New or future owners wonder what potential alpaca risks exist. Risks are few but you should be aware of them.
Your alpacas are live animals. Risks include illness, injury, or death.
Keep your risks to a minimum with good fencing.
You should insure your valuable assets, your alpacas. It means more money needed to start but it is well worth protecting your financial investment. It is not cheap to buy an alpaca and a loss can devistate a new owner.
After your herd has grown and you have enough alpacas to sell to cover the loss of one, you can remove the insurance.
Some alpaca breeders only remove the insurance after they have made back their original investment through sales of females or stud service.
One of the alpaca risks that rears its head when you breed is the possibility of your cria dying. You have just lost a whole year. While this may not ruin you, it will set you back.
Our very first baby died at birth. No fault of our own. The female was still at the farm we purchased her from. It was her first baby and the labor was long. Apparently, it was just too exhausting for the cria.
The breeder tried to save the cria but was unable. We arrived at the farm to find our beautiful, white female cria dead. We were stunned. This wasn't supposed to be the way it went.
We knew there was a risk of an animal dying but certainly weren't prepared for it to be the very first one. We shed some tears and then moved on. This was the world of livestock breeding.
The breeder rebred our female. It took 11 1/2 months to get our next baby. Turned out it was another beautiful, white female cria but this one lived.
Another Breeding Risk
At one seminar we attended, the speaker said be sure all of your cria are female. Having just purchased our bred females, we laughed.
The breeders market that exists today requires you to have females to sell or studs to make a profit.
Most males are not studs. If they are not studs, then they are pet quality. Stud fees range from $1500.00 and up. A pet quality male sells for $500-$1000. So you are probably in the hole if you have a male unless you own a stud.
"Oh, who's unlucky enough to only get males?" you say. Well, that white female we told you about was the last female cria we had. There's no guarantee what sex you will get.
We can't imagine most people are as unlucky as us. We heard of others that have gotten just the opposite, all or mostly female crias.
We just thought you should be aware that the potential for this to happen is there.
Even with the alpaca risks mentioned, and the fact that they happened to us, we have never regretted owning alpaca.
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