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 9. General Alpaca Discussion
 Alpaca Cheese
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30 Posts

Posted - 07/07/2015 :  08:28:43 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi, Ive had someone approach to ask about keeping alpacas for fibre (which I'm used to being asked about) and for milk to make cheese (I'm not so used to). This person wants to , at some stage, look into milking females to make cheese to sell at farmer's markets. I said I'd look into it for them.

So, do females produce enough milk to be milked to make cheese in any quantity. What does it taste like and is there a market for it?
I don't know of anyone producing it here in Ireland.




Fiona McManus
Tinryland Alpacas


4103 Posts

Posted - 07/07/2015 :  09:11:46 AM  Show Profile  Send Judith a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
I believe that camels may produce enough milk for drinking or cheese, but alpacas are very limited in what they produce, not to mention how difficult it is to milk them out. I doubt we'll see alpaca dairy products on any sort of retail scale anytime soon. :-)

Judith Korff
LadySong Farm
Randolph, NY 14772
Cell: (716) 499-0383
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318 Posts

Posted - 07/07/2015 :  2:23:08 PM  Show Profile  Visit joeykatp's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I've tasted alpaca milk and it's a lot like cow's milk. It is difficult to milk out a dam but I'd think she could be trained to stand like other animals. I would just worry that this may be an added stress though which could precipitate health issues.
Pros and cons, I guess.

Kathy Paternoster
Our Father's Farm
New Hampton, NY
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469 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2015 :  12:23:50 AM  Show Profile  Visit renfarms's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Considering the size of udders and total daily output of alpacas compared to cows, goats, and sheep, I can't imagine it ever being a cost effective venture, as you would need such a large number of lactating alpacas and a lot of time spent milking out a few ounces at a time, in order to have a sufficient amount to make cheese with.

Bill and Louise Goebel
Renaissance Farms
McArthur, Ohio 45651
(740) 596-1468
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2967 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2015 :  11:32:59 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It would seem to me that this would be a unique use for older females who have fleece not so good, or because of the advances in genetics are not expected to produce higher quality cria's. Breed them one last time, ween the baby ASAP and continue milking them to keep the milk supply coming. I have females that will continue to nurse their young well past a year if we don't separate them so it is possible. I also have at least one female who will come into milk and nurse any cria she decides to adopt for what ever reason.

Might be a good use for older females until we can start using Embryo transplanting so these older females can put their excellent mothering and nursing to use in advancing excellent fleece.


Bob & Vicki Blodgett
Suri Land Alpaca Ranch
10371 N 2210 Road
Clinton, Oklahoma 73601
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2830 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2015 :  6:51:03 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I agree that it would require infinite patience and a ton of alpacas to get enough milk to do anything with it. Have you ever milked out a female? I was very lucky to get 9 ccs for a new baby, and that was with lots of effort on my part and a not very happy mom who kept kicking me the whole time. It did, by the way, bring in enough milk for the cria to get her colostrum, and she is nursing fine now. But cheese? I would forget it, and that is what I tell people who ask me the same question.

Christiane Rudolf
Tanglewood Farm
19741 Victory Lane
Fayetteville, Ohio 45118
(513) 875-2533
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