Scoring the condition of alpacas
PUBLISHED: 19:03 31 March 2014
Advice from Bozedown Alpacas near Reading
As alpacas’ fleece grows it becomes difficult to see if an alpaca is losing weight, and so regular monitoring by hands-on condition scoring is very important, especially in the autumn as the grass starts to lose its nutritional value.
At Bozedown they regularly condition score all of their alpacas and keep written records of the results. Based on this they then group their thinner alpacas (usually older or lactating females) together and offer them nutritious forage such as haylage, plus supplementary hard feed. Those in good condition may do very well on good quality hay. However, with some males they sometimes need to restrict their daily winter hay rations to prevent them getting too fat.
At Bozedown they mainly base their feeding decisions on this condition scoring – something that they teach in their beginners course. Weanlings are weighed regularly and get special rations. In addition, Bozedown alpacas receive a daily vitamin and mineral supplement throughout the year. There must always be enough trough space so that each alpaca gets its fair share - about 60cm per alpaca, or 90cm for thin alpacas, for troughs alongside a fence or wall. However, both sides of the trough can be utilised in a paddock.
Bozedown is a family-run farm, with 24 years of experience which they are happy to draw on for both new and established clients. They offer beginners day courses which are full of information and insights throughout the year. They also supply a free 60 minute husbandry DVD and complementary follow-up courses for purchasers of breeding stock.
MORE: For more information or to order, please call Mary-Jo direct on 07718750303 or visit www.bozedown-alpacas.co.uk