Alpaca Help Needed!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by KadeSilkies21, Aug 22, 2017.

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  1. KadeSilkies21

    KadeSilkies21 Chirping

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    Jul 13, 2017
    We have just finished building a paddock and shelter as we are planning to get goats. I heard that alpacas are good herd protectors. We do have many foxes here and i absolutely love alpacas so I thought why not!? I know the basics on keeping alpacas and that they drink plenty. They will be in a large paddock with a damn in the middle for water. I have a few questions:
    What do I need to do to make sure they are both happy together?
    Do I need to feed the alpaca hay all year?
    What hay should I feed? (Alfalfa is very easy to get here)
    To be in a herd of goats with a goat buck, should the alpaca be a female, male, buck or wether or does it not matter?
    Any other things you know about alpacas care would be appreciated! :celebrate
     
  2. Zoomie

    Zoomie Songster

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    Dec 6, 2015
    Mora, NM USA
    I live by the largest alpaca ranch in the USA. They have dogs to protect the alpacas. Alpacas are not generally considered a guardian animal. They are prey animals themselves and can readily be killed by dogs, just like your goats. Although it is true that this type of animal dislikes all members of the dog family, and an alpaca probably would chase out a small fox, they are not going to be much use against anything larger. Basically, if it could kill a goat, it can kill an alpaca.

    Another thing: alpacas are herd animals, just like goats are, and I, personally, have not run into an alpaca that did OK all by itself with no other alpacas. (I used to shear them professionally, so knew lots of alpaca ranchers, and have owned about half a dozen myself.) Now, a llama is a little different. They are bigger (can weigh about 450 lbs) and although I've lost llamas to dogs, they can be a little bit more effective. I've also had llamas that have been OK living with a flock of goats. My suggestion would be to consider a llama instead.

    This is some of my reasoning, here: Llamas are bigger, can tolerate living in a herd of goats, and if you get a short-coated llama, you will not have to shear it every year. You WILL have to shear an alpaca every year. This is not an easy thing to do. And I'm not just guessing here, LOL.

    As far as gender goes: I would highly recommend to get a FEMALE llama, OR a gelded male. Both llama and alpaca males will lay down on top of another animal to show dominance (it's how they breed) and might smash one of your goats. Females don't tend to do this the way you see males doing it. The geldings seem to not engage in this as much too.

    Best of luck with your project, sounds like fun! I love llamas and alpacas, they are very cool animals.
     

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