Prior to picking up your first alpacas, there are a number of practicalities you must consider. In addition, however well handled or halter trained your alpacas are, there will be times when you need to catch them for all sorts of reasons – such as welfare, shearing etc. The minimum you will need is some sort of pen that you can hold them in while you vaccinate, toe trim or allow the vet easy access. If you have females, there may be an occasion where you need to pen a mother and cria separately from the herd.
Here are some of the things that you need to consider in order to manage your alpacas and keep them safe and healthy:
- Fencing – (Barbed wire should be avoided. We use stockproof fencing with 2 strands of plain wire above)
- Water supply
- Field shelter and penning
- Grazing and rotation of grazing
- Feed and any necessary supplements
- Stocking rates
- Paddock maintenance and weed control
- Identification of potentially poisonous plants
- A vet with knowledge of camelids
It is not necessary to build the perfect farm from scratch – we adapted the facilities at Spring Farm from a horse livery yard. As a result of our experiences in farm design, we can now offer potential purchasers advice on a farm layout which supports the ownership and handling of alpacas.