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Monday, August 4, 2014

What You Need to Start an Alpaca Farm

Starting a farm of your own can be expensive and overwhelming, but also rewarding all at the same time. There are things you will need before the first alpaca arrives and we are here to navigate you through the tops items. These items are highly recommended all for different reasons.
1. Alpaca Reference Book- Hopefully you already have some knowledge of these majestic creatures. For all the other stuff that you may not even think about until it comes up, there are books and the internet to help.
2. Halters and Leads- much like horses and other large animals they all will need to have their own halters. Leads are going to be used to help in training as well as safely transporting your alpaca from one area to another.
3. Feeders, hay buckets, water buckets- these are going to be your basic items that you will need for your alpaca and are not to be overlooked! Make sure you have enough for each.
4. Scoop, rake, bucket, and shovel- all of these things are to help clean up your alpaca’s pen. It is best with tasks like these to be as prepared as possible.
5. Toe Nail Trimmers- Your alpacas toes need to be checked and trimmed monthly. If not they can develop a foot condition that may affect their overall health.
6. Fencing and a Barn- make sure the space is large enough for your alpaca and make sure you are giving them plenty of room to run and roam. You cannot keep them penned up all the time; they will become destructive and disobedient.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

History of Alpacas

As with every ancient society there is a lack of written document that can be understood fully so some of the meaning and reason behind alpacas has been lost with time. Within the parts that can be deciphered, alpacas were originally thought to be a present from the goddess “pachmana.” These beautiful animals were meant to be a gift only to be kept as long as they were properly taken care of. The animals are from South America where they quite literally held together the communities they impacted.

Ancient Inca society used the fibers to make everything including bridges and roofs. The fibers and cloth from the alpaca was extremely valuable and even used as currency. When the Spaniards came to take over the land they didn’t see the value of the alpaca and llamas, but knew they seemed valuable to the people. To try and rattle the Inca people they slaughtered 90% of the alpaca population.

Due to poor care given to the animals and the land the health and population continued to decline until the past 50 years. In 1970 the Peruvian government began to help in the repopulation of the species. They acquired land that was then used to grow the population with the help of breeders. With the population growing they then were able to export the alpaca and other countries bred their own population. Alpaca have come a long way from near extinction. They have grown and evolved to adapt to everything that has come their way all throughout history.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Enjoy Alpacas during Retirement

When many Americans think about retirement, they think about relaxing for endless days in their favorite chair on the porch just enjoying the sights and sounds of their home on a warm, sunny day. It may come to be surprising that this dream may not be very fulfilling to people that have been on the go for three quarters of their lives. That is where Alpaca’s can come in.

Alpaca’s are perfect for any animal lover, whether you have lived with dogs, cats, or goats all of your lives. They add a special meaning to the lives of the people who consider them a part of their extended family.

There are two main reasons that people own alpacas, they either want to raise and sell them, or sell their furs. A bit of supplemental income can also help out during any unexpected rough patches. There are a good number of seminars and classes dedicated to helping people learn more about the industry and helping people succeed in this chapter of their lives.

The fibers are perfect for making crafts, pillows, scarves and other items to sell or give away to family and friends for all occasions. They are super soft once refined making it great for clothing and other comfort items.

The characteristics of Alpacas are often described as sympathetic, caring, loveable, and sweet. Those that choose the rewarding venture of retiring and caring for alpacas are rewarded each and every day and reminded why they chose to live the life that they do.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Advice for Starting an Alpaca Farm

So many people reach a crossroads in life, particularly animal lovers, where they decide to make their passion become a good source of income. You’ll often see this with painters, pet sitters, and musicians. If you love animals and you’re exhausted from constantly trying to climb the corporate ladder, alpacas might be the perfect investment for you. Gentle, loving creatures, Alpacas are the perfect companions that also happen to be smart ventures. An Alpaca farm can have a great payout if you are willing to put in some work.

People have the misconception that the only animals that make good investments are cows, for their milk and sheep, for their wool. With Alpaca fiber, you can make a variety of clothing and accessories. Humane and safe, shearing an alpaca once per year is actually a favor to the alpaca. You can also breed them for a profit if you are interested in doing so. People will buy them for both pets and investments alike.

If you are interested in starting your own Alpaca farm here are a few things to consider:

• Be sure to get the proper permits to have an Alpaca farm
• The cost of an alpaca can vary widely – depending on market conditions.
• Give them space; have proper fencing that is 5 feet tall.
• Find a Veterinarian – preferably one that is experienced with Alpacas.
• Adjust your insurance – Alpaca farms are insurable and many expenses are tax deductible!

Once you have everything lined up and sorted out…. Go ahead, start a new life. Start an alpaca farm.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

3 Ways to Calm Alpacas during Shearing


In addition to their regular care, alpacas need shearing once per year. Their fiber is thick, and valuable, and it can become too heavy and uncomfortable for the alpacas if it is left alone. Shearing an alpaca is about more than obtaining his or her fiber; it’s about making the alpaca comfortable during the process. Though alpacas might not enjoy the actual shearing process, they appreciate the result. After a shearing, the Alpaca feels much lighter and happier.

Stop the Spitting

Alpacas spit when they're stressed. So even though they know the awesome result of sheering, they're not exactly a fan of being held down while looking at the shearers. So, they become stressed, and they start spitting which makes them even more upset. Use a tube sock, or something soft, to muzzle the alpaca. If you stop the spitting, you've made a difference.

Use Essential Oils

Certain oils can calm your alpaca naturally with aromatherapy. The shearing is pain free, so once you eliminate the fear, the alpaca will be much calmer.

Learn more about essential oils for alpacas here:

http://www.solcriations.com/essential-oils-herbs-etc.html

Be Fast

Just get the shearing done and over with so your alpaca can relax. Some people will often stop to console the alpaca. This drags the process out and makes him or her feel stressed/scared for longer. The best thing do is follow these tips, in order, and try to get the shearing done as thoroughly and as quickly as possible.

Monday, May 12, 2014

THE BEAUTY OF RAISING ALPACAS

Alpacas are great. They are very docile and respectful creatures — respectful of gates and boundaries, and of humans and other animals. They are also very exotic looking creatures — tall, big inviting eyes with a silly gaze, and bushy coats. Here are a few simple tips to raising the Alpaca.

First, Alpaca make great pets and great business ventures. If you plan on going into the wool business, make use of the fact that Alpacas can produce lots of beautiful fibers. Alpaca fur is not all that different from sheep and other woolly animals, and they are great for making hand-crafted sweaters or other items. The fur shouldn’t go to waste.

But, Alpacas are great for other reasons. Studies have been shown using Alpaca to calm patients with severe ADHD. There power is in their cool, collected attitude, and utter silence. Around an Alpaca, you almost never have to worry about confrontation. They make little to no noise, even when they walk. Spend time with your Alpaca and enjoy the beauty of life alongside them. It’s good for you, your kids, and the Alpaca.

When not grazing outside, Alpaca need a few accommodations in terms of their living quarters. This includes some basic hay for resting and eating, as well as the occasional grains. Check your local animal food provider for any Alpaca supplements.

Some other general maintenance is required for the Alpaca. This includes clipping toenails and cleaning up after them. Alpaca aren’t very messy, though, and they will usually add compost in the same location as other Alpaca, which makes it very easy to clean up after them.

The great thing about raising Alpacas is that they will not require much. Consider raising an Alpaca today, they will make a great addition to your family!

Monday, May 5, 2014

DEALING WITH THE TEMPERAMENT OF AN ALPACA

For the most part, Alpacas are very easy to deal with. However, they do occasionally become aggressive, if they are not trained and handled properly.

Alpaca Temperament
Alpacas have never been aggressive, so there’s never been a need to domesticate them. In most cases, alpacas and llamas are both docile, loving creatures that would do no harm to anyone. Their amazing temperament makes them wonderful healers as well. However, there is an ailment called Berserk Male Syndrome in some Alpacas, in which aggressive, unruly behavior makes the alpaca dangerous.

Healing Abilities
Because Alpacas are so friendly, adorable and happy, simply being around them helps people heal after major surgeries or injuries. Alpacas have been taken to many hospitals to visit the terminally ill and the recovering patients to boost their spirits.

Fixable Aggressive Behaviors
Berserk Male Syndrome is not a genetic trait. This happens by being over handled by humans, or because the baby alpaca was taken from his or her mom. It happens because the alpacas see humans as a rival. If the animal is following you around, staring at you or flipping the tail over their back, this is a sign that he or she is not happy with humans.

Humans can correct this behavior with training. Some owners use a child’s squirt gun to spray the alpaca with water. This sounds cruel, but it’s actually not. It’s mildly irritating to the alpaca, and you’re saving them in the end. Unruly, dangerous alpacas that can’t be rehabilitated don’t usually see happy end.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT ALPACAS

There are many interesting facts about Alpacas that are not common knowledge.

Here are a few:

Alpacas were domesticated over 6,000 years ago, and their fleece was used to signify the elite and nobility.

Alpacas are of the Camelidae family, meaning that they are related to llamas, guanacos, vicunas, and both the Bactrain and Dromedary camels from Asia and Africa.

September 29 is considered National Alapaca Farm Day.Alpaca Facts

Back in 1984 a small group of importers brought the first herd of alpacas to the US and Canada, where they have been living ever since. The herd has grown from a couple of alpacas to 20,000!

The fiber of an alpaca comes in sixteen different tones that can be identified by the textile industry. These colors range from light grey to dark fawn (tan).

There are two different types of alpacas, Suri and huacaya. The Suri fiber grows out long and creates silky dreadlocks. The huacaya has dense, crimped fleece that resembles a teddy bear. 90% of all alpacas in North America are huacayas.

Llamas and alpacas can successfully breed with each other. Their offspring are called huarizo, which are especially valued because of their long fleece.

Alpacas when they need to go to the bathroom use what is called a “communal dung pile” away from where they graze. So, based on this, alpacas could theoretically be house-trained.

Alpacas make many different noises. The most common of these noises is humming, which almost sounds like purring. They hum whenever they are bored, fearful, content, worried, distressed or cautious. When an alpaca is startled, one animal will make a staccato braying sound, and then the rest of the herd will join in.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

KEEPING YOUR ALPACAS CLEAN

It is especially important to take care of your alpaca’s fleece due to the fact that they can be sold and used as an investment. But, like most animals they tend to get dirty and get into things. How do you keep your alpaca looking clean?

It is important to make sure the process is easy for both you and the alpaca, and they typically do not like the shearing process.

Blowers

The first thing to invest in for your alpaca is a blower. This will help remove debris from your alpaca’s fleece without having to pick everything out individually. Try to get as much of this out as possible.

It also helps to blow conditioner into the wool in order to reduce the number of snarls. Hold the blower about eighteen inches away in order to make a part in the fleece, and then spray the conditioner in. Use a wool tamer to brush out any extra debris.

This makes it easier for the groomer to be at a safe distance compared to the alpaca.

Mats and Tangles

When encountering a tangle, coat it lightly with the llama groom or conditioner and then brush it out with a soft-touch slicker brush. It lifts the hair and moves it away from the body.

However if the tangle is too troublesome then you may need to cut through it. This damages the fleece however, and it should be done long before shearing.

Mat removing rakes will work on older animals that you want to groom but don’t necessarily want to shear. Mats should be split up and worked on a section at a time. Having a mat brake with multiple blades will make the job go by faster. Make sure to not pull against the skin. Put your finger between the mat and the skin and work through the mat using a sawing motion.

Once you do these things for your alpacas, it will be much easier to maintain the fleece and keep them ready for shearing.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

ALPACAS: A GOOD LEARNING EXPERIENCE FOR KIDS

Alpacas have become very popular in the United States in recent years, both as a farming animal and a pet. In addition, it is no wonder. Alpacas, which originated in the Andes Mountains, are easy to care for, too cute for words (especially when they are in full fleece), and friendly and gentle. Their fleece is highly marketable, and they enjoy the company of humans.

This is all good news for parents as alpacas can be a tremendous learning experience for children. They learn about caring for an exotic animal, with simple needs, and they get closer to nature, which is really good for the whole family.

Alpacas are Low-Maintenance

Apart from the occasional toe-nail clipping and, of course, shearing them once a year, alpacas are relatively easy animals to care for, and children seem to relish doing their alpaca chores. Alpacas eat grass and hay, minerals and grains, and children can learn a lot about their habits from feeding them, cleaning their poop, and making sure there is plenty of good water for them to drink.

Alpacas are Social

Alpacas live in herds and are extremely social and often quite curious about children, so close bonds can be formed between animal and human. Being so gentle and friendly, children enjoy hanging out with them, watching them interact with each other, and learning other things about animal husbandry. During breeding season, when baby alpacas (also known as “cria”) are born, children get to see firsthand the miracle of birth, and with what care the mother alpaca treats her young. And then, of course, the child gets the opportunity to watch a baby alpaca grow up.

Children who have the good fortune to live with animals learn valuable life lessons, as well as how much alike we all are – human and animal. Alpacas are wonderful teachers, and the most important thing a child can learn from them is that love has no boundaries