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Alpacas: Questions, Questions, Questions...

 
Devon Olsen
Posts: 1066
Location: SE Wyoming -zone 4
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ok im not certain if this is right section for this but since it said llama's i figured they were similar so perhaps a good spot

ummm this is a really open ended and broad set of questions so sorry for not being more specific, i will likely develop more detailed questions as the thread progress's
i just dont currently know much of anything about them

what kind of things do they normally eat?
are they more like cows or goats in their eating habits?
what can they be used for?
dairy?
meat?
wool?
livestock guardian?
pack horse sorta thing?
yolk beast? good for farm work?
what do they consume pound for pound on a daily basis?
with cows, its good to have chickens behind them from my understanding, whats a good critter to run behind alpacas?
more questions to come surely
 
LaLena MaeRee
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My aunt has alpacas, my boyfriend and I just helped sheer them recently and they gave me the fiber. Here is what I know from theirs and their stories~
They have 2 males, in a pasture together, also in a pasture with 3 goats, they all get along. However, in previous years they have had male alpacas kill each other from "head butting" so you gotta watch out for that. The fiber is apparently easier to use than wool and has the same properties but better because it lacks lanolin and also doesn't make you itch like wool. In our quest to learn how to process the fiber we were given we have found youtube videos of children spinning alpaca fiber, it's literally that easy. One thing I liked to hear was that alpacas do not spit as often as llamas. They seem to be pretty shy creatures, my boyfriend tries to slowly trick them into letting him pet them when we go over to feed them for our aunt, he rarely succeeds at touching one. They get fed hay and veggie scraps, providing the goats don't steal the veggie scraps first, but sometimes it seems like the alpacas didn't want it much anyway. I would say they are horrible livestock guardians, as our aunts chickens still get murdered by local hawks and they're right next to the alpacas, they do finally have a better system in place to prevent this, involving well placed nets for the chickens to hide under. Personally I plan to have some in the future for their fiber, and they seem to be relatively easy to care for.
 
Devon Olsen
Posts: 1066
Location: SE Wyoming -zone 4
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thanks for the response!
so its easier to work with than wool and doesnt itch like wool from your experience?

and does anyone know if the fibers are waterproof/resistant like a sheeps?
 
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