Exotic Farm Animals – Questions and Answers about Alpacas as Pets

Wondering about raising alpacas as pets? Well, wonder no more. These sixteen questions and answers will help you decide if raising exotic farm animals will work for you.

1. How much room does an alpaca need?

One acre will keep five alpacas healthy and happy.

2. What kind of fencing and shelter are needed for camelids?

Alpacas will not challenge a fence. A fence is needed to keep predators out, especially the neighborhood dog. It must be a fence that a camelid can not stick its head through and get stuck, too. 2 x 4 no climb fencing works well. Be sure a dog can not dig under the fence or gate. A three-sided shelter is plenty in most climates, in really cold areas you may want a barn.

3. What does an alpaca eat?

Hay. They will, also, need some feed supplements.

4. Are children safe around alpacas?

Yes. Children can learn basic skills of caring for a pet with these animals as they are very gentle creatures. They can, also, use these exotic pets for 4H or FAA activities.

5. What other expenses are involved in caring for camelids?

These farm animals must be sheared once a year. You need to worm them and vaccinate them depending on the area where you live.

6. Can I own just one?

Alpacas are herd animals and you should keep a minimum of two otherwise they may become stressed and unhealthy.

7. Aren’t alpacas expensive?

Not if you purchase geldings or pet quality females. The price ranges from $500-$1000 each.

8. Can alpacas be trained?

Yes. Alpacas easily learn to lead with a halter on. You can train an alpaca to perform simple tricks if you take time to work with them.

9. What can you do with an alpacas fleece?

An alpacas fiber is very fine. It can be spun into yarn for knitting or crocheting. Or you can felt the raw fiber into garments, rugs, and other items.

10. Besides feeding an alpaca, what other routine care do they need?

Alpacas toenails need trimming about every two months. You’ll need to shear and worm them as mentioned before.

11. How large do alpacas get?

An adult alpaca weighs from 120-180 pounds on average.

12. Do alpacas spit?

Mostly at each other, rarely at humans.

13. What climate is best for alpacas?

Alpacas are hardy farm animals and do well in most climates.

14.Can I show my pet quality alpaca?

Yes. There are show classes for fiber/pet animals.

15. Which type of alpaca is better as a pet, the hucaya or suri?

Hucaya alpacas have crimped fiber that makes the alpaca appear puffy. The suri has straight fiber that hangs from the animals body giving it a dreadlock appearance. Suri’s are rare and it may be hard to find a pet quality priced suri. Either animal would be a great exotic farm animal pet.

16. Where can I purchase an alpaca pet?

Search the internet for an alpaca farm near you and contact them to see if they have any pet quality animals for sale.

Alpacas are exotic farm animals that make excellent pets. These very cute farm animals will win your heart and produce fleece so you can make winter hats and scarfs for family and friends. Check them out. There may be an alpaca pet in your future.

The Reason Meat and Animal Products Can Negatively Impact Your Weight Loss and Diet Plan

In my previous articles I explained how we basically get our nutrition from 3 main “food” sources: plant (fruits and vegetables), animal (beef, cheese, chicken, eggs, etc.) and laboratory synthesized (high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, hydrogenated oils, etc). I then went on to explain how the fruit and vegetables of today are grossly lacking in the nutrition that they once possessed years ago.

Today, I want to talk about out meat based foods and explain that the problem with these is not with what they are lacking, but what is being added. You need to understand the reasons that meat and animal products can negatively impact your weight loss and diet plan.

Let’s look at beef as an example. Personally, a good steak or a slice of prime rib is one of my favourite meals. But where does beef come from?

Well duh! It comes from cows.

And who raises cows?

Well the answer to that should be a “no brainer” as well. Farmers raise cows. And that is the way it should be.

I live in rural Quebec. My neighbours are all farmers and they all raise cows. I see these cows out in the fields every day in the spring, summer and fall happily grazing on grass. In the winter, they have a huge barn which they have access to which is full of fresh hay for them to eat. These are the cows that I eat.

But are these the cows that you purchase in your local grocery store?

Sadly they are not. My neighbours barely make enough money from their herds to cover the expenses of these animals. First the calf has to purchased, then it has veterinary expenses, then it needs nutritional supplements (farmers know that the soil is missing certain elements and thus compensate for that. In our region, our soil is completely lacking in selenium.), then there is the electricity the barn uses for lights and to keep the water from freezing, and lastly there are tons of fuel expenses for cutting and transporting the hay.

Most small rural farmers raise cattle as a side income only. “Farmers” can’t make much money raising cattle because they have to compete with “industry” who are the primary cattle raisers in North America. Some of the largest cattle “ranches” in the USA are found in Arizona. In fact, they aren’t even called ranches or farms. They are called Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO). 97% of all beef in the U.S. comes from CAFOs.

“So what is wrong with Arizona?” you may ask.

What do naturally eat? Grass.

What type of environment is Arizona? It’s a desert. So… no grass.

Cows have 4 stomachs. They evolved in this manner as they are a grazing animals that are meant to eat grass at a leisurely pace and slowly digest it in their stomachs. But since raising cows in these feed lots is not about producing food, it’s about producing money, CAFOs don’t have the time to fatten their cows naturally.

So in these feed lots cows are primarily fed a mixture of grain and corn, and in some cases rendered protein and even concrete dust! Rendered protein is the ground up carcasses of dead pigs (this is a problem because cows are herbivores, not carnivores). Concrete dust was found to increase the weight of cows at auction (heavier cows sell for more money!).

In the CAFOs, living conditions are not quite the same as here on my neighbouring farms and the cows are stressed. Stressed animals have weakened immune systems. Cows with weak immune systems are at greater risk for illness. Living in such high density corrals means that if one cow gets sick, they likely all will. So to reduce the risk of losing a cow, most cattle are fed prophylactic antibiotics to keep them “healthy”.

Don’t think of CAFOs as farms, they are cattle factories just like a car factory. Do you think Ford wants to spend a full month getting a car through the assembly line? No they want that car to be built and out of there as quickly as possible. It’s the same with the beef. The more cattle they can pump through in a year, the more money they make.

To encourage growth in these cows they are also administered growth hormones and steroids. So here you have cows that are taking regular injections of antibiotics, steroids and growth hormones, eating a diet that is completely unnatural to them, and packed into a super small living space. On top of that, the feed that they are fed is itself genetically modified and loaded with herbicides, pesticides and other chemicals.

These are the cows that are sent to slaughter and end up in your grocery stores! This is the beef you are eating. Pigs, chickens, lambs, and even fish are all raised in pretty much the same manner and experience the same outcome.

Just think about it. If your food is full of antibiotics, hormones, and chemicals, what makes you immune to them?

Have you noticed how big kids are these days? Have you noticed how early young girls start to physically mature? The kids today look a lot different now than when I went to public school just 30 short years ago. Do think this might have something to do with all the steroids and growth hormones they are getting second hand in their milk and meat products?

In the case of vegetables, your body is being placed under stress due to a lack of nutrition. In the case of meat, your body is being placed under stress due to the added chemicals and hormones. In an upcoming article, I’ll discuss how it is these stressors on the body, and not the number of calories that are primarily responsible for weight gain and excess body and visceral fat.

Natural Pet Care Products – Do They Work?

It seems like there are hundreds of pet care products out there: but which ones are best for your pet. I am sure that like me you only want the very best for your pet. Therefore, here are my opinions about natural care pet products, why they are better than other prescribed medicines and why your pet will benefit from being given natural products to treat their illnesses.

I know that it surprised me when I learned that these products really do work and, best of all, work far better than many other remedies on the market today. I guess that it is only natural to want the best for your pet and when it comes to their health, you are probably just like me and want something that does not have unpleasant side effects. That’s why I use products that are based on herbal remedies. That is right; the same herbal remedies that have been proven to cure what ails you also work just as effectively for your pets. It is just a matter of getting the right ones for the job.

There is a great benefit from using natural medicines; they do not contain any unnecessary chemicals. If you get some expensive tablets from the vet, they will probably contain some artificial drug to treat your pet’s illness. Add to that, the mixture of other ingredients that are in the tablets such as binding agents and I am sure you can see that your pet will be swallowing many artificial agents. On the other hand, natural pet care products do not have any of these additives in them. I know that these are a better option for treating my pet and I recommend them to anyone who has a pet that needs treatment.

So, natural remedies are a better option than other prescribed medicines because they do not give any harmful side effects to your pet. In addition, herbs can be given to your pet to help prevent them from getting ill without running the risk of long-term damage that artificial drugs can often cause.