Alpacas! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 06-06-2013, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
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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

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post #2 of 10 Old 06-06-2013, 03:33 PM
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Ewwww they spit.....and I just found out recently that they will spit stomach contents at you too! .....pass.......but I'm sure I just don't like being spat on so that's where my completely ignorant opinion comes from!!
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post #3 of 10 Old 06-11-2013, 11:54 AM
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Alpacas are cool! (even if they spit...)

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post #4 of 10 Old 08-12-2013, 05:13 PM
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I have three and when we catch them, which none of them like, we piss them off pretty bad, but none of them spit at us. They take it out on each other spit at one another when we let them go though!
We also have 5 llamas. One female will spit at you if you've caught her and are trying to make her go some place she does not want to. You should have seen the inside of my Miley when I brought her home! Eww!
The rest are fine and one gelding we have is a retired pack llama and pretty friendly.
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post #5 of 10 Old 08-12-2013, 05:16 PM
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They're fine companion animals for horses, but don't think of making them your buddy. They're not very people friendly. Does your friend know you're thinking of bringing another animal onto her property?

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post #6 of 10 Old 08-12-2013, 05:38 PM
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I've never had one spit at me, but my horses both are freaked out of them. Also they are herd animals, I wouldn't just have one.
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post #7 of 10 Old 08-12-2013, 07:38 PM
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They are fine single if they have sheep, goats, or some other animals to hang out with in the pasture.
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post #8 of 10 Old 08-12-2013, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by HorseAround View Post
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)
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post #9 of 10 Old 08-12-2013, 11:22 PM
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You can eat them too. ;)
That is what they are raised for back in their country - fiber, pelts, and meat.
I've personally tried llama, and found it very good.
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post #10 of 10 Old 08-12-2013, 11:39 PM
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I will admit, I dislike Alpacas, I chased them for hours for a friend so she could get their fleece sheared, hah, the shearer didn't show up. They spat at me. I rode my horse to her place, he hated them too.

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