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I am very new to the idea of owning alpacas. My grown daughter wants to go in partners with me on a small herd. I am to do the day to day chores. DD will help with the shearing,trimming, ect. DD is to take the fleece from that point and process it to either sell the yarn or to make salable items from it.

A little background on us. We are in Eastern Kentucky and have enough room for a small herd on our farm. We raise cattle(4), horses(2), chickens(15), and rabbits. We are not interested in showing but would like to do some breeding in the future. Small children visit our farm from time to time so a gentle disposition is desired.

I'm thinking in terms of perhaps two or three geldings to start with. I've done a lot of reading but still have many question in my mind.

Can I geld an intact male somewhat like a bull calf or is this a vet procedure(we are a long way from a vet)?

Can cattle or horses and alpacas graze together?

I'm thinking in terms of $1000 to $1500 to get started. Is this in the ball park?

I read a lot about looking for conformation and fleece quality but I haven't been able to find any specifics on what good conformation or fleece consists of. Can someone point me in the right direction?

Any help will be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Foghorn
 

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When ostrich came out everyone was going to get rich. Llamas were gold for awhile, Tibetan Yaks. ..... When it comes to big money (to me) it seems like the first in make money. Ostrich eggs went from pennies to 50 dollars and then in one dae up to 500 dollar. Alpaca hair is great for mom and pop shops, but we are so limited on machines to work with it here. Yes if you have money they are /or can be a good write off. If funds are limited, please be careful.
 

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You should be able to get some gelded boys for a couple hundred dollars each.
If they have already been halter trained, gentled and have really good fleece, expect to pay more.

You can check out what is in your area, what the prices are an so on, then go from there.

Depends on the horses for the most part.... Alpaca's and horses can get along.
Have also seen horses attack alpacas.
So I would just becareful when introducing them to each other.
 

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Males are typically gelded by vets and the procedure is very similar to how horses are gelded. Our vet quoted us $150 or thereabouts which is pretty much inline with what other vets in our state charge for castrations of this type.

You can run alpacas with horses and cattle. Lots of space and good temperaments (for the horses and cattle) will make it work out best. The alpacas are the ones most likely to be injured.

For geldings I wouldn't worry too much about conformation. Basically just make sure they have a good bite and aren't extremely knock-kneed (they all are a little bit). For fleece I would look for a dense coat, softness (will become more coarse as they age), staple length, and luster.
 

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On Facebook there are 2 groups you may find helpful. Paca This consists of experienced and new alpaca farmers. Lots of questions and answers. Sometimes people new to alpacas get a little freaked out from this group because most people have questions when something goes wrong, so it seems like something is ALWAYS going wrong. Not the case.
There is also Alpaca Re-home Remedy. This group allows people who need to rehome their alpacas to get the word out to people looking to have alpacas. Sometimes these are high quality animals whose owners have run into health or financial problems.
You can also spend time with local breeders or rescues. All the paca people I've met are more than happy to share what they know.
 

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Once in a while they run some at the sale. They go between $20-$100. Most times closer to 20. I have watched the entire cycle on these. Much like the ostrich craze years ago.

So you could pick up a couple to see if you like them. Your not out much even if you have to give them away. My local CL is plastered with them. Sometimes they are free and still the ad stays up for a while.
 
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