Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Uses of Alpacas  (Read 6826 times)

mistryer

  • Joined Feb 2009
  • Dordogne, France
Uses of Alpacas
« on: April 01, 2012, 03:58:39 pm »
We are setting up a new small holding, and want to eventually become as self sufficient as possible. As well as the usual livestock, such as sheep, poultry, pigs etc, we wanted to also have something a bit more unusual, but just wondered about the viability of something like alpacas. among those of you keeping these appealing animals - are you mainly keeping as lawnmowers/companions for other livestock/wool production/to sell the offspring/meat/or just as delightful pets, or any other reason? Just wanted to learn a bit more about what they are used for. Many thanks  :thumbsup:
a smile a day, keeps the doldrums at bay :-)x

Sharnoak

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • Blampied, Victoria, Australia
Re: Uses of Alpacas
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2012, 09:42:50 pm »
Hi there, I have 2 suri alpacas who help keep the sheep in order! If you decide to have sheep, and specifically lambing ewes, the alpacas are very efficient as herd guardians. I was speaking to a breeder here in Oz who told me that one of his farmer clients had a 200% increase in lambs afer getting the alpacas, due to thier fox deterring abilities-they can actually kill them. And of course their fibre is a bonus if you either know how to spin, or you can sell it to s'one who does! I was also reading an article here on meat production from them, but I couldn't do that, they are just too lovely (yes, what a wimp!). They are delightful animals.

mistryer

  • Joined Feb 2009
  • Dordogne, France
Re: Uses of Alpacas
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2012, 08:47:42 am »
Thanks sharnoak - like the guardian idea! We will have some sheep and also goats, so that's good to know. I knew the wool was useful - could take up a bit if spinning maybe. Not sure u could eat them either - bit like horses....could never get into eating horsemeat  :-\
a smile a day, keeps the doldrums at bay :-)x

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Uses of Alpacas
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2012, 09:55:00 pm »
If you have got a few thousand pounds to burn - get some alpacas.... No use that would justify their cost! You can build a shed for lambing for the same amount of money....

mistryer

  • Joined Feb 2009
  • Dordogne, France
Re: Uses of Alpacas
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2012, 10:31:07 am »
Understood, Anke... ;)
a smile a day, keeps the doldrums at bay :-)x

Sharnoak

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • Blampied, Victoria, Australia
Re: Uses of Alpacas
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2012, 10:33:31 pm »
If you have got a few thousand pounds to burn - get some alpacas.... No use that would justify their cost! You can build a shed for lambing for the same amount of money....

 :D :D

Yes, I've heard that they are quite pricey in the UK! I managed to get my 2 for $150 each, from a 'stock dispersal' breeder, whom I have since found out to be rather shonky-but my boys are gorgeous! There are quite a lot of alpaca breeders here, and the prices have plummeted accordingly. 20 years ago they cost a fortune, now they are almost given away.

kaz

  • Joined Jul 2008
  • Ceredigion
  • Dust yourself off when life throws you down.
Re: Uses of Alpacas
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2012, 08:20:35 am »
What you need really is two castrated males to keep each other company  and guard the sheep or even poultry.
The males are a lot cheaper than the females and of course you will have the fleece.

I have two here and foxes seem to leave everything alone. :alpaca:
Penybont Ryelands. Ystwyth Coloured Ryelands.  2 alpacas, 2 angora goats, 2 anglo nubian kids, 3golden retrievers a collie and a red fox labrador retriever, geese, ducks & chickens.

mistryer

  • Joined Feb 2009
  • Dordogne, France
Re: Uses of Alpacas
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2012, 02:23:11 pm »
That's good to know, Kaz - thanks. That is certainly worth thinking about.
a smile a day, keeps the doldrums at bay :-)x

VSS

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Pen Llyn
    • Viable Self Sufficiency.co.uk
Re: Uses of Alpacas
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2012, 06:04:33 pm »
If you have got a few thousand pounds to burn - get some alpacas.... No use that would justify their cost! You can build a shed for lambing for the same amount of money....

Agree.

I can't see how alpacas fit in to a self sufficient holding if you don't eat them and unless you plan to make all your own clothing from alpaca fibre.

There are much cheaper ways of controlling foxes!
The SHEEP Book for Smallholders
Available from the Good Life Press

www.viableselfsufficiency.co.uk

Sharnoak

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • Blampied, Victoria, Australia
Re: Uses of Alpacas
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2012, 03:24:35 am »

Agree.

I can't see how alpacas fit in to a self sufficient holding if you don't eat them and unless you plan to make all your own clothing from alpaca fibre.

There are much cheaper ways of controlling foxes!
[/quote]

Ahh but they are so pretty and gentle! As a bonus their manure is great for the garden, nice and pelleted and very easy to collect as usually choose one spot to poo in, and then create another if it gets too smelly and big! I have used heaps on the veggie garden and flower garden, and also chuck in a few spadefuls into the compost heap to help everything else rot down.

Blonde

  • Joined Mar 2011
Re: Uses of Alpacas
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2012, 12:22:09 pm »
What you need really is two castrated males to keep each other company  and guard the sheep or even poultry.
The males are a lot cheaper than the females and of course you will have the fleece.

I have two here and foxes seem to leave everything alone. :alpaca:
I have one castrated male and 2 females that are 8 and 9 years old.   they are not able to breed now but will live a lot longer than their ages.   Around 20 to 25 years.  I have done a little reading  but I want to use them in the piggery and wonder if any one has tried this idea.  Yes their diet is different and yes they cannot have a huge amount of wheat, but to run them in the lane ways of the piggery at night is my ultimate goal...  They also have a paddock down the back of the farm where I farrow my sows..... am willing to experiment a little with them.... They are not keen on farm dogs though, and are all eyes when my puppy comes with me....to feed them.   They are quiet but not quiet enough to handle just yet.  the previous owner could handle them and they would come up to her......just fine, so am prepared for a long stand off with them until they come to me.  I feed a balanced diet and they get hay as well.  I give only 200 grams per day ( mixture of wheat lupins, oats, canola meal, limestone salt, seconds grain hay and minerals.... this diet I think is similar to the pellets you can feed...... But I have grain on hand at all times so might as well make it up myself.  I also have the mills and tractors so have the ability to make the feed.

 

Why Do You Have Alpacas

Started by uksfdawn

Replies: 9
Views: 5473
Last post December 03, 2016, 09:59:24 pm
by big soft moose
alpacas as gaurds

Started by jacob and Georgina

Replies: 8
Views: 7787
Last post July 13, 2010, 09:29:52 pm
by Anke
Thinking about getting 2 alpacas

Started by Corrie Dhu

Replies: 5
Views: 3662
Last post October 05, 2011, 09:09:34 pm
by Corrie Dhu
Alpacas for sale

Started by Partridgefarm

Replies: 4
Views: 3151
Last post June 19, 2012, 08:17:30 pm
by omnipeasant
STOLEN ALPACAS

Started by Fowgill Farm

Replies: 2
Views: 2129
Last post July 02, 2012, 02:53:55 pm
by tizaala

Forum sponsors

FibreHut Energy Helpline Thomson & Morgan Time for Paws Scottish Smallholder & Grower Festival Little Peckers

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2020. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS