Originally Posted by HorseAround
I am thinking of maybe getting an alpaca and keeping it at my friend's farm. Would an alpaca make a fun pet/companion animal. Tell me what you think
How fun it would be depends on how much it has been handled. Alpacas and Llamas are somewhat aloof creatures. They will come to you for treats and can be handled and trained, but are not really affectionate like dogs or goats.
They have a really strong herd instinct and unless there are others of their own kind around (at least one other llama or alpaca) they can be very unhappy. Unlike domesticated farm animals, alpacas have only been in the US for about 25 years and haven't gotten to the point yet where they are happy living with another species. It's possible, but it can also set them up to be very ulcer prone as thay are easily stressed out.
Companion wise, they don't really like to mingle with other species. They will share pastures, pens, and what not, but won't really "hang out" with a horse or pony. So in that regard, not a good companion animal like a goat can be.
Alpacas can be great to have, but one must put some thought into a multi-species set up because of dietary differences. For example, Timothy hay... good for horses, but bad for alpacas. Same with feedstuff. And because they have two long toes, like camels do, if they get stepped on by a horse it will break their toes. A horse kick will probably kill one as well.
Don't get me wrong here...alpacas living with alpacas is great! But they need some very special consideration in a group setting and don't generally make good companions for horses, or lovable pets.
I know, I know.....many of you are now asking "Well, what good are they then??"
It's all about the fiber. (wool)