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Mom, Please Buy Me A Baby Alpaca!

Do you want a BABY ALPACA?

Why not, right? They are so adorable and cuddly! I get this phone call or comment during farm tours at least once a month. I even had a man basically throw $2000 at me last summer and got mad because I offered to sell him a $48 stuffed alpaca instead. Here are a few truths about baby alpacas you might not know...

First of all, I DO NOT SELL baby alpacas and if someone is offering that...buyer BEWARE!

  • Baby alpacas are called "crias". The name comes from the Spanish Quechua language. Alpacas and llamas are domesticated livestock that originated in the Andes Mountain of South America.

  • Crias MUST be raised in a female herd with their mom, Aunts, and other crias. Alpacas are herd animals that require the companionship of alpacas of the same gender.

  • Alpacas ARE NOT pets or toys. They are LIVESTOCK, which produces abundant fiber that needs shearing once a year. We will start shearing our herd here in a couple of weeks.

  • Crias depend on their dam's milk for survival until they transition into a grazing diet.

  • Crias need to learn appropriate alpaca behaviors from others in the herd. They cannot learn these behaviors from humans.

  • When inexperienced owners raise a cria, even in the presence of a herd, they can inadvertently create a future dangerous alpaca that will be aggressive towards humans, chasing, spitting, biting, jumping, and attacking. This is called BERSERK SYNDROME. We have a male with Berserk syndrome tendencies from another farm. It is not fun!

    • Imagine a 150 lb. animal rearing up and knocking you down without warning. Imagine that same animal biting you and being dangerous. Come to the farm and visit Boo. You will learn all about his story.

  • An alpaca will not become "friendlier" if you raise it from a young age. Alpacas are not dogs, remember? Alpacas are alpacas. Handling alpacas appropriately requires skill and knowledge.

  • You need to have a farm to have alpacas. Not a backyard.

To sum up, if you want something to cuddle, buy a fluffy alpaca toy. We sell them on our website and in the farm store. They are perfect and come in small, medium, and large! No cleanup, no shearing, and spitting.

If you want to entertain your grandchildren, teach them to fish.

If you want to a pet, adopt a cat or dog from a shelter.

If you want to have alpacas, do your research. Don't believe everything you see on Reels or TikTok. Visit an alpaca farm, or two, or three. Find out if you can do the hard work that goes along with having livestock especially in the summer. (injections, weight monitoring, poo sampling, feeding, poo removal, field management, shearing, oh did I mention spit?).

If you are still reading, pat yourself on the back. Go and share this blog to educate the public about the reality of alpaca ownership.

Source: I borrowed some of these ideas from another alpaca farmer online! Thank you!

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