1. BYH Official Poll: What are the things that you should consider before buying herds?
    CLICK HERE!
    (if you are logged in, this notice can be dismissed using the "x" to the top right of the notice)

    Dismiss Notice
  2. Peachicks - Featured Thread
    CLICK HERE!
    (if you are logged in, this notice can be dismissed using the "x" to the top right of the notice)

    Dismiss Notice
  3. Dismiss Notice
  4. BYH Picture of the Week (POW) - Submit your Pics Now !!
    Click HERE!
    (if you are logged in, this notice can be dismissed using the "x" to the top right of the notice)
    Dismiss Notice

What are good reasons to own a couple of Alpaca geldings?

Discussion in 'Feeding Time - Llamas and Alpacas' started by Cornerstoneacres, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. Nov 20, 2012
    Cornerstoneacres

    Cornerstoneacres Exploring the pasture

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    22
    Okay Alpaca enthusiasts, here is my situation followed by a couple of questions. I currently own/breed/raise meat goats. I have two fiber goats I bought this past summer to begin working with fiber. I also have a pair of Great Pyrenees guardian dogs. We also have horses, pgs, chickens etc but not really relevant (I don't think) to this question. Due a drought this summer leading to highly inflated hay prices around here, a friend of a friend is looking to sell her entire alpaca herd. I was offered three (intact) 2-3 year old males at no charge (I would only take two). I am not totally concerned with having SUPER quality fiber at this time (and wouldn't know it anyway even if it jumped up and bit me) since I am just begiinning. I have done research into alpaca care and I do have the facilities to safely contain and house them.
    1) We wether our own goats (even at a bit larger size, although maybe not at quite 150#) - is castrating alpaca the "same" or due to the age at which alpaca are neutered, do I have to have a vet do this? I did call the vet and the price in our area is $100 per animal plus our $80 farm call. I can find geldings available about the same distance away for under $140.
    2) My husband is totally NOT convinced that they would be anything other than an "ugly goat" out in the pasture eating up his hay. Are there any convincing reasons to own an alpaca gelding? (other than "I want one"?)
    3) Are there any issues keeping goats, guardian dogs and alpaca together? A few of my does are around 200-250#, some are only about 75#. I would be housing the alpaca with my does - with the ability to put them(alpaca) into their own small pen when needed. The goats have two barns with only goat sized doors in them, there is a 3-1/2 sided lean-to that has an alpaca sized door in it.
     
  2. Nov 20, 2012
    ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Alpaca Master

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
    Messages:
    7,899
    Likes Received:
    43
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    North Central Ohio
    You could always take all 3 and put one in the freezer. The meat is heaven. We like it better than beef. The meat is tender no matter what the age.

    Alpacas are fiber animals. They must be shorn once a year. So if you want fiber, then they are great to own. That really is their main purpose. Secondary would be the meat.

    The biggest concern would be that the alpacas can't get to the goat mineral. They can't have the copper that goats need.

    It really is best to have the vet take care of the castrating. How do you castrate? Banding won't be a good way. You ned to cut open the testicles and pull out the testes and then cut. Be careful of the bleeding.
     
  3. Nov 20, 2012
    Four Winds Ranch

    Four Winds Ranch Loving the herd life

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    Messages:
    1,134
    Likes Received:
    90
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Lol, if you want one, get one, or two!!! ;)
    I have a few llamas and they are very easy to look after! If they are halter broke, the shearing is a breeze cause you can just tie them up and they will stand there for you! For the most part they look after themselves. The one disadvantage I find with them, and probably alpacas are the same, is, one llama/alpaca eats about the same amount as 3-4 sheep/goats! :/
    Like ksalvagno said, if they don't work out, they could be supper!!! We eat our llamas all the time, and it really is very good! :)
     
  4. Nov 20, 2012
    Cornerstoneacres

    Cornerstoneacres Exploring the pasture

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    22
    ksalvagno - as "awful" as it sounds I had actually thought about that but didn't want to offend anybody. We eat our cull goats when we have them and people freak about that and they are MEAT GOATS. I did some research and found many who share your view. Do you know if it matters if they are an intact male or a gelding (as far as flavor/tenderness)?
    The alpaca would NOT be able to get to the goat minerals as they are inside barns with doors that are only goat size. Unless alpaca can crawl?
    We don't band. We do surgical castration here. We call it slice and dice, but it's more like slice-pop-scrape-done LOL.

    Four Winds Ranch -
    These are halter broke and fairly tame (as far as alpaca go). I have done research into feed and was coming up with info that seemed pound for pound they would eat about the same as a goat. Since my goats are fairly large (around 200#) and the alpaca are about the same size (around 150#) I had hoped it would be roughy the same as adding two goats.
    Can somebody clarify this for me?
     
  5. Nov 20, 2012
    Four Winds Ranch

    Four Winds Ranch Loving the herd life

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    Messages:
    1,134
    Likes Received:
    90
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    I am not possitive on alpacas, but my llamas eat at least 30lbs of hay a day, if free choice they eat way more! My adult llamas weigh about150lbs-350lbs. Alpacas are bit smaller.
     
  6. Nov 20, 2012
    purplequeenvt

    purplequeenvt True BYH Addict

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    Messages:
    1,849
    Likes Received:
    1,401
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Charlotte, VT
    Your llamas eat 30 lbs a day?? Is that per animal? Mine only eat 5 lbs each a day compared to 6 lbs/day per adult sheep.

    I really appreciate the attitude on this site regarding the eating of camelids. In my area, the camelid community is very much against slaughtering and if you do slaughter one of your animals and they find out.....oh boy!
     
  7. Nov 20, 2012
    Alice Acres

    Alice Acres Ridin' The Range

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2012
    Messages:
    756
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    64
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Our adult llamas don't eat much. The llama with our 9 ewes probably eats as much as 2 ewes. They are thrifty animals who get by on little feed for their size.
    I would think an alpaca would be real similar in hay consumption to a full sized goat.

    We have a neighbor with alpacas, and he runs 3 goats with part of his herd - and they all look happy. They tend to hang out in separate groups from each other, but never seen any issues with not getting along.
     
  8. Nov 20, 2012
    Four Winds Ranch

    Four Winds Ranch Loving the herd life

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    Messages:
    1,134
    Likes Received:
    90
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Sorry, forgot to mention [all 3 of] my llamas eat about 30lbs a day.
     
  9. Nov 20, 2012
    purplequeenvt

    purplequeenvt True BYH Addict

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    Messages:
    1,849
    Likes Received:
    1,401
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Charlotte, VT
    That makes a lot more sense! :)
     
  10. Nov 21, 2012
    ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Alpaca Master

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
    Messages:
    7,899
    Likes Received:
    43
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    North Central Ohio
    Yes, the alpacas should eat about the same amount of food as the goats.

    Supposedly Ohio is known for putting alpacas in the freezer but I have no idea if this is true, just what our shearer had told us. I started doing it in 2009. Probably most alpaca breeders still shudder about that but I know more and more alpaca breeders around me are starting to put their boys in the freezer.

    It shouldn't matter if they are intact or not as far as flavor of meat.

    If you have been castrating for a long time then it probably would be no big deal for you to castrate the alpacas. I would just get some sedative from the vet to at least make them woozy.