Alpacas or Goats?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by PineBurrowPeeps, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. I'm trying to figure out which animal would be a good investment for my farm to start with. Eventually I'd like to get both but I need to start with one. I was originally going with Nigi goats and even was about to put a deposit on a pair of does but then started to think about Alpacas. I plan to make money selling offspring.
    Nigi goat kids sell fast and well in my area and there are only like two good breeders in my state. Goat kids will sell for less than Alpaca crias will but there are many more multiple births with goats.
    Alpacas would bring more money per cria but only have one baby with twins being very rare. There are no good Alpaca breeders in my state and in fact I would have to go out of state just to get good breeding stock.
    To start with goats I am estimating around $1,000 with $500-$600 for the pair of registered well bred does, and another $400-$500 for fencing and housing.
    To start with Alpacas I am looking at considerably more for the starting stock but around the same for the fencing and housing.
    With the goats I can have milk for my family.
    With the Alpacas I can have fiber for spinning.
    In all seriousness I supose if I went with Angora goats I could have both right? [​IMG]
    Alpacas will probably be more expensive to feed than Nigerian goats as far as grain goes.
    I could run into a problem finding a vet to see Alpacas here but would have no problem finding one to see goats...

    Can anyone say Goats here we come?! [​IMG] I think I answered my own question....

  2. luvzmybabz

    luvzmybabz Songster

    Oct 11, 2007
    finding a vet to see goats and finding a vet that knows how to treat goats is different. I saw one vet that ACTED like he knew about goats but then found another vet closer to home for ND (new dog and the name stuck) and He really knows his goats thank goodness. However I still disagree with him on some things.
  3. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

    Apr 22, 2008
    Go for the goats!!!
  4. lovintheridge

    lovintheridge In the Brooder

    Feb 21, 2009
    we have an alpaca that serves several purpose for our family.protecting our goats, & the manure is great. Alpacas/lallmas have deer like manure and they go to the bathroom in the same spot. It makes for easy clean up and composting. We only paid 200 for him and he is beautiful. They aren't as sociable as goats. But they are cheaper to keep then goats, since we have both. Good luck on making a decision. [​IMG]

  5. jBlaze

    jBlaze Songster

    Oct 25, 2008
    We have both.
    The alpacas are very easy to care for. The goats are more friendly.
    Goats have more offspring. Alpacs only have one and carry it for 11 months. Goats usually have 2 and carry for 5 months. Goats can be weaned at 2 to 5 months, alpacas 4 to 8 months.
    We do not grain the alpacas. The dairy goats we grain a lot when they are lactating. Goats need warmer housing. My alpacas choose to spend the night in the snow.
    Goats sell for lots of reasons. Alpacas only sell to those breeding alpacas or the occasional fiber person.
    I do not recommend nigerians. Everyone I know that has them, they sell out within 2 years, just too hard to milk and do not produce enough.
    Find out what might sell in your area. People like nubian spots, others don't like nubian noise.
    I like lamanchas, many folks are crazy enouth to think they look wierd, lol. Once you know lamanchas, you know the ears don't matter. [​IMG]
  6. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    I'm thinking to start with the goats also. For all the reasons listed by others and because, in this economy few people have the money to buy an Alpaca. And, unless you truly spend great money (or find a rare 'fire sale' type deal) you won't get Alpacas with nice enough fleece to even be used. People who know Alpacas only buy the best fleece - so your potential client base is limited.

    However, Alpacas do eat less and can use a good pasture very effectively through most, or all, of the year. Whereas, if you are going to milk your goats they need to be on the same feed year round or you get off tasting milk. And, you need to give them grain/feed while milking. If you aren't going to milk, then goats can also be on pasture but not usually as long into the winter as Alpacas.

    Many people are starting to see the benefit of becoming more self sufficient and are looking for ways to do that. A good milk goat can actually be kept in a smaller area than an Alpaca and offers both milk and kids (for meat if needed/wanted) to help offset grocery costs. We are literally saving $200 a month on milk costs here by milking goats and not buying milk at the store. Therefor, you have a larger client base to sell goats to. You talked about Nigis... obviously they can be milked and give a good amount of milk for their size. However, you need to get them from a milking line as some of them just don't cut it when it comes to milking. So, going with a standard dairy breed may be a better option. Or, get some of each! [​IMG]
  7. The Nigi breeder I am thinking of going with has lovely milking lines and shows the pants off her goats all over New England.
    I originally thought about going with them because for their size they are supposed to produce a good amount of milk for the amount of food they consume.
    I have heard that some of those dairy goats can produce a ton of milk and my family just doesn't use alot. We go through maybe two gallons of milk a week.
    I know I could make yogurt and cheese and whatnot with the surplus but I have a feeling that with a pair of real dairy goats I would be drowning in milk.

    I supose I could feed some to my chickens....

  8. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    have both! i just got my Alpacas...mine are only pet quality...$300 each....and so i am sure the fiber is very poor quality.* i know nothing about their fiber! LOL..*..but...for us its not a business investment like you are looking for...we just wanted pets and the fiber is still good enough for our own personal use.*man is it ever soft!!..i love to pet them!*..i DO know that you can make alot of money with Alpacas...but you really have to spend alot to get top quality stock...i think more people are looking for goats honestly....a good goat breed that is dual purpose...Alpines are good!...*i'm just partial to them cause i have one!..* [​IMG] BUT Nigi's are SO cute... [​IMG] and i have heard they do give decent amount of milk...good luck!, Wendy
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2009

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