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A Maryland Alpaca Farm

Alpaca sales, breeding services and farm tours on Maryland's Eastern Shore

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Monday, February 18, 2019

Selling Alpacas..... Ethically

Headie

Headie

We recently had a nice couple call us interested in purchasing alpacas. We set up a time for them to visit and spent a couple of hours answering their questions, finding out what it is they are looking for, and explaining the ins and outs of what is involved in caring for the animals. We showed them several good candidates for their situation , proven females that have calm temperaments and are great mothers. One of the topics we stressed was the need to have more than one alpaca as they are herd animals and would become very stressed by themselves.
Afterwords they contacted us wanting to purchase one alpaca who is pregnant and due in the spring with the idea that her and her cria would constitute a herd and she would be fine. I tried to explain that this would not be good for the alpacas and would cause them to be stressed and insecure and suggested that they get at least one more alpaca for companionship. The response to this suggestion was that "We don't want that many."
I answered by telling them I was sorry, but would not be able to sell them one alpaca . As a responsible breeder I could not sell one alpaca and her cria alone to someone that did not already own alpacas as a concern for the well being of the animals. Alpacas are a herd animal and need companions in order to feel secure.
I know they have visited several other local farms and do plan on purchasing an alpaca somewhere. I can only hope that others will put the animal's welfare first and not sell an alpaca under these circumstances.
We all want to make sales, but the alpaca's well being must come first. I couldn't live with myself if I sold this poor alpaca knowing it was going to be alone with just its cria for company.
Over the years, it has been our pleasure to help many new breeders get started raising alpacas. One of the most rewarding facets of the business for us is mentoring our clients and helping them avoid some of the mistakes we made as new breeders. Overall, our experience has been extremely positive. Occasionally we run into situations like this and it can be frustrating and honestly makes me sad thinking of the poor, lonely, scared alpaca kept by themselves.
At the end of the day, while I am worried about the alpaca they end up with, I feel good about my decision.