on YouTube. Stay tuned! 

1 thought on “Alpaca Research. Day 520.”

  1. Dear Teri,
    Well, your Aunt Sue & I were talking about your previous “blog”, regarding your “thoughts” on what could be done with your extra bit of land, and right away, she began talking about Alpacas!!! (She loves them)!!!
    I think that they are friendlier, and would probably have “better personalities” than “Emus”?!? Anyways, it’s good that you are doing your research ahead of time, before making your decision… Best of luck!!!
    Uncle Lee 🙂


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