July 1, 2010 at 6:36 am #252581
Which would you choose to keep and why, if you were us.
We have 35 acres but a lot of that is treed so lets say we have about 10 accres cleared land. We want to keep some animals, besides the chooks, but can’t decide on which would be the best long term investment.
We can buy pigs for $80 each. Alpacas are around $250. Sheep are really dear at the moment, so not sure about them.
But, which would be the best type of animal to have if you were looking at perhaps feeding 2 people or selling off the extra bits (like the wool from the sheep).
Which are the easiest to manage?
Is there another option?
Please tell me your opinions.
KerriJuly 1, 2010 at 6:48 am #470364brymarkMember
You can eat alpacas?July 1, 2010 at 6:50 am #470365
You can eat alpacas?
Ummm I’m not sure what alpacas are good for exactly, but they do look cute and I think you can breed a few and sell them to buy other meat. I think you can use their wool too. I really wish I was some sort of expert, lol.July 1, 2010 at 6:50 am #470366
I would like the same info. Kerri I would be interested in your source for Alpacas $250.00 is cheaper than what I have been quoted.
I am looking for animals to graze only though
JillJuly 1, 2010 at 6:54 am #470367
Jill, the bloke that I bought the alpaca poo from at the market said that he would sell me one for $250 or 2 for $400. Sounded like a bargain to me. I’ll give you his details if you want, but they are a bit sketchy. Like his name is John (locally called John the Pomme) and he lives on the Avoca Road and is building a new house. How’s that? I think I can get his phone number if you want, I can pm you if you like.July 1, 2010 at 6:59 am #470368
I am assuming they are wethers? Would be interested in contacting him and my hubbie also has a work collegue looking for couple of Alpacas. Avoca Road is not too far from where we are moving to
JillJuly 1, 2010 at 7:00 am #470369
Ahhh that is Avoca Road in Dunolly. They were females. He had no males left apparently.July 1, 2010 at 7:02 am #470370
oh ok I have been advised to get wethers I believe they are better for protecting and grazing
CheersJuly 1, 2010 at 7:49 am #470371KaffMember
You can eat alpacas?
Ummm I’m not sure what alpacas are good for exactly, but they do look cute and I think you can breed a few and sell them to buy other meat. I think you can use their wool too. I really wish I was some sort of expert, lol.
Yes, yes you can. I’ve had alpaca sort of casseroled, although it was cooked that way to feed many people. It was from a top end alpaca breeder, but it tasted ok. Mostly like redder lamb.
If you’re not planning to kill animals yourselves, check with the nearest abattoir (and that you have a nearest abattoir) that they will take what you want processed. For example, our nearest abattoir is run by Muslims so of course we can’t take pigs there. Then you will need to butcher the meat and have somewhere safe and clean to hang and cut it up. Or find a good butcher.July 1, 2010 at 8:21 am #470372libran50Member
I have 2 alpaca wethers. The advantages of alpacas are:
They don’t break through fences
They do all their poo in the one spot. Great for collecting for the garden
You can use their fleece for mulch if the quality is not good enough for spinning.
They are very amusing
The disadvantages are
You should have them shorn annually. Not always easy to find someone to come to your property to shear or else you have to cart them to a shearer.
They are browsers. You cannot let them into your orchard
They live for 25 years and often people want to offload them when they get sick of the alps eating their fruit trees.
I thought a wether would be cheaper than $250. There is an oversupply.
As for eating them – I’ve heard something about that but its not commonplace.
In retrospect I guess I would opt for sheep that don’t need to be shorn but I do love my alps
Hope this helps
GerriJuly 1, 2010 at 10:25 am #470373chriskMember
I have alpaccas..wethers only and they are easy to care for but I do not think I could eat them. We will of course use their fleece for spinning. No real money to be made from 2 by the time you shear, worm and otherwise care for them. The fleece does cover their costs though.
We also have sheep. Wiltipoll and dorpers. Both are easy care shedders. Grow fast, fetch a good price and are easy to care for and pretty much eat anything available. Of course they taste great too.
The dorpers do have more lambs than the wiltipolls. But the wiltipols are not fence crawlers like the dorpers can be if they take a liking to next door.
So in my opinion it is 6 of one and half a dozen of the other.
We love em all.July 1, 2010 at 11:18 am #470374weaverMember
We breed alpacas and I would never eat one as they have the best personalities and it would be like eating a human :rip:
$250 is pretty cheap for wethers and very cheap for females (I would be checking their age etc etc) We sell our wethers for $350.00 and just dont have enough to sell as the demand around here is very high. Females that are registered are generally from $500 upwards.
Gerri listed the benefits of alpacas very well. They are incredibly easy to manage and around your way I would think there would be a few shearers.
We also have Damara sheep and some goats.
I would think a few sheep with the aim of meat and a couple of alpacas to look after them and keep you amused (they are incredibly entertaining and definitely big time wasters) as well as supplied with manure would be the perfect mix.July 1, 2010 at 12:25 pm #470375DocMember
Hi Kerri :wave:
Not really much help but can only reiterate the other posts.
A good friend of mine has many alpacas (boys, girls and cria) and dorpers and between the lot of them (the animals) they provide plenty of delicious meat (the sheep) and wool – my friend spins (wheel and spindle) and runs a craft shop,
It seems a good set up since (she says) the wool from the alpacas and her spinning covers the annual haircut (the alpacas, not her).
They do have great personalities, too – the alpacas not my friend. Oops, that came out wrong :geek:
Great watchdogs, erm, alpacas, too. Have seen them sort out foxes with ease.
Got to agree with weaver, too. Great time wasters 😀
Doc 😉July 1, 2010 at 8:18 pm #470376PeterMember
Kerri, If you are going to run Pigs you need to decide how you intend to run them….Free Range or enclosure System…not all breeds are suitable to Free range… you also, need to register with the DPI To get a property Identification Code… very easy and free. How will you feed them……Grains or Pellets….. as pigs do not do very well on just Pasture, if you choose grains…Wheat, Barley, Lupins etc then the grain needs to be Milled as whole grain is not easy digestable by pigs…so I would suggest Pellets but they come at a price…
A very good book on pigs by Lee McCosker is available…Free Range Pig Farming (Starting Out),,,,,at firstname.lastname@example.orgJuly 1, 2010 at 9:46 pm #470377roogzMember
agree with the rest that has been said – however if you want sheep (the shearing type) and don’t mind hand raising some lambs now is the perfect time to have a chat with your sheep growing neighbours or pop a post up on the local board.
the farmers around here, used to bring me there orphans (before Sarah was born now I don’t have the time) most of the time they were free sometimes i paid 5or 10 for them, depending on the farmer- takes a lot of work at the start and you loose a few lambs but it is a very cheap way of establishing a flock of sheep – you’ll get all sorts of breeds – but this will give you a chance to work out if you like any of them.
also if you have an abitoir(spelling) near you – they often have ewes lamb in the pens while waiitng to be slaughtered- these are usually free, as they have no commercail value, and usually get killed and thrown into the pet food bins.
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