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 1. Alpacas 101: Getting Started
 alpaca grain
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steinm

25 Posts

Posted - 12/27/2009 :  3:36:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Currently I am having my feed mixed at a local feed mill which has multi textures including very fine dust. Is there a better food to use to order online or is this alpaca mixture ok rather than pelleted food.

Maryanne Stein
AbsolutelyAlpacas
100 Seidle Road
Mercer, PA 16137
724 301-3103

Judith

3996 Posts

Posted - 12/27/2009 :  4:18:42 PM  Show Profile  Send Judith a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Is the blend your local miller is providing giving you the right balance of nutients? Check his ingredients and nutrition label against one of the commercial feeds (many use Dr. Evans formulation). You should also be feeding free choice minerals to supplement whatever may be missing in your forage and water, etc. It helps to have your water and forage tested so you know what needs supplementation. If you are having your feed custom milled, you may be able to add those vitamins and minerals directly to your feed. You may find that "dust" doesn't get taken in (more likely snorted around while they're fighting over the feed dishes), and there is some controversy over whether grains should be used, and if so, in what format (steamed, rolled, crushed, cracked, etc.).

Judith Korff
AlpacaNation Forum Co-Moderator
LadySong Suris
Randolph, NY 14772
Cell: (716) 499-0383
www.alpacanation.com/ladysong.asp
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gracelandnorthalpacas

271 Posts

Posted - 12/27/2009 :  4:48:59 PM  Show Profile  Visit gracelandnorthalpacas's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Maryanne,

We have been having our co-op custom mix our grain for the last 6 months or so. He mixes it based on the nutritional contents of the pelleted food we previously ordered through them. This last batch we got is very powdery with other textures mixed in. Whereas the previous batches didn't have the very fine powder. I imagine it has to do with how fine they grind it. Ask if they could possibly not grind it to such a fine powder if your not happy with that aspect of it. We are saving about 2/3rds the costs by having our co-op mixing it for us.


Thanks,
Pam Schaber
Graceland North Alpacas
Cushing, Wisconsin
715-648-5150

Where The Love Of Nature Animals And Farming Meet

www.alpacanation.com/gracelandnorth.asp
www.gracelandnorthalpacas.com
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rgoss1

663 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2010 :  11:56:58 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
To those of you that have your grain custom mixed, how did you find a place to do it, what did you give them as the criteria for the blend and how did you determine that their quality control efforts would insure that you wouldn't have another incident like the Land of Lakes poisoning?

thanks

Roxanne Goss
Lands End Alpacas LLC
Vermilion, Ohio
gossr@roadrunner.com 440-225-4138
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nyala

3317 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2010 :  09:49:36 AM  Show Profile  Visit nyala's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi,

We have our grain custom milled with the minerals and vitamins in it. We had our hay analyzed. We had blood work done on around 6 of the animals and then we had a ruminant nutritionist with extensive camelid experience work with a local mill who then designed our grain to meet our needs.

I think a lot of the commercially available products are going to lead to individual problems. Many are very high in copper with very little room if you have an animal that steals from herd mates.

What is good for one farm may not work at all for another and it really depends on hay and that can vary quite a lot. I'd start with a hay analysis and then have the grain mix designed accordingly.

Ann



D. Andrew Merriwether, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Anthropology and Biology, Binghamton University
and
Ann and Andy Merriwether
Nyala Farm Alpacas,Vestal, NY
www.alpacanation.com/nyalafarm.asp
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gracelandnorthalpacas

271 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2010 :  12:03:41 PM  Show Profile  Visit gracelandnorthalpacas's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Roxanne,

We have a feed mill/co-op within 5 minutes of us. We previously ordered pre-mixed/bagged alpaca grain through them but it was too costly. They looked at the nutritional values on the bagged alpaca grain for the nutrient content for mixing our own. We also give free choice minerals at all times. We went from over $19.00 for a 40lb bag to $100 for 500 lbs of custom mixed, we chose whole oats instead of steamed oats to keep the cost down. It gets very cold here for long periods of time with lack of pasture for longs periods of time so we feel it necessary to give our alpacas grain, especially our females. With the switch this year we are keeping an especially close eye on their weight, so far so good.

We specifically asked what precautions they use because of the Land of Lakes poisoning. My husband talked to them but from what I can remember they thoroughly clean after each batch and they stated they keep samples from each batch to insure they would be covered if there is a problem.

Note from edit: We used to have choke problems with some of our alpacas with the bagged grain, but no longer have a problem with the custom mix.



Thanks,
Pam Schaber
Graceland North Alpacas
Cushing, Wisconsin
715-648-5150

Where The Love Of Nature Animals And Farming Meet

www.alpacanation.com/gracelandnorth.asp
www.gracelandnorthalpacas.com

Edited by - gracelandnorthalpacas on 01/20/2010 12:13:02 PM
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gatewayfarm

1420 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2010 :  12:03:53 PM  Show Profile  Visit gatewayfarm's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by nyala

I'd start with a hay analysis and then have the grain mix designed accordingly.


Does this mean that you change the mix annually? More frequently?

It seems to me that the herd's nutritional intake is in constant flux, changing with the seasons, available forage, growth stage of that forage, supplemental forage such as hay, sunlight exposure, and in some cases even water (since source may change seasonally).

Targeting a custom feed too narrowly thus seems (to me) to be an awful lot of work and expense for what is ultimately little or no gain.

But then, I do not regularly offer prepared feeds to my herd, so I may well not know what I am talking about...

We do feed our poultry a custom prepared feed, but mainly because of quality. We find they eat less and lay more when given a quality feed without all the fillers that go in commercial feeds.

Gateway Farm
Alpaca, a natural elegance...
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nyala

3317 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2010 :  6:11:38 PM  Show Profile  Visit nyala's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi,

Yes we do adjust annually. We do hay analysis and then adjust if needed. The hay analysis is not costly and the mill does not charge to change the formula. Its running us about 28 cents a pound delivered (3 tons at a time). I was kind of thinking of playing around with it again this year to see if we could bring the cost down a little more but keep it meeting our nutritional needs. We have a number of geriatric alpacas especially that need a little grain supplement.


Ann

D. Andrew Merriwether, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Anthropology and Biology, Binghamton University
and
Ann and Andy Merriwether
Nyala Farm Alpacas,Vestal, NY
www.alpacanation.com/nyalafarm.asp
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rgoss1

663 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2010 :  7:38:39 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
So do I just look on the yellow pages for a mill? Any suggestions on a mill in or around the Sandusky area in Ohio?

thanks

Roxanne Goss
Lands End Alpacas LLC
Vermilion, Ohio
gossr@roadrunner.com 440-225-4138
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