Saturday 12 May 2018

Paca shearing and Olivia's Obesity (cont.)

As the weather warms up, the alpacas need to be shorn so they don't suffer under heavy fleece in the summer heat. This began last week with the males Trident and Costa.

L-R Marius (who has not been shorn as suris don't overheat so badly and can be left every other year), Trident, Costa

Today it was time to do the pregnant females Poppy and Olivia. Male alpacas and open females are easier to handle than pregnant ones, and let's just say they both lived up to their reputation. Fortunately they are done now for another year. After the alpacas were shorn last year, I posted on the blog about Olivia's obesity. She had been mated after she had Trebuchet the previous year and was already overweight at this point, and at some point after this she lost her pregnancy and we didn't realise until a cria was not born, and she had become extremely fat by this time. Olivia's weight is being managed with a combination of penning her with limited grazing where she can see the others and using a grazing muzzle. Here's a comparison of Olivia last year, not pregnant, after being shorn (L), and Olivia this year, pregnant, after being shorn (R):

Here's Poppy who is at the same stage of her pregnancy and in correct condition:

So Olivia isn't quite down to her correct weight yet (her shoulder should be more prominent and she shouldn't have that bulge under where her neck joins her body) but she's getting there!

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