Pedigree dog breeds are registered with the Kennel Club, for alpacas it is the British Alpaca Society (BAS). BAS has approximately 1500 members representing 45000 alpacas spread in various densities all the way from Lands End to John O’Groats (and Northern Ireland). The BAS is a membership society dedicated to the welfare of alpacas and the education of their owners in the UK. (The British Alpaca Society (bas-uk.com)
All the breeding herds registered with BAS have a herd name. Ours in Serendipity Alpacas.
Our aim is to breed healthy, happy alpacas to supply to everyone from first time owners, who will be given as much support and advice as they need for the life of the alpaca; up to established breeders who are looking for new genetics for their herd and everyone in between.
Can I afford to buy alpacas?
If you are buying your first alpacas animal welfare recommends a minimum of 3 but ideally 5. Mountain lions and jaguars are not a problem in the UK, but thousands of years of evolution has programmed alpacas to constantly look out for danger to the herd. 3 is the minimum number so that they can take turns at being on watch and still relax. Like dogs there are pedigree alpacas that have valuable genetics, high-quality fleeces and matching high price tags and there are alpacas that just want a safe place to live and to be looked after. We have alpacas for sale from £200 to £5000.
Can I afford to keep alpacas?
Alpacas need somewhere to graze, somewhere to shelter from the weather and access to food and water.
Once you have the infrastructure of a field, safe fencing and shelter the general running costs average out to less than a cup of coffee per day per alpaca. So, a herd of say 3 alpacas would cost you approximately £1000 a year. Our border terrier Bramble costs £650 a year before any extra treats, replaced chew toys, a visit to the groomers and a cosy bed and I can’t make a rug from her fur! (although my partner disputes this with the amount we hoover up from the carpet!)
The more grass you have available the less hay they will need (except in Winter when the grass is less nutrient) but if you don’t have acres of land to spare you can still have alpacas, you’ll just need more hay. I have visited a trio of happy alpacas on a housing estate in a nearby town. Ideally the minimum amount of space recommended for 3 alpacas is 1 acre.