- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
"If they have too much fleece, they can die from the heat," said Kylie Horn, 14, one of the 4-H members helping out.
UC Cooperative Extension livestock advisor Theresa Becchetti, said alpaca operations are typically hobby farms, unlike ranches that raise sheep and other livestock. Becchetti said most hobby farmers tend to overstock their pastures and manage resources incorrectly, which can pose problems with soil health, water quality, invasive species, animal health and forage production.
At an alpaca farm in Stanislaus County, Becchetti found that the animals were overgrazing, allowing for invasive weeds to take root.
"They have a person who cleans the pastures of manure every day so they can better manage animal health," she said. "They feed hay every day, which will increase their operating costs."