Many sheep producers are using Alpacas as an environmentally friendly way to protect their flocks against predators. Alpacas have a strong natural instinct to protect their flocks, even if it is an adopted flock. Alpacas have the added advantage in that they also produce highly valuable wool fiber.
Many of the early farmers, especially in Australia, used them to protect their valuable stud stock. After getting increases in lambing percentages of greater than 20% they are now finding that it is economical to use alpacas to guard their commercial stock as well.
Farmers have made many encouraging remarks about the value of alpacas including:
The number of alpacas used to protect a fock depends mainly on the size and the shape of the paddock rather than the size of the flock. Alpacas will chase predators if they are seen or near the paddock. One mature alpaca per 20 ha should be sufficient. To protect against crows and other avian predators enough alpacas to protect each lambing ewe for about 3 hours should be sufficient. A rough guide of one alpaca per 100 ewes should be adequate.
The increasing number of Alpacas being kept in South Africa, as well as wool being shorn from these animals, has now made it economically viable to design and maintain a marketing system for the wool.
Details on classing standards and contact numbers can be found below.
Click here to download the guideline for classing of alpaca fibre via BKB.
Click here to download the guideline for the BKB alpaca sale system.
Click here for more information on using alpacas for flock protection.