Productivity of domestic South American camelids flock in the Parinacota Province, Chile. II. Description of management and estimation of stock unit equivalencies.

Giorgio Castellaro G.1, Cristián Gajardo A., Víctor H. Parraguez G., Roberto Rojas C. y Luis Raggi S

The main objective ofthis study, conducted in the highlands ofthe province ofParinacota (18°10' Lat. S.; 69°20' Long.W.; 4.400 meter aboye sea level), was to describe the structure, composition and management ofa typical domestic flock ofSouth American camelids, lamas and alpacas (CSAD) and also to estimate live weight and requirement profiles of different animal categories in order to calculate stock units for guiding better farm planning. One of main limitations in those production systems is the inappropriate age structure, and an excessive number ofadult animals with detriment to growing animals was. Due to the harsher conditions of the Chilean highlands of the North anda probably excessive stocking rate, liveweight of adult animals was lower than Iiterature reports. The hypothesis that llama is more efficient than alpaca at gaining weight was confirmed with regard to young animals. Llamas are more rustic and better adapted to adverse nutritional conditions than alpacas. Taking into account annual values for ME required per animal, the following stock unit equivalencies per category we calculated that 52 kg ofliveweight adult female alpaca and 78 kg of liveweight adult female llama are equivalent to 0.15 and 0.19 AU, respectively. In young animals, stock unit equivalence ranged from 0.07 to 0.09 AV, depending upon species and sexo

Keywords: Highland, domestic South American camelids, Iiveweight variations, stock unit equivalence, stocking rate, animal unit.
1 Actividad privada, Apolo 6 Nº 1843, Vitacura, Santiago, Chile. E-mail:giolucas@ctc.internet.cl.