Biosecurity - Devon Alpacas

Husbandry

We, here at the home of Hollycombe Alpacas constantly assess risks to our alpacas, maintaining biosecurity protocols on and off the farm. We go to great lengths to ensure our Alpacas are free of TB. While blood tests can be inconclusive we have taken the steps of having our animals x-rayed twice in six months with no animal movements on the farm.  Clearance has been given by Karin Mueller MVSc DCHP DECBHM MRCVS from Cambridge University. We take great care in the wellbeing of our animals to keep them happy and in optimum condition

Vaccinations
Alpacas require very similar vaccinations and worming as sheep. Vets are not required. Clostridial vaccination and worming twice a year, spring and autumn. Vitamin A D & E every two months in winter.

Mating
We prefer to mate in the summer months to ensure the cria are strong and healthy before winter. We have our own stud Inca Cayenne. This ensures our animals do not come into contact with alpacas from other herds, maintaining a strict Biosecurity Code of Conduct.
     
Birthing
Gestation eleven and half months.  Births are normally straightforward usually between 7am and 2pm,
with few complications. All the cria requires is an antiseptic spray on the umbilical cord.
       
Weaning
Weaning normally occurs at six months. This involves putting the cria with others of similar age in a paddock of their own. This allows the mother to put her energy into the growth of the foetus.

Castrations
This happens between 12 and 24 months and must be carried out by a vet. A requirement for males
that do not meet the stringent standards. Castration helps males to settle as they get older.

Microchips
It is a requirement that all UK registered Alpacas have a microchip inserted. Usually under the left ear. This does not require vet assistance

Halter Training
All our Alpacas are halter trained. The main purpose is to allow for easy movement of the Alpacas whether it be from field to field, trailer or the show ring. A great way for you to interact with your animals

Shearing
We like our animals to be shorn late April to late June. This is the time to assess condition of the Alpaca and the quality of the fleece. Fleece samples sent to the wool testing authority for evaluation.

Condition Scoring
Correct and consistent condition scoring alerts the owner if there is a problem. Alpacas hide their body condition under their fleece and often the owner does not know they are ill until it's too late.

Weighing
When bodyscoring also we weigh and take the Alpacas temperature to alert us if there is a potential problem

Nail Clipping
Feet checked on regular basis and clipped when necessary, usually every six weeks depending on growth. Feet also sprayed in spring and during the summer for mite control.