It was time to give the alpacas their booster shots, so we had the vet out on June 8. Alpacas need little maintenance care, but they do need to be wormed periodically. Also, they need a booster for tetanus and a regular shot of vitamin D. Since alpacas are originally from such high altitudes (often over 7,000’), they are used to a lot of exposure to sunlight. Because they are raised mostly between 0’- 2000’ above sea-level in this country, they often have trouble absorbing enough vitamin D from sunlight because the atmosphere is so much thicker down here. The solution to this is booster a couple times a year, usually in the fall.
As long as the vet had to lay hands on all the animals, we asked him to give us a general condition on the girls, and look at our young males’ breeding equipment. Everyone is in fine condition and Dawn, who is the only pregnant girl we have at present, is doing well. She’s also feisty and screamed and spit on the door the whole time the vet was giving her shots.
The boys are in good health as well, and their fighting teeth have not come in yet—those aren’t due until they are 1 1/2 or so, but I wanted to make sure since they play pretty roughly together. However, poor Tony only has one testicle. The other one may appear someday, but unless it does, he won’t be a good stud. The vet says that, in cows at least, one testicle results in lower fertility, which can be passed on not only to male progeny, but probably to females as well. Since this is a fertility game, he’ll probably become a fiber male. He does have lovely black fiber, though. Would have liked a black stud, though. We did get him for “free” as a replacement for the cria that died, so we are certainly not complaining.
El Barto has one testicle that is smaller than the other, which may be a fault in the show ring, but ought not interfere with breeding. Since Barto is the one who won a fiber ribbon, we are hopeful that he might become a stud for us. Having your own stud can really cut down on breeding costs and hassels, plus, if he is nice enough, other people might want to breed to him, thus generating income. So, nice boys have a lot of potential.
It was nice to have confirmation that our animals are in good health, and that we are on the right track. Yay!