If you are thinking of buying Alpacas use the checklist below to see if you can look after your Alpaca before you buy.
Here are the very basic things you MUST be able to do for your alpaca before you decided to purchase. This will keep your alpaca happy and healthy.
- Do you have acreage? (at least one acre is required for 2-3 alpaca). A healthy alpaca requires grazing as well as some hay supplement over winter.
- Worming. This needs to be done at least twice per year with a recommended drench. This can be purchased from your local veterinarian.
- Vaccination. This is done when the cria is young, 4 to 8 weeks and then again 4 weeks later. This gives their immune system the boost required to sustain health.
- Shearing. This must be done on a yearly basis for animal health.
Keeping Your Alpaca Healthy
Basics of overall health and management of alpacas
Obvious (yet not so obvious) essentials for health
Reasons that are not so obvious
All alpacas need adequate nutrition, even though they are excellent converters. Alpacas that are under more “stress” – not literally stressed as we would consider ourselves stressed, but metabolic stress: especially growing animals (especially once weaned – 6 months old), and females that are mid to late pregnant or lactating. These animals are producing – milk.
CLEAN FRESH water is essential at all times. Water troughs or containers should be cleaned regularly especially where contamination is a problem and in hot weather to prevent algae and mosses building up, some of which can be harmful.
Especially in inclement weather: stormy, cold and windy: and for freshly shorn animals. Although alpacas are quite hardy in cold weather in full fleece, if they become very wet and it is windy they can suffer from exposure and hypothermia and this can be fatal.
MALE STUD HERD
Our herd of Mature Males runs together, out of sight of our females. They get along fine most of the time, just occasionally having a sort out of the pecking order, by indulging in a couple of hours of mayhem!! ― fighting and screaming, rearing and biting at each other’s vulnerable areas, until the main contestants end up dribbling and trembling with exhaustion.
They all settle back down to grazing after a short while, usually none the worse for it, as all their hooked Fighting Teeth are checked and cut off as necessary, every shearing day.
All of our boys are unrelated, separate bloodlines and colours, giving us a large and varied gene pool to draw on when selecting Stud Males for our years’ breeding program, or for any of our customers requiring the same.
Females that have given birth, are re-mated 10 – 24 days later, depending on how easy the birthing was. The selected STUD MALE is introduced into a small paddock containing one or more females and their Crias. The male will usually very quickly select the female that is the most open for mating and begin ORGLING, a gurgling noise made in the back of the throat throughout.
The act of Mating in Camelids is a leisurely affair, lasting from 10 to 40 minutes.
There is a no more wonderful sight than an exuberant herd of female alpacas and their Crias in the dusk of a summer evening, as they go “Pronking” like gazelles round their paddock. It is one of the many things that make Alpaca keeping a memorable and rewarding experience.
There are 22 natural colours in Alpacas and we have had most of them in our herd, at one time or another. One of the things that makes breeding alpacas so interesting is that you don`t know what colour will appear! Absolutely marvellous!!!
The Gestation period being 11 to 12 months. Their Crias are born at the best time of the year for sunshine, very important for providing Vitamin D, which is essential for growth in new-born Crias