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August 3, 2009

I Wanna Be An Alpaca Farmer

A few years ago, during a trip to the Gold Coast in Australia, we went on a tour of the Hinterland. Part of the tour was a visit to an alpaca farm. I fell in love with the alpacas then and told my husband I wanted one.

Alpaca, Clevedon, NZ

Alpacas are the smaller cousins of llamas and camels and are natives of the Andes region. These days they are found in many different parts of the world including Australia and New Zealand and are prized for their fleece. Garments made out of alpaca fleece are soft and beautiful. Quite expensive too.

Alpaca Herd, Hamilton

Alpacas are herd animals and are happiest with others of their kind. They are quiet and intelligent, fairly easy animals to handle and disease resistant. They are known to spit, which apparently isn’t very pleasant, and this is their only method of defense.

Alpaca, NZ

So, the first thing I’m going to do, should I ever get a windfall, is buy a few hectares of land and stock it with some cute alpacas. Yeah, I’d really like to be an alpaca farmer.


  1. stacey smith

    They look cute just hope there not a lot of work to keep.
    [email protected]

  2. sandra cox

    Aww, they are cute.

  3. Amy M

    2 summers ago, we took the kids to an alpaca farm to watch them be…shaved. That is not the right word, but nothing else is coming into my head right now :blush:.

    They are beautiful, their fur is so soft! It was a fun time. They ask us all of the time, still, when we are going back!!

    Amy M

  4. Jo Ann White

    I think Alpacas are adorable. Kids always loved them too!

  5. Fedora

    Wow, very cool, Shelley! I’ve never seen alpacas up close–sounds like we ought to make it a point to visit some! Their fur is definitely luxurious!

  6. Karen Erickson

    They’re so cute. Our neighbors have a few. :mrgreen:

  7. Sherry

    I’ve always wanted to go to an alpaca farm.

  8. Kimberley C

    :grin: They are too cute….I would love to have a few myself but I don’t think my 1/4 acre lot would do!

  9. Catherine Bybee

    My neighbor had Alpaca’s for a while. Very nice animals. They are very expensive and I can’t see having anything that can get sick and die being worth that much money. Still, they are cute.

  10. Susan Helene Gottfried

    We stopped by an alpaca farm near here last year. What fun! What an operation… wow.

  11. JOYE

    When I took a fabric design class in college, I learned that it takes the wool from a lot of alpacas to make one sweater. It comes from the fine hairs on their chest.
    But they are cute, huh.
    What would you name it? I would call mine Silky Sue

  12. Shelley Munro

    They really are the cutest things, even if they are expensive. The ones in the photos have all been shorn recently.

    I can imagine kids enjoying a visit to an alpaca farm. I’m a big kid and I enjoyed it. I didn’t want to leave, and I bought a T-shirt.

    JOYE – I can imagine it would take a lot of hair to make the garments. They are pretty though. I saw some beautiful stuff in the US. Hubby hurried me in and out of the shop really quickly when he saw the prices.

    I’ve just visited Susan’s West of Mars blog and it occured to me that I could steal the names from her Shapeshifter band members. They would make really good names for my alpacas. :grin:

  13. Mo

    I only want to wear clothes made from their hair

  14. Loraine

    Hi Shelley, I understand what you mean. We came to New Zealand 5 years ago and we have been breeding alpacas for 2 years now and are still completely in love with them! And when you get to know them, they all have their own personalities, which is soooo much fun!
    Every year many alpaca farms are open to visit, this is generally on the first Sunday of May. Watch for ads in the papers.
    If you feel like cuddling some in the meantime, we are very close to Auckland, feel free to pop in!(just give us a call first)

    Excellenz Alpacas.

  15. Shelley Munro

    Mo – I bet you’d want to pet one if you saw it in person. They’re very cute.

    Loraine – hi! Thanks for stopping by. I remember seeing the ads for the open days but hubby and I were away. I’ll definitely watch out for next year. And thanks for the offer! I might take you up on that since I’d like to incorporate alpacas into a story. If I can’t own one at least my characters can! :grin:

  16. Loretta Wilson

    I have never seen any up close but would love to. I don’t know if they have any alpaca farms here in Arizona, but would love to take my grandkids to see them if they do. They are so cute. Have only seen them on tv.

  17. Colleen Love

    My neighbors have a small heard of them. They just love my little dog! They come up to him, but not us! They are so very sweet though and very protective of the little pygmy goats they look after. :)

  18. Barbara Martin

    They are really cute and look like overgrown poodles! Apparently they don’t like dogs and will run them off out of their pastures.