Wellington, New Zealand
Posted Oct 20, 2016
About ten years ago I moved into a place that had land and had the idea that I would breed alpacas. I bought two pregnant females. Pretty soon afterwards I abandoned that plan and decided just to keep them as pets. Was that a good plan? I'm not sure. They are, of course, adorable to look at with their big eyes and they're are quite curious creatures. But I've found that even putting in effort to get them friendly, they all stayed quite stand-offish. Which is a shame because you just want to give them a big cuddle. I've read similar reports from other people keeping alpacas as pets. So, I would say that alpacas do not make good pets. They do have things in their favour though - they have a beautiful fleece for spinners; they keep the grass short; alpaca poop is good for the garden apparently (you won't get me picking it all up though); and they are a talking point for people visiting. They pretty much look after themselves (great), but the once a year shearing can be a bit of a battle. Spitting and sitting down refusing to budge does not make them easy to shear. But luckily it's all over quickly. So, all in all, I wouldn't get rid of them, but I won't be getting any more alpacas.
I've posted a photo of Maddy just after she was sheared. When they are woolly, they are twice the size!