Alpacas are the same species of the Camelid. The adults are relatively small, and they weigh about 150 to 170 lbs and have an average height of 36’’. They live anywhere from 15 to 20 years on an average. These animals were first imported from Peru but have now become a part of the livestock in North America. Though caring for an Alpaca is simple, you should take enough time to be with them so that they are not scared of you when you lead them. Also, when you spend time with them, you can catch early signs of problems.
Shelter: The most critical part of caring is to provide proper housing. You should also have enough space to store things related to them. You should take the help of Rack Manufacturers as they can build the best storage spaces for you inside the shelter, irrespective of whether you are raising it for breeding, fleece or for conducting classes like www.travelandleisure.com/animals/alpaca-dancing-classes-canada.
You can have a maximum of 8 alpacas in an acre of land. They are gentle animals and feed on the grass but do trample or uproot them. They need hay as well as pasture, with lots of orchard grass. The ranchers have a feed such as the Llama feed which is a supplemental feed of nutrients found at most farm stores and should be used when you have nursing or pregnant alpacas. If your soil is mineral deficient, then you should provide mineral supplements, best test the soil before feeding those supplements as overcompensation may leave them sick.
Worming: Another task involved in caring for these animals is the deworming shots. You can find shots or paste in local farms. You can use Dectomax or Ivomec, but Dectomax is stronger than Ivomec. The medicines should be rotated as the parasites become resistant to these medicines. Irrespective of the weather or pregnancy, alpacas have to be wormed, if ignored it can lead to painful death. You should always get these shots done by a veterinarian.
Grooming alpaca: Like your kid who needs to have a trimmed toenail, your alpaca also needs a trimmed toenail. The reason is that these overgrown nails can be a hindrance to your animal while walking. A garden shear is the best tool for this activity. Apart from the nails, it needs a monthly check of its ear for ticks and fleas. You should regularly weigh the animal to check the weight is perfect or not. You can use a livestock scale to do the body scoring, but for baby alpacas, a cria scale is a must. That is because a baby alpaca should start gaining weight after the 1st day, else it is a sign of something wrong.
Shearing: Spring of every year is the best time for shear as this is the best time to do it. Most people often wait till summer, but it is hazardous for your animal.The alpaca is already stressed due to the heat, and you do not want to add to its discomfort by shearing it then. You can use a scissor to trim the fleece if you do not have any equipment or could not find any shearers. Ensure that all your alpacas have no wool when it is summer.
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