Saturday, 23 November 2013

p.Living in Fairer Shore

The last part is here:   Leaving the good shore in search of a better life 

Finally I have a pet. This little brown bat will keep me through the dark wintry days.

I was playing with it for the whole night. I believe it is a he. He would fly around me at very low flight path and I would use a magazine and wave it in the air. He will just fly over the magazine and come back again for more.

When he was tired, he would just rest on a tall speaker. I would just throw a sock at it to start it flying again.

When he was finally tired, he would climb through the chimney making clumsy sounds and disappeared into the night. The next following night, he would return and do the same playing with me.

I used to have a squirrel as a pet, I would feed the squirrel with fruits and biscuits. Although these animals are wild, they are absolutely fun to keep.

After my current fiascoes with the grand chieftains, I would be making a pigeon house to keep loads of pigeons. Don't know if they let me play with a pair of alpacas. I want to do some training before I go at it full time.


An amazing find! Recently I just spoken to an alpaca farmer, he said that to buy male wethers is very cheap. They can go for $50 a pop. If buy in bulk, it might even be cheaper. 

"It is generally accepted by most alpaca breeders that males who are not required for breeding are wethered. This results in a quieter, more handle-able animal who is not under the influence of sexual hormones. Wethers make great pets when sold to buyers who only want a small herd, and they are easier to manage on the stud farm, too. They don’t tend to fight, and can be kept with your breeding females without risk of an unwanted pregnancies, and some quiet machos also appreciate the company of a wether (don’t make assumptions on this – some working studs can’t stand wethers, and will attack your uncomprehending wether mercilessly. Be very sure that your macho is not aggressively inclined before leaving wethers and machos unsupervised). Wethers also make great companion animals for weanlings, sick animals, or any alpaca you need to separate from the main herd for any reason. Wethering make good practical sense both economically and for ease of management."

It is quite a joke the the current farmers are more inclined towards breeding champion alpacas and win prizes and in exchange be sold for a high breeding price. They are not interested in the true fleece production, which is the key farming activity. The farmers are not into hard work. They just keep alpacas and try to produce champions for sale. It is no different from trying to keep and breed fighting cocks for sale. A non-farm activity. Possibly below are the reason:

"Our farm of 75 plus alpacas and over 40 acres puts us in the large end of the range of all alpacas breeders though there are a few with over 500 alpacas and the largest, Magical Farms in Ohio, with more than 1,500 alpacas. There are many alpaca farms with only two or three alpacas though the national average falls into the ten to 20 alpaca range. Most herds start out small and grow to the size that fits the breeder's farm and financial goals. Since the alpacas are self-producing after a while, the farm will grow."

"The U.S. market is focused on breeding alpacas, not on fiber production. The actual value of the animal ultimately is based on what people will pay for it - or its services. The alpaca's only real economic service is to provide fleece (or more alpacas). With global alpaca production of fleece far outstripping demand there is no need for more fiber production locally. Spurious people promote alpaca breeding as a quick way to make money, but eventually people will realize that nobody will want to buy more alpacas and the price per animal will plummet.

The plummeting price might bring quality alpaca goods to your neck of the woods, but it is also a disaster for the poor U.S. alpacas and their farmers. The economics of raising an alpaca in the U.S. for profit on fiber alone is depressing. It is extremely difficult to make money, especially as Peru and other international fiber producing countries could readily supply any demand for the product. On this note, it might be wise for existing or future alpaca ranchers to think about adopting organic and sustainable practices now. Creating a niche market for local grown sustainable products might be the best way to weather the coming storm."  

"There is a considerable range in the purchasing prices for alpacas. The average selling price for purebred, breeding, registered stock is around $5000.00-$10000.00 Unregistered or non-breeding alpacas will generally sell for $200.00 to $500.00. There are cases where some people who no longer want their animals will take them to a general livestock or odd and unusual auction where they can fetch as low as $25.00. At such sales the buyer has no idea as to health or registration status of the animals so it is "buyer beware". At the other end of the scale, purebred, registered alpacas have sold for $30,000.00 and up. Not all alpacas are of equal value, please refer to the following sections for more detail."

For a package of 5 females and 2 males, it will give about 39.5 animals in 5 years' time. Sell off all animals that are 10 years or older. If the initial cost is 34 units, then in 5 years' time, it will worth 155 units, i.e., IRR of 35.44%. An excellent return.

Alpacas can be pastured at 5-10 per acre. The largest farm size is 3000 alpacas. I am fairly sure I will be the largest given a little more time. Together with my black truffles farming need, I am sure I am finally home.

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