Alpaca & Sheep Shearing, Vaccinations & Vitamins, Toenail & Teeth Trimming
Are your Alpaca's in need of shearing? Or do you have a flock of sheep that you need assistance with? We can help with the administration of vaccines and vitamins, trimming toenails and assist with recommendations on animal welfare and advice about concerns.
Alpaca Shearing Service
Alpaca need to be shorn every year. As alpaca’s do not shed their fleece, an unshorn animal can be prone to matting at the skin with the potential of creating skin conditions or at risk of overheating during the hotter months. Conversely over-fleeced animals are also at risk of hypothermia in the cold months as rain can weigh a heavy fleece down creating a part down the spine, allowing water to enter the fleece and chill the skin.
Alpaca Shearing Service uses a specially built table designed for shearing such large animals. As these wonderful creatures are renowned for spitting and kicking out, shearing alpaca is quite different to shearing sheep and requires similar but different techniques. If you are new to farming alpacas and have any questions regarding the shearing process, equipment, setups and resources needed we are happy talk you through it.
Generally, pregnant females should not be shorn within the last 6 weeks of their pregnancy. However if done with care, shearing heavily pregnant females is preferable to the possibility of her being in full fleece through summer due to the high potential of hyperthermia. If you think your female may be pregnant please let us know in advance so we can discuss your individual situation.
Toenail & Teeth Trimming
Alpaca Shearing Service have many years’ experience trimming the toenails and teeth of these feisty but lovable beasts… and let me tell you, this is much easier done while they are securely attached to the shearing table!
Alpacas are a member of the camelid family and have soft padded feet with two toenails on each foot and a soft leathery pad. Alpaca’s toenails can require trimming two to three times a year, however nails will grow at different rates on different animals so you should check them on a regular basis. While shearing your herd Alpaca Shearing Service will also trim the toenails if required. Nails left unattended can twist and deform the foot and cause lameness. Neglected toenails can also cause infection under the nail.
Alpaca have 'cutting teeth' at the front of the mouth which are used to bite off grass and leaves and also occasionally useful for scratching. One of the most common problems seen in alpacas is that they become too long, protruding beyond the dental pad and can be seen sticking out between the lips. We have all seen a goofy looking alpaca, haven’t we? These teeth definitely need trimming in order for your alpaca to be able to feed properly and thrive.
Vaccinations & Vitamin / Mineral Supplements
Alpaca Shearing Service can also administer vaccinations and vitamin/mineral supplements. Vaccinations protect alpacas from preventable clostridia diseases such as pulpy kidney and tetanus. Alpacas should be vaccinated at least twice yearly (coming into spring and autumn) with 5 in 1 vaccine.
While most vitamins needed by a healthy alpaca are already available to them naturally, vitamin D supplementation is required in all alpacas. Cria and young alpaca are susceptible to Rickets and White Muscle Disease (selenium deficiency) with breeders routinely supplementing their animals according to the requirements of their particular region. We are happy to advise on what supplements may be best suited to your herd.