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YACKA RIDGE ALPACAS

WETHERS - ALPACAS AS GUARDIANS AND PETS

See listing below for currently available males

For Superior Quality Females follow this link Females

Follow this link for Bargain Basement Females Bargain Basement

For package deals on females follow this link Package Deals

Last updated 7/10/2017

Alpacas are one of four members of the South American camelid species. Like all camelids they are hardy, intelligent and gregarious animals that have evolved with strong herd social instincts. Both females and males are very protective of each other and especially of their young.

Alpacas are normally gentle toward humans and other animals that are not seen as threatening but they have an innate dislike for canines and foxes.

The instinct for one or two alpacas to bond with other grazing animal herds, and especially their proven ability to protect sheep and goats, has resulted in the growing use of wethered adult male alpacas as sheep flock guardians, especially during and after lambing and kidding.

The alpacas dislike of predators leads to them stalking and chasing any that enter the paddock which they are patrolling. Upon observation, an alpaca will watch the predator whilst giving out a warning call to its charges alerting them to possible danger. The alpaca will then move forward and assess the threat. If it is a real threat he will then swiftly charge at the intruder and attempt to run it down, and kick or stomp upon it.

There are numerous eyewitness accounts of foxes being chased and killed by alpaca guardians. It is also not uncommon for farmers to find their guardian males looking after lambs of ewes that have died in birthing, protecting them from possible attack. They have also been known to shield lambs from attack by eagles - standing over them to stop swooping.

Whilst alpacas are very effective against foxes and lone dogs, they are not foolproof and may not be able to defend a flock against a pack attack. However, their bravery cannot be questioned as there are numerous accounts of alpaca dying in defence of their flocks in such attacks, and their attempts to protect the flock have probably significantly reduced losses.

Whilst it is possible to use females as guardians, if they are also used for breeding, they will forgo protecting other stock in favour of their own kind, so we always recommend the use of wethered males for this purpose.

The instinct for protecting a flock is usually not fully developed until the males reach at least 18 months of age, and castration is always the best way to ensure the boys keep their mind on the job and avoid instances of entire males attempting to mate with ewes.

With small flocks of either sheep or goats, up to around 60, we advise that only one alpaca is suitable, more is not always better as they can form their own mob and neglect the stock. But for larger flocks it is worth considering extra to give good protection, particularly in large, hilly or wooded paddocks.

To avoid undue stress, an alpaca should not be kept alone in a paddock as they are a herd animal and need some sort of companionship, be it a sheep, goat or other livestock.

Alpaca are a grazing/browsing stock, so do not require any special feeding regime, they will do quite well on whatever the other stock are eating.

With normal care, such as annual shearing, vaccinations and drenching, guardian alpacas should remain active and useful for up to 15 years and they will pay for themselves many times over.

Our sales of guardians are strong, with many return sales to graziers impressed by increased lambing rates from their initial purchases. As our wethers are run with our small lambing ewe flock, they are all experienced with other stock and ready to go to work saving you money.

Each year we have a limited number for sale, so give us a call, or drop us an email to find out what we currently have available. We also occasionally have boys for sale as pets for small land holdings, but please note, alpacas are not suitable for your average suburban house block!

Below is a list of some of the wethers and pets we have for sale. As the boys reach maturity, they become available for sale, so not all of them may be on the list. Please call for more details.

For a list of males and wethers for sale follow this link HERE

To contact us for more information, use this email address info@yackaridge.com

For Superior Quality Females follow this link Females

Follow this link for Bargain Basement Females Bargain Basement

For package deals on females follow this link Package Deals

YACKA RIDGE ALPACAS
1609 TORRENS VALLEY ROAD, BIRDWOOD, SA
PHONE: (08) 8568 5254
MOB.: 0407 602 039