A Guide to on-going Alpaca Care

A regular schedule for on-going alpaca care is essential to maintain your herd's optimal health and wellbeing. Taking the time to set up good animal husbandry practices with your alpacas right from the start is one of those cases where an ounce of prevention really is better than a pound of cure. A consistent routine and timely identification of problems will greatly reduce stress on both owners and alpacas. 

Daily tasks consist of providing fresh water and feed, clearing waste as well as providing shelter and protection from predators. It is necessary for an alpaca owner to observe their animals every day for signs of stress, injury or disease especially in pregnant or nursing females.

Any changes in an alpaca's behaviour or health that the owner can't identify should result in a visit from the local veterinarian. It is especially essential that you develop a relationship with a local veterinarian BEFORE any problems develop. A lot of veterinarians have little experience with camelids so it may be necessary to call around before finding one that is willing and able to deal with any problems that may arise.

Each individual breeder or owner will have decide in concert with their vet on a schedule for giving vaccinations and de-worming. Another maintenance issue to consider is the trimming toenails and teeth as needed.

Development of a bio-security program is an important aspect of any farms animal husbandry plan. Consulting your local vet and other farmers will help when considering each aspect of your bio-security program.

Alternative medicines may be another avenue you might like to consider. Working with your alpacas on a consistent basis covering all training tasks such as: haltering, leading or loading and unloading, that will be a part of their routine will help to build a relationship of trust between you and your alpacas.

Yearly tasks include shearing, birthing and breeding. Some tasks, such as implanting micro-chips, need only be carried out once in a lifetime.

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