V. Veal

V. Veal

Hannah Roberts, News Editor

When I heard that there would be alpacas visiting the school on Friday, February 23, I was at first so excited. There was also apparently a llama there too, but there were two alpacas instead of one because, according to my awestruck, randomized research, alpacas tend to get lonely and need company. I had a lot of questions about alpacas, and then llamas, so as any unreasonable and curious person would, I tried to find out whatever I could about these strange animals.

My biggest question was this: how do you move an alpaca? This may seem like a super simple question, but I didn’t know how they reacted in close quarters, with each other, and how tall their transportation needed to be. Even more concerning than that was the thought of moving a llama, but after doing some research on this and finding both realistic and incredibly falsified information, I was convinced that it actually wasn’t that hard. The pictures of them piled inside a small car only enforced this. In theory, any appropriately sized trailer would work, but it would be best to use a specific alpaca trailer that was made for that particular need.

So, I was already on my way to finding out how I could acquire one of these alpacas. There are actually numerous websites for all of your alpaca-related needs, including ones like Alpaca Nation and the Alpaca Place. They can help you buy your own alpaca, though they recommend two to start with. They range in price, and younger ones are typically a lot less expensive; the price pretty much stays in the thousands range. Don’t forget that most live for fifteen to twenty years, so this is a long-term commitment to your alpacas. If you buy your first two alpacas, be sure to have the amount of land that you need. If you continue with this smart business plan or entertaining hobby, remember to increase your acreage as you obtain more alpacas. Also, feeding them is very important. Don’t forget that when you purchase your very own alpaca; food is a necessity, kids.

The llama was a surprise to me, so my information about it is a little bit more limited. From my understanding, the difference between llamas and alpacas is that llamas are much bigger than alpacas. There are also small differences that help differentiate your average llama from an alpaca. I thought that it was extremely interesting that alpacas are considered a great investment in a developing industry, and as far as tending to livestock goes, alpacas seem to be overall low maintenance, intelligent, quiet, and calm animals.

One of the nicest things that I learned about alpacas was that they get very lonely if they don’t have the company of a fellow alpaca. That’s why buying an alpaca means that you have to buy another one too. Three is preferable, but two will work. Alpacas are very social creatures, and they will have emotional and even physical health problems if they feel too lonely or isolated. It’s important for them not to feel this way. The world doesn’t need depressed alpacas, so if you decide to buy one, be sure to take good care of it.