Okay, You've Taken the Plunge and Bought Alpacas! Now What?
Put all your research to work for you!
Be prepared for a couple of sleepless nights at first, but remember that you’ve done your research and completed your home work so breath, relax, and enjoy your alpacas!
As you come up on each of these bench marks, look at what you’re currently doing, what changes have occurred since the last time you looked at it, then make the necessary adjustments to keep things optimal. In other words put your research and experiences to work.
Have your soil, water, pasture, hay, and pellets tested. Analyze the results and make necessary changes to your nutritional program.
Renew insurance coverage.
Large equipment (tractor, truck, trailer) tune-ups.
Improvements to fencing, gates, sheds/barns, and pastures.
In the south we like to plant a winter pasture grass.
Line up prospective hay/forage suppliers.
Get cria kit together. See Cria Kit below.
Check buckets, feeders, waterers, panels, hoses, fans, toe nail clippers, tack, show supplies, vet supplies,and repair or replace if necessary.
Check platform scale and recalibrate if necessary.
Review notes on cria birthing and care.
Renew memberships in organizations.
Renew software support.
Line up a shearer.
Register crias with ARI.
Send in fleece samples for histograms.
Arrange for breedings.
Microchip crias and newly purchased alpacas if necessary.
Health days. Check teeth and toe nails, trim if needed. Body score and weigh alpacas. Check for anemia and do fecal tests.
Update animal, herd management, and financial/tax records.
Walk perimeter fencing checking for breaks and weak places. If electric wire, check to see if active (hot).
Thorough and extensive manure clean up.
Walk pastures looking for debris, new plants, weeds, holes. Check trees, fences, shelters, barns, waterers.
Feed and water animals.
Watch animals, get to know them. Watch their body language and group dynamics. Check for abnormalities.
Quick manure examination and clean up.
In conjunction with the recommendations from your vet, develop a schedule for deworming, vaccinations, pregnancy confirmations, health care.
Adjust feed according to seasons and what’s available. Anytime you change feed, re-figure the nutritional values and find out how much is needed per alpaca (weigh the feed). Amounts should be based on individual animals (age, weight, body condition, use, and environment). Gradually introduce any new feed.
Complete and submit show entries.
Arrange for shelter and shade according to seasons.
Put out fans, sprinklers, and water alpaca bellies during hot weather (heat index = temperature + humidity > 120).
Obtain testing, health papers, and entry permits for shows and breedings.
Get show equipment/supplies together. See Show Supplies below.
Submit payroll taxes, payroll tax returns, sales tax returns.
Halter and lead train weanlings.
Attend seminars and clinics – You never stop learning!
Review marketing strategies.
ABOVE ALL, take a deep breath, relax, grab a lawn chair and camera, and enjoy watching and interacting with your alpacas. They truly do provide a stress-free lifestyle!