Alpacas are members of the Camelid family along with camels and llamas. They are herd animals and as such must be kept with other alpacas, they cannot be kept alone!!
They are hardy animals but do require
routine husbandry, annual vaccinations and shearing. They can live outdoors all year round, they do appreciate some shelter from really bad weather, either a hedge or a lean to.
They require hay and grass all year and a little supplement feed for pregnant females and growing youngsters in the winter. The females are pregnant for 11 1/2 months and tend to give birth during daylight hours which makes it much easier on us humans !
The young, called cria, are generally on their feet and suckling within an hour. Cria are usually weaned at 6 months if they have grown sufficiently.
Females can be bred at 2 years old and many of them will breed up to 12 or older, my oldest breeding female is 17 years old !!
Male alpacas aren't usually capable of breeding until they are 3 but there are always exceptions to the rule, which is why it's important to separate young males and females. Non breeding males are normally castrated and sold as pets or sheep guardians.