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A Maryland Alpaca Farm

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

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Outstanding Dreams Farm: A Maryland Alpaca Farm

Alpaca sales, breeding, farm tours & retail shop in Preston, MD

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Commonly Asked Questions




What do alpacas eat?

Alpacas are first & foremost grazers: they eat grass or hay. They also receive one to two eight ounce cups of alpaca feed per day, along with a free choice mineral supplement. Alpacas are very efficient digesters & do not require large amounts of food, thereby reducing the cost of raising them.

Fresh water is needed & should always be available.             

What are alpacas used for?

Alpacas are raised for their high quality fleece. The fleece is processed into yarn, can be felted, or made into fabric & can then be used to make premium quality garments. Alpaca is warm, soft, lightweight, &very comfortable to wear.

How long do alpacas live?

Alpacas generally live long, productive lives, typically around 18-20 years. A female alpaca may be bred between 18 months to 2 years of age & can produce one offspring per year into her teens depending on her condition. Males start their breeding careers at between 2-3 years of age & are capable of breeding every day.

Where do alpacas come from?

Alpacas originated in the South American countries of Peru, Chile, & Bolivia where they have been domesticated for thousands of years starting with the Incan civilizations. They have always been raised for their wonderful, soft fiber .Their wild relative is the Vicuna which still roams in these countries. Their closest domestic relative is the llama which was raised as a pack animal and some for fiber.

What kind of shelter & fencing is required?

A.  Alpacas need minimal shelter & prefer to be outside except in the worst weather.  A good three sided run in shed, the type used for horses is sufficient. A fan should be included for the hot summer months. A barn is nice, but not a necessity.

B.  Fencing is more intended to keep out predators (mostly dogs in this area) than   to contain alpacas as they rarely challenge fences .Five foot high woven wire horse fence is the preferred choice. Alpacas do not require large acreage, & are the perfect choice for small farms.

What kind of health care do alpacas need?

Alpacas are generally very healthy, hardy animals requiring little in the way of medical care. Monthly vaccination is needed to prevent a parasite called Menegial worm which is carried by deer. A simple shot is given & does not require the services of a veterinarian. At this time the animal should also be weighed to determine the dosage of medication to be given as well as to monitor any changes in your animal’s weight. This is also the time to trim your animals toe nails, another procedure easily performed by you.

Are they friendly?

Alpaca are not friendly in the way a dog is friendly.   They are more on the timid side and a little bit flighty. They are very curious animals and like to investigate on their own terms.  They don’t like quick movements and will usually jump away if you try to touch their head. Touching them on the neck is less intimidating to them, and they are also less intimidated by children. Many children work with them and train them for performance classes (such as 4-H showing and obstacle courses). They are harmless and most always have very gentle temperaments.  



Interesting Fact about Alpaca Fiber



For centuries the alpaca fiber has been the choice for luxurious and unique garments.  It was used as the exclusive fiber of the Incan Royalty.  It is now sought after by fiber artists, textile producers, and discriminating shoppers looking for a hypoallergenic natural fiber.

Here are some of the reasons why...

Alpaca fiber contains no natural oil such as the lanolin contained in sheep’s wools.  This means that alpaca is naturally hypoallergenic.  You can place alpaca on a newborn baby with no reaction (other than a happy baby).

Their fleece contains a natural resin which protects the fiber from aging and becoming soiled. This natural resin provides a built-in resistance to water, pilling, wrinkling, and staining. It also does not hold odors.

The alpaca fiber has a smoother surface, reducing the “prickle effect” that is associated with coarser fibers.

It comes in 22 natural colors.  They range from white to gray, fawn to brown, and mahogany to black. Alpaca fiber can also easily be dyed to any desirable shades other than their beautiful natural shades.

The fiber is strong and resilient.  The strength does not diminish as the fiber becomes finer.

Alpaca fiber has microscopic air pockets which creates some of the most lightweight garments with the highestinsulating factors. Which make many alpaca garments comfortable in any season.

Alpaca garments are soft to the touch - much like cashmere.

It has a special thermal properties resulting from the hollow core within each follicle and the lack of natural oils in the alpaca’s coat.

Alpaca fleece is lightweight, yet comfortably warm - truly a wonderful fiber!

Come see for yourself. Visit us at Outstanding Dreams Farm in Preston, Maryland.







Updated October 25, 2017