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About Alpacas - Getting Started


Alpacas are robust animals that generally need minimal attention. However, like all animals, you will need to make sure that they are OK each day and there are a few routine care regimes that need to be adhered to.


Keeping alpacas – what you will need

Pasture with shelter from sun and rain, especially for your young crias and the weaners, with food provided in the dry. The feet are padded, gentle on the land, so create much less mud than hoofed animals.

Keep your animals in good condition and they will reward you with many healthy crias. They do need a constant supply of fresh water. Alpacas are grazers and browsers, so any trees or shrubs might be eaten. You will need to control poisonous plants in your pasture and wherever your animals can reach.
 

The breeding herd of Manor House Alpacas is run in an open stable system as commonly used in Europe for horses. The animals have got free choice between stable and paddock at any time.

Inside we offer free-choice oat hay and supplement with an energy concentrate and a vitamin and mineral supplement as necessary. On the pasture they are grazing kikuyu.

Additional to our stud herd we are running a group of fiber boys extensively for three years now. These guys’ only job in life is to provide us with their beautiful fiber.

We are running this group of males of various ages extensively - they have got grazing, water, a lick and trees for shade and are doing quite brilliantly.


Alpaca Care @ Manor House Alpacas

Alpacas are herd animals and should always be kept with other alpacas. You should never keep only one alpaca as it will suffer severe stress.

You will need to monitor any potential worm burden and treat where appropriate.

We also vaccinate against Clostridia, Bluetongue, Anthrax, Botulism and Rift Valley Fever. Vector control, however, also forms an essential part of any herd management program.
 

Toenails need trimming two or three times a year. If kept on soft ground, they may need more regular attention. Pruning shears can be used to trim the toenails.

We check teeth twice a year and trim where needed. We trim the males fighting teeth as soon as they erupt (at 2.5 – 3 yrs) to prevent injuries.

At Manor House Alpacas most animals are weighed at least once a month to make sure they are healthy. Weight loss always does have a cause! Be aware of it.

Alpacas will need to be shorn once a year, usually around mid September (Western Cape), but should not be groomed as this can damage the fiber.


Breeding Alpacas

Alpacas have an average gestation period of 11 - 12 months.

Alpaca females are usually ready to breed from 45 kg bodyweight, at a minimum of 12 – 18 months of age, males usually mature from 2.5 – 3 years.

For management purposes we are meanwhile only birthing from mid-October to mid-December and again from mid-March to mid-May.

Stud alpacas should be chosen with care for the best conformation and fleece quality and quantity.
 

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