Alpacas in Tuscany? Oh yes! These animals are rare in Italy an certainly the locals in my little village didn’t expect me to provide them with a mini petting zoo in this neck of the woods!
I have now got seven lovely alpacas. They live in my back garden, very close to the house. This means I can keep an eye on them easily. I check them three or four times a day and enjoy just watching them amble around to be honest!
My original idea was to have a little alpaca breeding programme, so I bought three pregnant females plus a companion female who, for various anatomical reasons, can’t be mated. Champagne, my big Suri female, ended up not being pregnant after all. The other two, Emilia and Diana, both huacayas, had two lovely boys, Brunello and Dolcetto. Watching an alpaca being born in my garden was a wonderful experience. Sadly, Diana died from unknown causes when baby Dolcetto was just four months old, but he was big and strong and survived brilliantly.
Emilia went on to have another boy, Pomino and Champagne also had a boy, Merlot. (Can you see the wine theme going on here?) The boys were born within a day of each other, but one is Suri and the other huacaya so they are very different in temperament and size.
Twice a day I take them their dishes of diced apples, carrots, Camelibra alpaca supplement, alfafa pellets and sugarbeet soaked in water. It is really sweet how they all run to their individual dishes and tuck in! Strictly speaking it isn’t necessary to give them anyof this except the supplement, but a) it is winter so they need a bit extra and b) I like doing it and so do they!