Husbandry Services

Agistment

Bored with not having your own alpacas?

Why not try AGISTMENT ? If you buy animals from us and you don't yet have suitable land on which to keep them, they can stay on our farm and we will look after them within our herd. You will be encouraged to visit the animals and help with their husbandry. This is a good way to become competent at the routine tasks (toe nail trimming, vaccinations etc.) We will look after their day to day needs but will expect you to make all the big decisions relating to your own alpacas. After shearing, the fleece from your animal is yours to use or sell.

Any cria born to your females belong to you and will be registered in your name.

It is a good way of building up confidence with caring for your alpacas and even allows for you to purchase a single "starter" animal, which would be stressed if kept in isolation.

You will pay a small weekly charge (currently £5 per week) and in addition you will be responsible for optional insurance premiums, mating fees, vets charges and any medication. We will provide all supplemental feed, vaccinations and routine worming medication.

 

Agistment

Plasma

We keep a stock of frozen plasma – either in syringes for oral use or in bags for giving intravenously. This can be a lifesaving boost of antibodies to those cria who have not received sufficient colostrum. Exposure to infective agents and the subsequent immune response is specific to the location, so it is best to provide plasma harvested from your own herd, this way the cria receives antibodies to the strain and type of germs that they will subsequently become exposed to. In liaison with your own vet we can spin down a unit of whole blood collected from one of your older animals (a wether is ideal) and provide you with syringes or bags of plasma for you to take away and keep in your freezer. In ideal conditions they will not deteriorate for several years.

We provide all the equipment and perform the centrifugation and decanting under sterile conditions while you wait and enjoy a cup of tea! Or we can arrange delivery or collection at a later date. Please contact Stuart or Trudy for more details and prices.

 

Plasma

Microscopy

We regularly screen individual members of our herd to monitor for gut parasite load. Whilst not providing a commercial scale screening service for other owners, I am happy to show you how it is done and talk you through what you are seeing down the microscope. You will then be able to decide whether samples should be sent off to the VDRLA for confirmation. If you would like to visit us with a “poo sample” please contact us to arrange a visit.

We also use the microscope to screen for skin mites.

 

Worm egg
Worm egg under the microscope

Ultrasound scanning

  • using the latest digital technology, to confirm pregnancy from about 6 weeks
  • £5 per animal plus mileage
  • Contact us to arrange a visit

Ultrasound
Early alpaca embryo seen on ultrasound scan

 

Dental care
It seemed harsh to watch the shearer use an adapted building site tool to trim back teeth. We collaborated with our local (human) dentist to source rather more delicate hand tools and perfected the technique of cutting back front incisor teeth to produce a perfect bite with a smooth rounded finish, which can’t damage the dental pad. We have also employed this technique to deal with fighting teeth in adult males and one cria born with premature eruption of the fighting teeth that had caused an ulceration of the palate. If you would like further details, or to learn this technique yourself, please contact us.

Dental care

 

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