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4 Mar 20, 2019 08:06 pm

in response to: Do you think all alpacas should be registered?

I think there should be a record of all alpacas as we need that for the industry to move forward. This record should not be costly. I don’t think there needs to be a genetic confirmation for all alpacas. As breeders are selling off excess alpacas as "pets" and new owners breed "pets" our population is not always fairly represented as pet owners cannot register or account for the offspring.

I would posit that questions as to the benefits and cost-effectiveness of registering all alpacas was always going to be devisive once the hype and exoticness of owning alpacas faded and hard economics became the new reality.
While a viable registry is a must, the ability of stakeholders to justify the cost becomes more pressing and necessary as early investors in the industry understand the reality that not all alpaca breeders are seed stock suppliers and that every animal is a valuable breeding animal ……
What we have now is a growing number of alpaca owners who are more hard-nosed about costs of production and return on their investment dollars - registering an animal has to be justified against the fiber return for many, especially for males born and placed in the fiber and meat sectors of the industry.
Registration costs are high for the benefit they bestow on commercially-oriented fiber and terminal market suppliers - and they must be given that the industry body (AOA) relies largely on the cah-flow to cover its not insubstantial costs.
I don’t think registration can be so easily classified as help or hindrance - I think it is much more about doing ‘business’ than anything but I am prepared to be challenged on that point-of-view!

6 Mar 14, 2019 08:18 pm

in response to: Field Breeding vs Hand Breeding

Of course you can buy a ram harness that holds a crayon in it that rubs the back of the female as she is mounted. By changing the crayon color each week you can see which animals are returning for service and which ones that appear to be holding a pregnancy - this also allows the breeder to more accurately predict the future birthdate as well …..

7 Mar 14, 2019 08:15 pm

in response to: Posionous Plants

Thanks Rolf - it is interaction like this that will make the forum an invaluable resource for alpaca growers all over the world!

8 Mar 14, 2019 08:12 pm

in response to: Do you think all alpacas should be registered?

Simply put, if anyone is buying or breeding for the commercial market the cost of registration is a production cost that has no influence on the quality and/or quality of the fleece or meat……..

10 Feb 17, 2019 05:36 pm

in response to: Field Breeding vs Hand Breeding

I believe the opposite is true as well. Though I’ve never seen only one attempt to breed. I’ve never seen excessive attempts or excessive breeding. I believe there is somewhat of a courtship that has to take place. Though the dam cushes for the male, she still has control of whether she let’s him breed with her or not. She can tuck in her tail and fold her back legs tightly around it. It’s up to him to woo her into submitting. It has been my experience that any attempts of courtship after 2 months are quickly put to a halt by the dam and the male seems to abruptly loose interest and go back to a peaceful co-existence. This is when I time the due date. Funny, but I think they know what they’re doing better than we do.

11 Feb 17, 2019 04:49 pm

in response to: Field Breeding vs Hand Breeding

Good observation on your part! Yes, I pull out the male after 2 or 3 months, much to their dismay. I believe they are more efficient when you let them sort things out. I’m wondering if you find that the male successfully settles with just one breeding? I often see people comment that field breeding causes "overbreeding," but I believe the opposite is more likely the case. Thank you again. Helpful to know!

12 Feb 17, 2019 09:36 am

in response to: Field Breeding vs Hand Breeding

When we first started raising alpacas, the common practice in our area was hand breeding. This turned out to be quite a chore with getting the female in the breeding pen, letting the male in and sometimes waiting for him to decide if he wanted to breed or graze. Once he settled the female, making sure he got the job done and timing the process. Sometimes this took all day and was exhausting!
It was out of necessity that we started field breeding. I had accidentally discovered when we put a young male in with our females, that night time breeding was preferred. He was a good male so if he bred everyone of them, that was fine with me. And so in the darkness of the night we could hear the soft orgling of the Male. It was a calm and peaceful event. Soon we didn’t hear his nighttime song.
This was our mistake… We left the males in with the females reasoning that if the dams slipped the pregnancies the male would know and re-breed her. However, a month or so before the due date, I had noticed a male chasing a dam. Nothing ever came of it so I didn’t think much about it until we found the dam had aborted and the male was trying to breed so we separated them.
When this happened again with a different male, I reasoned that the dams hormone levels must be changing therefore exciting the male causing him to want to breed which stresses the dam to the point of aborting.
We still pasture breed but pull the males at no more than 3 months before due dates.

14 May 16, 2018 07:43 am

in response to: Shearing shed preparation

I feel as though I’ve seen one in an OLD alpaca magazine or something … Can try to track it down.

Also, the forum works :)