Keeping Alpacas on a small amount of land?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Fawkes, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. Fawkes

    Fawkes Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 8, 2011
    I know people keep pygmy and nigerian goats and small sheep like babydolls and mini shetlands on a small amount of land, but what about alpacas? I know you can keep 5-10 pacas per acre but what if you don't have even an acre of pasture?

    I know you'd have to feed them more hay if you don't have a lot of pasture and you would need to rotate. One day I'd love to have a few small whethers, a few small ewes, and 2-3 gelded pacas, just as pets. It wouldn't really be anytime soon though. I'd maybe start with 2-3 goats in the fall if I have the money then, and work my way up. I hope to buy 10+ acres of land one day but until then would it be possible to keep pacas on a small amount of land? I have a pretty big suburban idea how big... possibly an acre? Not sure how big an acre is. But a lot of it is taken up by the woods, pond, soon fruit trees they would eat, etc so they couldn't free range all of it. I have a good sized side yard that the goats and alpacas could use and the other side yard could be used for the sheep.

    Then the rest of the space could be used occasionally, just not free ranged on. I could set up temporary fences in those areas and also walk them on leads so they could all graze/browse in areas where a fence couldn't be set up. And also grow stuff for them to eat and give them branches, leaves, weeds and such to keep hay/feed costs down.

    I've searched online and only once saw someone who keeps alpacas on a small amount of land and figured maybe there's a reason? But everything I've read says that pacas are easy on land and very easy to care for.
  2. bruceha2000

    bruceha2000 True BYC Addict Premium Member

    Apr 19, 2012
    NW Vermont
    I know this is a bit old but since no one answered:

    An acre is 43,560 sq ft. As a rough square, it would be 208' by 210'. That visually seems big if you are standing in a city lot and not large at all if you are standing in the middle of many acres. Think football field, goal to goal, sideline to sideline. That is 1.1 acre.

    I presume your suburban city allows farm animals or you wouldn't have asked.

    I wouldn't do anything until you measure the USABLE area you have since you said a lot of it is taken up with woods, pond and future fruit trees. And where will the animals be housed? Do you need to remove that area from your calculation?

    My guess is you want to do too much with what space you have if it is an acre total given your description. Goats, sheep and Alpacas. I think it will all be dirt in no time if there isn't enough space for the number of animals. Even if you feed plenty of hay, animals have to do something with their time and they'll nibble on this, walk over that. I'm told that goats will eat anything and EVERYTHING so they would have to be fenced away from all vegetation you don't want them to eat. Oh, and they climb fences so it has to be high enough and strong enough to keep them out. Chicken wire on metal posts probably won't keep a goat out of a garden very long. Remember to factor all this fencing into your "cost to get animals" calculation.

    I'd be happy to hear from others that I am wrong. I hate to step on someone's dream.

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