You'll need a variety of things to get started with. There are a number of books listed at Useful Lama Items that you'll find useful, and I heartily recommend that you go to http://www.usefulalpacaitems.com and look at the books they offer there. My personal favorites are:
- Caring for Lamas and Alpacas: A Health and Management Guide by Clare Hoffman, DVM, and Ingrid Asmus
- The Alpaca Book by Eric Hoffman and Murray E Fowler, DVM
- Veterinary Lama Field Manual by Dr. Norman Evans
- Llama and Alpaca Neonatal Care by Drs. Smith, Tim and Long (all DVMs)
You'll want to join the Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association, if for no other reason than having access to their library. You can borrow books and videos, decide which ones you think are worth keeping around, and then buy those from Useful Lama Items or Stevens LamaTique.
You may want to subscribe to the Alpaca Weekly and read parts of the ARI Registry Journal.
The following list is probably not complete, but each year I will continue to add things to it, until one day, perhaps, it will be complete. If you know of items that should go on this list, please let me know so I can get them and keep them on hand for my alpacas.
Fields, Fences, Barn, Shelters: You'll want several internal contain- ment pens as well as large grazing pastures.
Trailer for transporting alpacas. You can transport one or two alpacas at a time in a van if you're not going very far.
Alpaca feed: The Agway formulations, "designed" by Dr. Norm Evans. Available in Maryland from Frankie Lease, 301-264-3858. use the "Grower" or "Growth and Lacation" formula for crias to their first birthday and for pregnant and lactating females; use "Maintenance E" for alpacas over one year of age. Use crumbles, not pellets, to help prevent "choke."
Hay: Available in Hampshire County, West Virginia from Glenn Delaplain, 304-496-7623. A local alpaca breeder had Mr. Delaplain's hay tested and found it suitable for alpacas.
Supplies: Useful Lama Items 800-635-5262; Useful Farm Items 888-771-3276; Steven LamaTique 800-469-5262.
Feeders, Feeding Bins: One per animal and one extra. You can also use long troughs at which more than one alpaca at a time can feed. You can get these troughs at Frey's, 800-399-3739.
Water buckets and wall mount brackets: If you do not have automatic electric waterers, you may want to get an electrically heated bucket from Useful Lama Items. For the summer, you'll want a 5-gallon plastic bucket and metal bracket. The buckets are flat on one side to hang against a wall or fence.
Green paddock panels: These are about 9 feet in length and about 5 feet high, with 5 or so bars between the top and the bottom. They're interlocking, so you can use 4 of them as a small paddock or catchpen. You can get them from Useful Lama Items, although the shipping is rather expensive. You may also be able to order them from Useful Lama Items or Stevens Llama Tique and pick them up at one of the alpaca shows held in the spring of every year. You may want to cover the panels in 2"x4" no-climb fencing to keep crias from squeezing out between the bars.
Halters and leads: You may want to get two sizes: weanling and adult. Get the adjustable halters from Zephyr 607-243-4282. If you plan to show your animals, get black halters. One of our alpacas placed 3rd because, the judge said, she was "improperly presented" when wearing a white halter.
Fly Control: Cylence pour-on for the animals, fly traps or fly paper for the barn (from Useful Farm Items). The Solar Fly Traps are terrific, but they are awfully messy and need to be cleaned out occasionally during the summer. Diatomaceous Earth is good for parasite control, but has an effect on composting.
Tick/Flea/Lice Control Cylence pour on for the biting insects, ivermectin or doramectin (injectible) for the sucking insects. Pour-on ivermectin/doramectin doesn't work.
Diatomaceous Earth to help with parasite control.
Gate latches that can be operated with one hand.
Agricultural Lime or Sweet PDZ for odor control. Don't get "hot" lime.
Wheelbarrow, Bean Rake, and Shovel. We use a small shrub rake.
Minerals. Stillwater 800-255-0357and Cache le Poudre 800-758-0825 are two good brands.
Hay feeder boxes are helpful. We use a manger, but lose a lot of hay that way. Take a look at the feeder provided by Chase Tavern 877-283-7222 (877-CTF-PACA).
Extra bucket - we use a 3 gallon galvanized steel pail.
Scale - we use Arlyn's 22x44" scales 800-645-4301.
Fans or air conditioning for summer temperatures over about 70 degrees.
Straw for winter bedding.
Livestock Guard Dog. Great Pyrenese, Anatolian, and other breeds are specifically bred to guard - NOT to herd - livestock and can (and have) saved many, many alpaca lives.
Herd Health Records - you can get forms on paper or you can get software to keep track of things like vaccinations, weight, breedings, worming, etc. Or you can just use a notebook and pen, as long as you keep records. See the Breeding Record Form and Health Record Form on this site.
Film Cannisters or empty medication (pill) bottles for fecal samples and for dipping umbilical cords.
Needed for birthing: You can get most of these things plus some of the items listed above in the Cria Care Kit from Useful Lama Items. The colostrum in the Cria Care Kit is powdered rather than frozen, and it doesn't contain some of the items listed here.
Oral E-coli vaccine
Infant Fleet enema bottle or blue bulb syringe
2 Pritchard nipples
2 baby bottles
Frozen camelid plasma
Vet Wrap to wrap a female's tail up before breeding her and before she criates.
Betadine Surgical Scrub
Thermometer (digital is quickest).
These items will be used relatively routinely, but should probably go into a First Aid Kit.
Probiotic such as Fast Track or Jump Start to help protect intestinal microorganism during times of stress or appetite loss.
Ivomec (Ivermectin) or Dectomax (Doramectin for prevention of meningeal worm. Dectomax doesn't sting as much as Ivomec does.
Safeguard or Panacur for prevention of tapeworms. Paste is probably best for crias, but we use the pellets for the weanlings and the adults.
CD&T to help prevent enterotoxemia caused by clostridium perfringens types C & D, and tetanus.
CORID for Prevention and Treatment of Coccidiosis
Epinephrine for anaphylactic shock
Syringes 3cc, 6cc, 12cc, 30cc, 60cc.
Dosing Extension This metal tube screws onto the bottom of a special syringe and is great for getting liquid medications past the teeth and tongue of the alpaca.
Needles 18g - 1 ½ ", 20g - 1", 22g - 1", 22g - ½"(for tail blood and SQ injections).
Sharps Container. You should be able to get one of these from your local pharmacy. We got a small one for $4.00 or so at a CVS store. Take them to your vet for disposal.
Oral medication applicator.
Tweezers (bayonet and forceps).
You'll also want to keep in a sort of First Aid Kit the items listed below in addition to several of the items listed above (such as scissors, thermometer, stethoscope, etc.). This list was provided by Dr. David Anderson, D.V.M., MS, International Camelid Institute
(http://www. internationalcamelidinstitute.org), Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Surgeons, The Ohio State University
|Emergency Medical Supplies|
|Sheet Cotton or Quilt Wrap||4|
|Roll Cotton - 1 lb roll ||1|
|Vet-Wrap or Ace Bandage (2") ||4|
|Vet-Wrap or Ace Bandage (4") ||4|
|Gauze roll (stretch type; 2") ||4|
|Gauze roll (stretch type; 4") ||4|
|Gauze Pads ||100|
|Bandaging Tape ||2|
|Elastikon (4") ||2|
|White Tape (2") ||2|
|White Tape (4") ||1|
|Telfa Pads (4") ||4|
|Telfa Pads (6") ||4|
|Nitrofurazone Ointment ||1|
|Povidone-Iodine Ointment ||1|
|Triple Antibiotic Eye Ointment (without steroid) ||1|
|Betadine Scrub (16 oz) ||1|
|Betadine Solution (16 oz) ||1|
|Alcohol (Isopropyl;16 oz) ||1|
|Hydrogen Peroxide (16 oz) ||1|
|Fleet Enema ||2|
|Oxygen bottle or Abu-Bag||1|
|Bandage Scissors (7") ||1|
|Catheter tip syringe (60 cc) ||2|
|Red Rubber Feeding tube (10 or 12 French) ||1|
|Rubber gloves (pair) ||2|
|Clean Bucket (stainless steel) ||1|
|Tool Box, Tackle Box, or covered Rubber Maid Box||1|
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