• Where’d the Sun Go? Vitamin D and Bone Development

    Most people are familiar with vitamin D being known as the “sunshine” vitamin. This is a result of vitamin D being formed in the skin when exposed to certain wavelengths of ultraviolet (UV) light. Most people now also recognize the role that vitamin D plays in bone development. more »
  • Alpaca Fact Sheet #12: Application of Brass IAR Ear Tags

    Many thousands of Australian alpaca now sport IAR tags and their breeders report no troubles, however recent postings on the AAA Inc. Discussion Forum are yielding the odd occasion when breeders have run into some trouble. To assist breeders who are new to the industry or those who have got into a spot of bother, following are step by step instructions and handy hints for the application of the brass ear tags. more »
  • Alpaca Fact Sheet #11: Worms and Alpacas

    Alpacas are susceptible to cattle, goat and sheep worms, however the four most likely to cause problems with alpaca are: Barber’s Pole Worm (Haemonchus contortus) up to 10,000 eggs per day Small Brown Stomach Worm (Ostertagia ostertagi) 100-200 eggs per day Black Scour Worm (Trichostrongylus spp) 100-200 eggs per day Liver Fluke (Fasciola hepatica) 20,000-50,000 eggs per day The eggs are passed out in the faeces and can remain in the paddock for long periods, until warm moist conditions are present and they begin to hatch into infective larvae. Alpacas with a worm burden can be passing eggs in their faeces over winter with the eggs not hatching due to the cold, only to have millions of eggs begin hatching when the warm spring days arrive. This sudden arrival in the paddock of millions of larvae can result in sudden and severe worm infestations with severe consequences. more »
  • Alpaca Fact Sheet #10: Trimming Toenails

    Alpacas have soft padded feet with two toenails on each foot and a soft leathery pad. Depending on the environment the toenails require regular attention at least three to four times a year and at shearing. However, nails will grow at different rates on different animals and in particular the toenails of lighter coloured animals seem to grow at a faster rate than the darker coloured animals. Nails left unattended can twist and deform the foot causing lameness, restriction of mobility and ability to move to graze, and ultimately weight loss. more »
  • Alpaca Fact Sheet #9: Mineral and Vitamin Supplements

    The main vitamin to consider in alpaca supplementation is vitamin D and the main mineral is selenium. Both are responsible for significant pathology when deficient and both are able to induce severe toxic signs if given at too high dosage. more »