Why Keep Alpacas?
Alpacas are intriguing animals, they are intelligent, enquiring and sensitive. They quickly respond to gentle handling and their calm and inquisitive nature makes them great companions to spend time around. Alpacas have a human side to them and just like us, have a variety of personalities. Some are cheeky and playful, some are proud and bold, while others are passive and shy. No matter what their personality is, their is no doubt that they are loving and are curious about what's going on around them.
Most importantly, they are great fun to be around and can help to reduce stress, bringing you happiness and joy. However, be warned, owning alpacas considerably reduces your productivity! We spend hours watching them, walking amongst them and enjoying their antics. They will easily become a huge part of your life - and your life will be richer for it, ours definitely is.
There are thought to be just over three million alpacas worldwide, with ninety-four percent living in South America. This means that there are about 60,000 registered alpacas in the UK. This is split mainly amongst several hundred registered breeders across the UK, but there are considerably more private owners with small herds. Although the national herd count is continuously increasing, alpacas are still fairly thin on the ground compared to other livestock, so prices for good breeding females remain quite high with pet males are considerably more affordable. There are alpacas to suit every budget and whatever your plans, you will get enormous satisfaction from keeping them.
Today alpacas are raised by breeders, fibre producers, farmers seeking agricultural diversification, glamping sites, smallholders looking for a sustainable lifestyle business, country landowners who want to grace their pastures with something different and beautiful - and people who just adore alpacas.
If you want to find out if keeping alpacas and owning a smallholding is for you, then we highly recommend attending one of the courses hosted by Amazing Alpacas. They have tailor made three bespoke one day courses:
- Getting started with Alpacas
- Keeping Poultry
- Quit the Rat Race - A guide to becoming a Smallholder