What sort of land do you need?

Alpacas are used to a tough life. They come from the Atiplano, high in the South American Andes where the weather is cold, there is snow, sleet, wind and driving rain.  Temperatures fall frequently to considerably below freezing, and there is not a lot of good quality food. So even if you feel your land is not top farming quality you are probably able to give the animals a better home than the one from which they have been bred. They can enjoy nearly all of Ireland from the high and relatively barren hills to the damp or wet low lying marshy land, sometime referred to in Ireland as 'bog', and everything in between. They don't mind the cold, sitting seemingly relaxed and content even in the snow.   A hand on their fleece will reassure you that they are also warm.

They will even help you clear much of your land if it is overgrown and consider the diet to be excellent.

They are less happy in areas of very high and/or constant rainfall where there is little or no shelter. 

What sort of land do you need?

They are happy in small paddocks and just as happy as part of a larger herd in a field of several acres. We were concerned that most of our land was too wet under foot and overgrown and that the pasture was too poor to run many of them.  However a modest amount of work rapidly produced a happy home for our herd that has now grown to a hundred animals. With their soft padded feet they do little damage to land, even soft land, unlike the more destructive cloven-hoofed animals. We are happy to provide first hand advice on this and related topics.

How much land do Alpacas need?
Stated stocking rates vary. The usual estimate is 4 to 5 animals to an acre on good land, down to 3 to the acre on poor or rough land. With good management and rotation it is sometimes possible to run 6 to the acre and still to be able to make your own winter feed (hay or silage). Even for a small herd it is advisable to have several small fields rather than fewer larger ones. They are used for segregating (a) pregnant females with or without young cria at foot (b) females that are about to give birth (c) gelded males (d) weanlings (e) stud males. If you only have two or three animals, of course, they can run together and the requirements are simple.

What sort of land do you need?

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Gelded (non-breeding) alpcasa for protection from foxes
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Come and visit - Saturday afternoon/evening December 2nd
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Shearing in June 17th or 18th
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Shearing 1
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