Blueridge Farm Newsletter
Blueridge Farm Alpacas Newsletter
I thought I would just do a quick newsletter to let you know how things are going here on our farm and to remind you of some of the routine jobs that will need to be done for your alpacas.
We have just had our last cria for the season, a cute dark brown boy with a white chin who our Russian visitors named Nikolai. Mum, Kaiya, produced him right on cue for our enthralled visitors.
We have had a very male slanted birthing record this year with Nikolai being our tenth boy and only four girls. While this cuts down our number of females for breeding purposes it does give us a gorgeous group of boys to choose from. One of the more unusual ones is Kalamazoo who is an appaloosa with very cute markings who will be for sale shortly.
We have had our animals at both the Waikato A & P Show and the North Island Colourbration Show with all being placed in their classes.
At the Waikato Show Blueridge Farm Tussock was given the Senior Grey/Roan Female award and Revolution was given the Mature Black Male award and Reserve Champion Mature Male.
Blueridge Farm Lexie was awarded Champion Roan Female at the Colourbration Show with Blueridge Farm Tussock Reserve Champion and Blueridge Farm Desert Sand awarded Reserve Champion Light Fawn Female.
So all in all we are pleased with the animals that we are breeding and looking forward to seeing how the next season’s progeny weigh up.
Now that daylight savings is over we are starting to look at the next jobs to be done around the farm.
We are no longer feeding zinc nuts as the low overnight temperatures have lessened the chance of facial eczema.
With the late autumn flush we are feeding a bit of hay to provide roughage for the animals.
It is also time to do the 6 monthly vaccinations and AD & E injections ready for the winter.
We use Ultravac 5 in 1 vaccine and inject a 1 ml dose to all animals
We also give Hideject A, D & E injections to all the animals to make sure they have sufficient Vitamin D over the winter time. This is particularly important for young growing animals who may also require another dose in July/August and then again at shearing. Lack of Vitamin D causes rickets in Alpaca and due to the denseness of their fleeces over winter they do not absorb sufficient sunlight on the skin to provide enough Vitamin D.
While we have the animals in the yards we also consider whether the individual animals require drenching.
There are several different families of drench that can be used depending on your individual situation so it is probably a good idea to talk to your local vet about a suitable drenching program. We use Dectomax as it is safe to use with pregnant alpacas.
Toenails also need to be checked to see if they require clipping. Black toenails seem to grow much slower than the white ones who sometimes need more frequent attention.
The other important thing to consider over the winter time is making the time to actually run your hands over your alpacas and feel their “Body Score” as it is very easy to see a fluffy alpaca in the paddock and think it is fine when in reality that bouffey fleece can hide a thin bony body.
I have attached a Body score health check card to this newsletter so that you can see what to feel for.
Once that is done and there is some hay stashed away in the shed for those cold winter days we can hunker down and look forward to spring.
We do hope all is well with you and your families both two and four footed.
Do feel free to contact us if you have any alpaca problems or questions and we will do our best to help.
We would also love to see any photos you have of your alpacas and we are having an Open Farm on May 7th for National Alpaca Day so do call in if you are in the vicinity.
Kerri & Neil Campbell