Alpacas make me feel all warm and fuzzy – I just love them! Don’t ask me when this adoration began, it’s tough to pinpoint. Perhaps the moment I laid eyes on my first one. There’s something kind and friendly about them – and whimsical. If they were smaller, I’d ensure we had a dozen! My mom, who lives with us, recently informed me that she loves them too.
However, regardless of our admiration for them and our acre-plus property in Camas, we will not be getting any alpaca’s in the near future. They love company, and as herd animals, it’s not fair to have just one alpaca. And, given our multi-gen family’s four dogs and a designated space for gardening and fruit trees, we really don’t have the room for a barn and the necessary pasture space.
For many country estate owners though, alpacas can be a good alternative to traditional livestock such as sheep, cattle, or even horses, especially if there are young children in the family. Alpacas have an affinity for children, and given the delight on the face of a child after meeting an alpaca, the adoration is mutual.
It seems most of us agree, alpacas are wonderful animals – for pleasure and profit. But before people purchase alpacas they need to investigate the reasons why they want the creatures around, and if for profit, what they can realistically expect. Even if the animals will be kept as pets, as with all animals, it’s important to understand how to properly care for them.
As for mom and me, we’ll just have to drive by the various alpaca farms in our area and admire these wonderful creatures from afar.