A typical Alpaca Year at Lusi Alpacas – January 2015 - Brrrrrr!
As the new year arrives we start to look forward to the coming alpaca show season.
The BAS National Show, the biggest and most prestigious of the season is on March 7th/8th at the Telford Arena. Lusi Alpacas have entered two alpacas, our fabulous adult male Firestorm and an intermediate female Margarita.
Our regional group ‘The Heart of England Alpaca Group’, put on the ‘Spring Alpaca Fiesta’ in April. As Chairman and show organiser I have plenty to keep me busy, but we have an excellent show committee getting everything organised. This year we are moving to a new venue in Bedfordshire so we are hoping to attract a whole new audience to the wonderful world of alpacas. More about the shows next month.
The weather is pretty chilly here at the moment, but the alpacas don’t mind at all, with their thick fleeces they stay toasty and warm despite temperatures below freezing. They don’t like strong wind much but all have shelters in the fields. This winter the females have a brand new large shelter in their winter paddock which they love! Lots of room for them all to get out of the cold weather and munch on the haylage we give them.
Other jobs this time of year are vitamin injections, toe nail trims and halter training the crias born last year. All our youngsters are halter trained at around 6 months old. This means that they get used to being moved around and handled. Some will go on to the show ring where they have to be perfectly behaved (hopefully) when before the judge.
We put the halters on for a few minutes every other day and very gradually get them used to the idea of wearing a halter, some take to it quickly others throw themselves around in a very dramatic way until they get accustomed to the idea. I still have one female that the moment she has a halter on throws herself on the ground and pretends to faint!!
Once the little ones are used to the halters those that are ready will be weaned off their mothers and moved to another paddock out of sight. They get a little disorientated for a few days but quickly settle down with their friends. The mothers don’t seem to mind and perhaps are quite happy to not have their offspring pestering them to feed all the time. By this time the mothers are up to six months pregnant with the next crias so all the nutrition they are getting goes to the growing babies inside.
More next month on show preparation and alpaca pregnancy testing!
Watch out for our February update.
Weanlings enjoying the winter sunshine.
Steaming alpacas have their breakfast on a chilly morning