In researching alpacas, alpaca ownership and husbandry, you’ll come across alpacas advertised as “fiber quality”, “gelded fiber males” or just “fiber males”. So what’s up with these alpacas?
These alpacas are generally considered non-breeding animals and can be used for producing great fiber for your projects. A gelded alpaca refers to the removal of the testicles ofthe males so they cannot reproduce.
As an intact male alpacas begins to mature, they will start to notice the females more and more. Then its like high school all over again! Pacing back and forth on the fence line wrestling with each other to prove dominance. We recommend separating these young boys from the girls around 8-12 months of age. Some males will come into maturity quicker than others as early as 12 months. Intact males will have higher levels of testosterone which will effect the quality of the fiber making it more course as it matures.
One thing to consider is not every male is a worthy breeder. In fact, we will use only 1% of the males we have as breeders. Many times we will also use other studs for our females. Studs that exhibit the quality characteristics we are looking for.
Intact males temperament will be a little more frisky especially when near females. All males will develop and grow fighting teeth that will need to be trimmed. Once an intact males realizes he has fighting teeth, be aware. He will use them to his advantage. Always keep them trimmed. It may also be necessary to separate intact males to avoid damage to each other.
Please don’t think intact makes are unruly. Just like with most animals, the more you train them the better they will handle. We have also been experienced a group of intact makes get along quite nicely. The older ones are king and put the younger ones in their place. It’s nothing more than herd dominance
A gelding usually will have an even keel temperament. He will not be as interested in the females and more interested in food. Watch out for geldings becoming overweight! Lower levels of testosterone will grow better fleece than an intact males. As described above, the more you handle and train your animal the better disposition it will have.
Lastly, alpacas advertised as “fiber alpacas” or “gelding fiber alpacas” serve an integral part in the future can make for great fiber animals and enjoyable to watch in the pasture.