How young can you safely castrate an alpaca

Asked August 27, 2017, 6:49 AM EDT

I have three alpacas, two females and a seven week old male cria. I was wondering, at what age can I safely castrate the male cria? 9 months old? Separating them will be a nightmare and I don't want him to breed with his mom and sister.

Jefferson County Colorado

3 Responses

Unfortunately separating them will be the only method in the short time. Alpacas can be castrated earlier than llamas without the adverse effects on long bone growth. Llamas should not be castrated before 22-24 months to allow for normal bone growth and growth plate closure. However, this is not the case in alpacas. The general recommendation is to castrate males at 12 months or later, though some will castrate earlier. If the problems with separation are greater than potential, but minimal, risks for early castration - development of male urinary tract, fleece quality, then you could elect to castrate at 9 months or later.

Is there a chance he could reach sexual maturity before 12 months? I read males are normally sexually mature around 2.5 years.

Yes, depending upon his growth rate and health he could become sexually mature as early as 6 to 9 months.