Archive for Downsizer For an ethical approach to consumption
 


       Downsizer Forum Index -> Livestock and Pets
Sally Too

Alpaca Advice Please...

A good friend of mine wants to get a couple of alpacas this year, with a view to doing more as a business with them in the future.

She is taking a change of direction in her work - it will take a bit of time to wind down the current work - and has the facilities and abilities to look after large animals.

She hopes to breed eventually and develop a herd (is that the right word?) for producing their wool.

Any comments or pointers welcome. Links to good websites or reputable breeders in UK welcomed. Also commentary on the market for the wool etc. appreciated.

I thought a few on here might just have a little inside type knowledge that could start her in the right direction.
Chez

There are a couple of people around here that are well thought of, I think. Spring Grove Alpacas near Milverton, who are friends-of-a-friend and Ashdale Alpacas, who are friends of mine. I think Alison keeps some, too?
Sally Too

Thanks, although we are in N.Ireland, I think she is quite prepared to travel to view.

Okay great ... stuff to look at here Smile
http://ashdalealpacas.com/ & http://www.alpacasandrarebreeds.com/

Thanks.
Finsky

I visited last week Amber Valley Alpacas here in Midlands..they sell their animals as well as 'wool'..animals looked to be in great condition and everything very neat and tidy Very Happy
http://www.ambervalleyalpacas.co.uk/
I don't know how the their prices compare though!
alison

What does she want to know.

I have male, female and wethers.

I keep mine for livestock protection, fleece and breeding.
Sally Too

I think some of her questions would be about determining wool quality and the best breed lines for good wool.

Also what the market is like for Alpaca wool.

Where is it mostly sold to, and so on?

She has the facilities and also experience keeping cattle, horses, pigs, hens etc. This would be a diversification, that would hopefully bring in some income in the long run.
Mithril

Unless things have changed a lot in the last 5 years I'd say put your money into something else :/
alison

I think some of her questions would be about determining wool quality and the best breed lines for good wool.

Also what the market is like for Alpaca wool.

Where is it mostly sold to, and so on?

She has the facilities and also experience keeping cattle, horses, pigs, hens etc. This would be a diversification, that would hopefully bring in some income in the long run.


Wool is tested for count, so she would be able to determine that herself. It depends what you are selectively breeding for, but you can improve your wool by choosing better males over your herd. (much the same as any animal)

We market our fibre ourselves, some to spinners, and some is processed and sold online. Like many other products we have developed our own stratagy to suit our needs.

Ours pay for themselves, and are definitely one of the factors for visitors staying here, which is an indirect bonus for the tourism business we also run.
madcat

Am I right in thinking there's an issue with Alpacas and bovine TB?
Nick

They have been shown to carry it, in Wales, on trekking holiday type places, and it's been passed to humans, but I don't see it as a major worry.
Mithril

Am I right in thinking there's an issue with Alpacas and bovine TB?


There is. The chap I kept mine with had one of his diagnosed with it a week after I'd sold my flock! There aren't the same rules as with cattle, but DEFRA as well as the buyer were informed. Plus his whole flock had to be tested and retested until clear. Between that and the blue tongue scare nothing was sold or moved for months and months. This was Dorset, not Wales, but 6 or so years ago.

I was led to believe that the problem was probably more wide spread but brushed under the carpet. :dunno:
Sally Too

Thanks for all the replies folks. My friend has a lot to consider just now... Cool madcat

Alpacas are complicated in their behaviour too, a visit to an Alpaca farm convinced me that sheep were a whole lot better.
I like the idea of some pretty Shetland sheep or some pretty crosses with lovely fleeces.

All livestock is capable of being a worry, the only trouble free livestock is when it's on the plate . Laughing
alison

Alpacas are complicated in their behaviour too, a visit to an Alpaca farm convinced me that sheep were a whole lot better.
I like the idea of some pretty Shetland sheep or some pretty crosses with lovely fleeces.

All livestock is capable of being a worry, the only trouble free livestock is when it's on the plate . Laughing

I think the alpacas are tons easier to keep than sheep.
madcat

Alison you may well be right, I'm trying to avoid getting drawn into sheep keeping . Two family members have them and I'm not ready yet to join them.

Can you tell us more about Alpacas, their funny ways and care needs. I got the impression that they were capable of being easily upset and rather enthusiastic about breeding .

No animal is easy care, mind you I think sheep might be marginally less aggravation than men with the added advantage that they can be sold if they're a bother and there's always the freezer option.
The authorities would take a dim view of sections of deep frozen husband in with the frozen peas. Laughing
alison

All our animals are checked 3 or 4 times a day, depending on where we are working on the farm, so day to day welfare is monitored.

The wethers and males have very little handling, but a lot of close contact with us walking through, and a bit of nosey hand feeding. Once a year they are sheared, teeth and feet done and injections.

The females have a bit more checking around birth time, and more handling when the baby is born, but again, a lot of hand feeding.

They can be a bit flightly if startled, but are funny to watch with the dog and each other.
       Downsizer Forum Index -> Livestock and Pets
Page 1 of 1
Home Home Home Home Home