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see West Melton

Alpaca Articles

Nic and Linda keep up-to-date with the latest in alpaca information, by reading widely, being a member of the New Zealand, Australian, British and American alpaca associations, and attending conferences worldwide.

They share this knowledge with others through holding industry training days and workshops, writing articles for industry magazines in New Zealand, Australia, UK, and USA and also through articles on this website and other websites.

Click here for more articles  


Hi.  I'm  Nutmeg, and I keep an eye on things around the farm. 

I've been with Nic and Linda at  Southern Alpacas Stud for many years - part of the family really.  Over that time I've seen many alpacas - visitors, new imports, lots of new cria, and I've had a few myself too.

I know a few things about alpacas and their health that I can share with you and your family of alpacas. 




every 6 months

2-3 x  year

late April, June, August, birthing

  2 x year or
when needed





annually minimum



5 in 1 colosterid injection
or later 10 in 1 products
(volume not weight related)
Use sheep dose for adults and cria

Do not use 10 in 1 on cria
Do not use selenised drench
Do not use dual purpose drench

ADE injection 

(vitamin D supplement)
(volume as per lambs/sheep) 
(volume weight related)

see our Vitamin D article

Dectomax injectable,
1ml per 33kg (pig dose)




spring - clean up paddocks

shear prior to summer
guidelines in NZ Alpaca  Fibre Manual

Tipping  (optional)
use hand shears to take the tips off 
fleece of young cria 
(just body, remove 1cm length)


sharp snips needed
watch for the quick 


do every six months

do pregnant females around 30-45 days prior to birth to provide immunity to cria

do young cria at 6 weeks, a booster within a month, and then every 6 months 

At 6 weeks age for a cria
(use VETADE)

In April, June and August (winter months) for the first year of life. 
(use VETADE for younger cria, and HIDEJECT for older alpacas)

When entering birthing paddock
30 45 days prior to birthing (HIDEJECT).

Also any alpaca looking as though deficient in Vitamin D

do faecal egg count 6 monthly, if not run with other stock, and not farmed intensively
3 monthly otherwise
cria are most vulnerable, faecal check them
drench if egg count warrants, which can be as often as 6 weekly
Monitor conditions (heat and wet) and drench when conditions most likely for parasites

to get detritus out of paddocks
to help shearing

do working stud males early
reduce heat stress on testes

watch timing and shows - 
minimum length for animal judging and need to keep fleece for shows
book shearers early ! 

to get cleaner fleece on cria

do them when shearing
lighter nails grow faster and need doing more often
watch specifically for toe nails that curl inwards





  at birth

watch them
at birth

weekly after




pregnancy check
Spit off at 14 days

Progesterone test
(vet taken)

(vet taken)

 Cria Check  New Crias

ensure drinking from mum
de-wax teats if needed
put cria to teats if  necessary   

Weigh Crias


14-17 days after birthing unless a difficult birth 

do 2 of these to prove pregnancy, 14 days apart

 blood test for pregnancy 

60 days and 90 days from mating

 iodine navel
ensure not premature 
(no floppy ears, can stand,  has a suck reflex)
must drink in first 3 hours

should be at least 5.5kg
until 20kg





  as noticed
as spore counts warrant




get to know each alpacas demeanour, stance and how  it acts "normally" 

Rye Grass Staggers
inject with Vitamin B (Duoject B)
get off ryegrass pastures asap and onto hard feed - lucerne and alpaca pellets (nuts)
sprinkle Equiguard over feed for first 48 hours
provide branches of green trees

Facial Eczema
spray pastures with fungicide
zinc-added alpaca pellets (nuts) daily
zinc oxide powder added to alpaca pellets or
to chaff at a rate of 2 grams/animal/day
remove from pastures to hard feed


When an alpaca shows it is ill, it is very ill - act quickly if one is ill or looks off colour

head shake and tremble
Vit B every 2 days
Equiguard  twice daily for 2 days
do not stress
keep companion with it


In North Island and top of SI 
keep in touch with other local  breeders and vets and seek  their advice - not an area of  expertise for us in the south



Updated August 2010

Nic Cooper and Linda Blake
Main West Coast Road, West Melton, RD1, Christchurch, New Zealand
Phone 0064 3 318-1917 | fax 0064 3 318-1927 | email alpacasnz@xtra.co.nz