The Original
Online Alpaca Marketplace
Alpaca Forum at AlpacaNation
Alpaca Forum at AlpacaNation
Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Members | Search | FAQ
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

 All Forums
 Alpaca Discussion Forums
 1. Alpacas 101: Getting Started
 Pet alpacas
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  


14 Posts

Posted - 11/22/2013 :  12:32:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am trying to find out what the best combination is for pet alpacas(least amount of quarreling and bad attitudes, as well as easy to handle).
Between geldings and females, what is your opinion on thier general attitude? I really don't want to keep an intact male, and I am not interested in breeding. And also what is the best age to get them at? Thanks.


41 Posts

Posted - 11/22/2013 :  7:50:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have 6 "yard ornaments" that are simply pets. All are male with 4 of them being neutered. They range in age from 2 to about 7 yrs. I harvest the fiber each year simply for their comfort and provide them a run in shed with sweet feed once a day and hay anytime they want.

The two youngest and smallest are not neutered and tend to neck wrestle at times and used to concern me. All six of these guys get along and don't like being seperated. I have a request for 3 of them to serve a camel in the upcoming live nativity scene at church and wonder how I am going to take 3 and not all. Anyone ever heard of 6 wise men?

I got my first 4 guys when then were 2 to 3 yrs old and the last 2 when they were about a yr old.
I'm sure there are more knowledgeable people who will respond but these have been my experiences.

Danny Link
270 Leaport Rd
Mt Sidney, VA 24467
Go to Top of Page


4103 Posts

Posted - 11/23/2013 :  07:19:33 AM  Show Profile  Send Judith a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Every alpaca is an individual with its own temperament and ways of responding to stress. As long as you have only males, they will "act like boys" - they'll wrestle and play and sometimes get into arguments, but they should be fairly happy together. The one thing to beware of is bottle babies who have been extensively handled as crias. They may seem very friendly and manageable, but very often have boundary issues that make them a challenge to handle and even dangerous at times. (Not all bottle-fed alpacas are dangerous, but many have been pampered and petted and allowed to get away with aggressive and "cute" behaviors that are dangerous in a full grown animal).

Females are less aggressive overall and more apt to live without the types of "boy" behavior that males will exhibit. However, even they can get into spitting matches over feed or space.

It's best to visit and view/handle any prospective purchase for "pet" use (I don't normally use that term because alpacas don't normally bond with humans, so pasture ornaments or fiber producers more accurately describes them), since for your purposes, temperament is the most important quality and that's not something you can gauge from a distance. If you can't meet them before making a buying decision, make sure that you ask specifically about behavior issues and that the seller knows you are not an experienced alpaca handler. Also make sure to get a full health history for any animal you are seriously considering so that you don't bring home something that will need excessive amounts of handling and expense for care and maintenance

There are many really nice alpacas for sale today at very attractive prices, so take your time and enjoy the search.

Judith Korff
AlpacaNation Forum Co-Moderator
The Pastel Paca at LadySong Farm
Randolph, NY 14772
Cell: (716) 499-0383
Go to Top of Page


2967 Posts

Posted - 11/23/2013 :  10:52:54 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Now for the other side of the coin!

Alpacas are trainable, some people have even done "clicker Training" with their alpacas. I even had one young female that would come out of the herd when I called her name, and my wife and the person who ultimately bought her are witnesses to that behavior. That is pretty rare.

If you walk your alpacas daily, even set up an obstacle course to do with them you can have alpacas that are very people friendly and easily handled. The important thing is for you to always make sure that they are responding to you being the boss. Change the course occasionally to keep up their interest. I used walk my alpacas up the two steps to the big back deck we had and then have them jump off the edge (18-20 inches high).

At the alpaca show we were at last weekend (AOK Blastoff)a lady was demonstrating to some people an alpaca back pack, small light and appeared not to upset the alpaca she was putting it on. The ideas for having fun with that are endless for example taking a hike and letting the alpaca carry the water and lunch. Be sure to include water for them.

Remember that alpacas live a long life so deciding you want pets is a big commitment.


Bob & Vicki Blodgett
Suri Land Alpaca Ranch
10371 N 2210 Road
Clinton, Oklahoma 73601
Go to Top of Page


14 Posts

Posted - 11/23/2013 :  6:45:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
WOW! Thanks everyone! Great info! It is exciting to know that I can do obstacle courses with them, that sounds like so much fun!
Go to Top of Page


41 Posts

Posted - 11/23/2013 :  9:27:59 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
All the above are from much more experienced alpaca owners than I but if you have not already purchased your boys, I would suggest that when looking at potential purchases, lift their feet to see how they respond. If they have not been trained or are used to having thier legs and feet touched you will have trouble when it comes time to trim their toenails.

Danny Link
270 Leaport Rd
Mt Sidney, VA 24467
Go to Top of Page

Mary Jane

1152 Posts

Posted - 11/24/2013 :  2:14:33 PM  Show Profile  Visit Mary Jane's Homepage  Reply with Quote
If you simply want them for companionship, I highly recommend getting geldings. Geldings are much less likely to exhibit the wrestling and other 'macho' behaviors that Judith mentioned, once their pecking order is established. We have a mixed group of intact males and geldings. The intact males fuss with each other while the geldings look at them like they are crazy and go back to eating.
Alpacas all have different personalities. I agree with the 'meet before you buy' advice.
Also with geldings, age isn't as big a factor in how they get along together as it would be with intact males. I would be very leery about putting a young male in with a group of mature intact males.

Land of Legends Alpacas
2653 Swans Road
Newark, OH 43055
Go to Top of Page


14 Posts

Posted - 11/24/2013 :  2:38:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
So do females get along well together?
Go to Top of Page


2830 Posts

Posted - 11/24/2013 :  7:51:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
For the most part, females get along. Some will be bossier than others, and they will spit at each other if they get into each other's feed. The only time I was ever covered with spit, and I have been doing this for ten years, was when I got into the middle of two that were having a spat. I try to have my girls(16 of them and three crias) out of the barn when I put their grain out because they will try to mob me when I come in with a bucket of feed. Sometimes, it just does not work out timewise, and then I just make a spitting noise at them, and they get out of my way.

Christiane Rudolf
Tanglewood Farm
19741 Victory Lane
Fayetteville, Ohio 45118
(513) 875-2533
Go to Top of Page


3320 Posts

Posted - 01/15/2014 :  2:34:22 PM  Show Profile  Visit nyala's Homepage  Reply with Quote

If you wanted to show them in obstacle courses at shows the only shows I know that are doing alpaca obstacle would mean they would have to be registered. If you want to train them to do obstacle work or perhaps public relation work (visiting schools, or nursing homes going in parades), I would suggest getting ones that either are already trained or getting youngsters of about a year. I would suggest males. We have a 4-H group that meets at our farm and the kids train for obstacle shows. They have a blast doing that. Some shows have adult classes too. I agree with what folks are saying. Don't get ones that are not at the very least halter trained. I would plan on getting at least 3 (so they are a small herd). I would buy from a local reputable farm that can help mentor you. Don't buy in auction and avoid "free" alpacas.

Good luck!

D. Andrew Merriwether, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Anthropology and Biology, Binghamton University
Ann and Andy Merriwether
Nyala Farm Alpacas,Vestal, NY
Go to Top of Page
  Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
Jump To:
Alpaca Forum at AlpacaNation © 2000 - 2009 AlpacaNation LLC Go To Top Of Page
Snitz Forums 2000


Our family has 8,926 breeders, with more joining every day.

Join Now!