February 13, 2011 at 12:03 am #254448
We’re on our little farm now and had ordered some sheep and alpaca’s to be delivered on wednesday. But was feeling a little too much all at once seeing as we’ve never had sheep or alpaca’s before. And was getting quite worried about our dogs as we have heard alpaca’s can kill them (and vice versa too./…..)
So after much reading, including a thread on here from last year, we decided not to get the alpaca’s just yet. First we’ll get our sheep, learn all about them, get the hang of caring for them; then before lambing we’ll start reading up on alpaca’s and make the decision whether to get two as herd guardians or not.
And decided before buying any, we’ll take the dogs to meet the alpaca’s to judge temperament etc….February 13, 2011 at 9:55 am #490639
Don’t alpacas also require special fencing?
I think you are being very wise in your approach. Enjoy your sheep! 🙂February 13, 2011 at 12:27 pm #490640
Just wondering what you’d need them for?
Did you know that alpacas are browsers like goats rather than sheep. The only pluses about alpacas are their guarding ability and wool.
We looked into having some alpacas but decided not to and will obtain sheep to keep grass down and sell both wool and meat – they’re relative easy to look after – there are many sheep owners here I think so ask more questions about sheep in a new thread would be a good way to get responses.
Good luck with your sheep!
Cheers!February 16, 2011 at 10:42 am #490641
Hi All, if you want alpacas to protect the lambs from fox’s then you want the alpacas that will make a fuss about the dogs 👿 – not ones that will casually accept them. However if you want pets and fleece produces go for the ones that don’t blink and eye – but don’t expect to much in the way of livestock guards:whistle: .
Alpaca’s will get used to the house dogs its only for the initial couple of weeks that you need to keep a really close eye on them – the alpacas will get used to what’s accepted around the farm – our marema can walk around them – learnt not to go within kicking distance:angry: – its only new alpacas that try to run her down (she’s learnt to get out of there way) however the new alpacas learn quick from the others and settle down after a couple of weeks.
conversely a dog or dog pack that will take down an alpaca will decimate a flock of sheep.
In terms of food – alpaca’s do like to browse but will happily live on pasture as well, a bit of roughage every now and them helps the digestion but like goats if you have trees in the paddock they will nibble and chomp –
they don’t need special fencing – if it will keep sheep in it will keep alpaca’s in they are not escape artists like goats – thankfully.
Its a wise idea to get one type of animal at a time its and easier learning curve – get your alpacas at least 4 weeks before lambing they need time to settle in and take ownership of the place
RoogzFebruary 16, 2011 at 8:04 pm #490642
My Dad has two alpaca’s specifically for fox and wild dog issues. They can’t stand his two house dogs or the kelpie work dog, but if Dad is around they won’t charge at the kelpie when she is rounding up the flock.
He seems happy with them.February 18, 2011 at 2:22 pm #490643
We breed alpacas. They dont mind our Border Collie but he is wary of some of them. No special fencing. You do need to keep them out of the garden as they will prune everything in sight. I would be more than happy to answer any questions you might have.February 19, 2011 at 2:55 pm #490644
Thanks for your replies! I haven’t been able to get in since posting but just sorted that out!
Well, cut a mid-size story short, we did end up getting the alpacas. And not nearly as worrying as I’d let it play out in my imagination!
One is very aware of when we are nearby, specially with a dog with us. Nothing aggressive but he will put his ears back and look right at us as long as we are there.
The other seems alot calmer, though will try to round the sheep up a little if he feels we are getting too close.
They are two boys for herd guardians for the sheep. We also have them next to the chook paddock so hope they’ll guard them a little too.
We fenced for the sheep so that’s apparently fine for the alpaca’s. Plus a bonus the last people set up 3 of the property boundary fences really well – they have chicken wire mesh all along, so acts as a deterrent for other dogs etc. Ok I know a determined one would get through easy enough, but, for example, the neighbours dogs wouldn’t be able to get thru the chicken wire, but would if it was just the strands.
As soon as our pup saw them she started barking…oh dear I thought! But she only seems to bark if she doesn’t realise they are there and suddenly sees them. So I guess its her getting used to them too. And making sure she’s on a leash whenever I have her out there with me.
So, they’re busy settling in and learning the property! And we’re slowly getting to know each other! One unforseen issue we didn’t realise is horses don’t like them – and the neighbours have horses! Oops! But the neighbours are sure the horses will get used to them; and once we’ve added some extra strands to the next paddock we can move them out of sight of the neighbours horses.
And any added advice or tips would be much appreciated!February 19, 2011 at 3:03 pm #490645
Hayley our neighbours have horses too and they get used to the alpacas very quickly. We used to see a woman who taught riding bring her students right up to our front fence and make the horses stand still and look at the alpacas. You will love them once you get to know them yourself and sounds like you are doing exactly the right things with the dogs.February 20, 2011 at 12:47 pm #490646
That’s exactly what our neighbours were doing with their horses. So should be OK!
Went down with the pup yesterday and just spent a long time standing there and talking to the sheep and alpaca’s; the pup intially barked; then ended up lying down and letting out an occasional low growl. The alpaca’s were wary but the sheep were curious and they all stayed near the fence line!
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