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 2. Alpaca Healthcare & Nutrition
 Weight loss
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Jane Stack

37 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2007 :  2:48:03 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I had asked for advise about a month ago on my female. The test send to Oregon State came back negative. She is maintaining weight between 148 to 151. Getting beet pulp and other weight gaining supplements. Spitting off. They are still worried about her being anemic, since she is not gaining weight. The vet is going to redraw for a CBC and blood culture and progesterone tomorrow. She has no out-ward signs of being ill. The Cria born April 21, is great and almost weights 50 lbs. Has anyone had a female with a weight loss? Her weight loss was 10 lbs. They still are thinking of sending her to Ohio State for a transfusion. Does Ohio State allow a person to speak to them first for advise and possible farm treatment before sending the animal? Thank you to all for you responses. Jane

Jane Stack

Jane Stack

37 Posts

Posted - 08/20/2007 :  5:04:55 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello West Wind,

Her weight loss was 10 lbs in one week. About a month after giving birth. She had no signs of anemia other that the weight loss and the cbc results. Her body score I will have the Vet and Breeder check. I am not on the same page as you Sorry I do not under-stand weigh without context. Please explain more. Thank you Jane

Jane Stack
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sherih

399 Posts

Posted - 08/21/2007 :  11:53:29 AM  Show Profile  Visit sherih's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Get her off of corn. Since she has a new cria it is taking a whole lot of her energy and reserves. Corn actually kills the bacteria in the gut and in some alpacas it really makes them skinny.

You can feed alfalfa pellets and supplement with vitamin paste only once a month (too much vitamin A if you do more), and give free range minerals such as Stillwater Minerals 104. Make sure there is as much good quality dry hay as they will eat.

You can also supplement the pellets with rice bran meal. Don't buy the rice bran pellets because they are made of really low quality and often rancid ingredients. This meal will cost about $25 per bag. I give a couple of tablespoons a day.

This regimen should help.

Good luck,

Sheri

Sheri Hewitt
Woodland Meadows, LLC
Creswell, OR
541-895-0964
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Jane Stack

37 Posts

Posted - 08/21/2007 :  4:39:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you Heather and Sher,

I will take your advise, and hopefully this will get my girl back on track. Jane

Jane Stack
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klay.k

571 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2007 :  09:33:32 AM  Show Profile  Visit klay.k's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Jane, Whatever you decide to do, MAKE FEED CHANGES SLOWLY.

Why do the leading authorities (think vet) in this industry use corn & beet pulp IN MODERATION in their feeding protocols. There is a study posted on the Ohio State website site stating that beet pulp is a highly digestable fiber which feeds the gut flora. We all know that we don't feed the alpaca....we feed their gut flora and the gut flora feeds the alpaca.

As in our own diets, moderation is key. Anything in excess can acidify the gut and throw the flora off balance.

The feed that I use has flaked corn in it. I also add beet pulp. Been doing it for 6+ years. The pellets that I feed are a supplement. Their diet mainly comprises of pasture and hay.

If your alpaca is still anemic, a little Red Cell won't hurt. Adding high quality forage to her diet (slowly) will do the most good.

If your girl hasn't shown a 10lb loss since, I agree it could have been an error. Or if it was during the week or so after birth, it's not that unusual as the milk production can really hit them hard at first if she is a strong milker. You should see a correlation with the cria gaining I'd think.

Do an spreadsheet showing her weights and beside it jot down what is going on in her life and jot down the cria's weights. Nursing, breeding, weaning, etc. See if anything stands out. Kathy

Kathy & Earl Klay
Jefferson Laurel Farm
8181 Havens Road
Blacklick, Ohio 43004
HM (614) 855-9194
CELL (614) 439-6619
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Jane Stack

37 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2007 :  11:07:36 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dear Kathy and Earl,

I am so confused. We did give her beet pulp for about two weeks now. Her weight is 148-151. I will have the vet and breeder do a body score. Re-draw a cbc and blood culture. She had the oxytracycline ( sorry about spelling). I now hear beet pulp is not good because of bacteria and residuals sugars, also not a good food, for weight gain maintenance. Corn not good either . I have read to use twice a week alfalfa pellets, top dressed with rice bran meal and still water 104 mineral. So what is your take on this routine????? Thank you, Jane

Jane Stack
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Jane Stack

37 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2007 :  12:24:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Heather,

Thank you setting me the right path. If I understand: 1 lb of pellets, 2TB of rice bran and flax seed do you use this as a top dress? How much still water 104? Jane

Jane Stack
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bobvicki

2950 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2007 :  1:25:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Jane,
If she had her cria in April, was she shorn between the weight differences? Another thing to look at would be the scales calibration, I had to send a scale in last year for recalibration because at 15 pounds it would be about a pound off and at 150 pounds it would be about 12 pounds off, over 200 pounds would be about 20 pounds off.

While I don't agree with Heather on getting rid of all traces of corn, the rest of her advice is correct about the size and body scoring.

Bob

Bob & Vicki Blodgett
Suri Land Alpaca Ranch
3288 Halter Avenue
Newton, Iowa 50208
641-831-3576
alpaca@iowatelecom.net
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Jane Stack

37 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2007 :  3:54:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Bob, Vicki and Heather,

Yes, very good observation. Her weight loss was after shearing and re-breeding. The breeder also has numerous that are pregant and are weighted daily. So if the scale was off, it would have shown with the other animal's also. However I will put this into my menory bank Also Bob and Vicki why would you keep the corn Jane

Jane Stack
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bobvicki

2950 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2007 :  11:28:57 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Jane,
I have used Dr Evans "Blue Seal" feed up until my local Kent distributor would no longer bring it in because they want me to use the Kent Dr Evans feed. They present it as a pellet and for what ever reasons my alpacas choke on it (5 in 5 days), which is something they have rarely ever done.

I have always used corn in my alpacas diets and I have never had problems with my alpacas weights, attitudes or health and for example from alpacas born on my farm I have both a color and a reserve color champion. The reserve was awarded when the alpaca was a Juvenile and as a yearling he was awarded 1st place in a yearling class of 11 black suri males with the judge being Julio Sumar. I have several others that have done well too.

I don't believe that the corn in their feed has hurt any of my alpacas, in fact during the winter depending on the quality of hay I have available I will add steamed rolled oats and cracked corn for extra nourishment and warmth. At a seminar 2 years ago while talking to Dr Evans I mentioned that I give extra corn during the winter and he replied something to the effect of, "for the extra energy and warmth".

If I had my pellets custom made like Heather's family I might even go along with a corn free product providing doing so did not raise the cost of the feed significantly. While corn is not a normal substance of alpacas in the wild neither is alfalfa or many of the grasses that we give them here in the USA.

I have never read of any of the major alpaca vets studies indicating that corn was a problem so until they do, or I start having problems with my alpacas health or fiber I just don't see any reason to worry about it.

I hope that I have answered your question.

Bob

Bob & Vicki Blodgett
Suri Land Alpaca Ranch
3288 Halter Avenue
Newton, Iowa 50208
641-831-3576
alpaca@iowatelecom.net
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klay.k

571 Posts

Posted - 08/23/2007 :  06:27:30 AM  Show Profile  Visit klay.k's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Jane, Sorry for my delay in replying. The heat here has my attention focused in the barn and not on the net.

I, and many others, do not find that corn (the minimal amount we use anyway) has had any detrimental effect on our alpacas. Quite the opposite. Like I mentioned, we feed it as a supplement. Their pasture and hay are the main source of nutrition - as it should be.

I totally understand how confusing it can all be. Put 10 breeders in a room and ask a question and you'll get 10 different answers - not necessarily wrong - just different. One must figure what is best for your own situation. I am within miles of a number of alpaca farms. We all feed just a little bit differently and it works.

I do disagree that feed changes can be made abruptly though. Disrupt the rumen - you'll disrupt the alpaca. The hay mat is what the gut flora feed off of. The by product of the flors is what feeds the alpaca. Change what the flora eat, and they die off. Kill off enough of them and the alpaca's nutrition lessens or ceases until the flora re-establishes on the new diet.

You mentioned "the breeder" was weighing your girl and the others in the herd. Was this while she was away for rebreeding or is your girl agisted? Is the breeder as concerned with the weight loss? What are their thoughts? Kathy






Kathy & Earl Klay
Jefferson Laurel Farm
8181 Havens Road
Blacklick, Ohio 43004
HM (614) 855-9194
CELL (614) 439-6619

Edited by - klay.k on 08/23/2007 06:42:15 AM
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Jane Stack

37 Posts

Posted - 08/23/2007 :  2:45:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dear Kathy and Earl,

My girl lost her weight after re-breed. ( ten pounds in one week )
Yes the breeder is concerned about the weight loss. She is not maintaining 148-151. I asked them to do a body score. I was told last night that her cbc is better wbc normal range, rbc a little low. So I suggested that maybe she is iron low, give her a supplement. I also asked for another fecal check and a liver/hepatic profile. She was on pepcid otc and on a five day shot of oxytricycline ( spelling for the anemia. For the weight I suggested alfalfa pellet, flax seed, rice bran meal, and for still water mineral 104 just because. The breeder and the vet are on the phone also with Ohio State for recommendations/ continuing care. Jane


Jane Stack
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