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 2. Alpaca Healthcare & Nutrition
 Feeding Geriatric alpacas
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15 Posts

Posted - 12/24/2014 :  8:08:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We have a female that is 14 years old and my vet says she has "old teeth" This is our first older girl and although she is pregnant and doesn't seem to be skinny now I am looking for any advice on how and what to start feeding her when the time comes that she starts to have weight issues. I can see now that she chews very slowly. What should I be supplementing with, and should I be crushing her food or chopping her hay? I am sure some of you have been down this road and would love to hear any advice you may have to share.

Pat Martin
Heritage Alpacas
Gaston, OR

Mara DeBoe

110 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2015 :  1:50:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We've given soaked alfalfa cubes to the skinny ones during the winter. They have a much easier time with that than baled alfalfa.

Mark & Mara DeBoe
Wibotawot Farm
River Falls, WI
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4103 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2015 :  4:34:34 PM  Show Profile  Send Judith a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
I think that it's almost more important HOW you feed than WHAT you feed. Unless they're dominant in the herd (and some elders are the herd bosses), older alpacas sometimes get pushed aside at the feed dishes or hay feeder. I'd suggest that if you see her start to decline in weight, watch to make sure she's getting as much as she wants at feeding, and if not, set up a special place for her to get extra supplement and a higher protein forage (sort of a "creep" area for grannies). Most alpacas catch on very quickly to a new routine, especially if it involves extra food, so you can teach her to find her special, protected area instead of jostling with the others at feeding time, and she'll soon expect it.

Judith Korff
LadySong Farm
Randolph, NY 14772
Cell: (716) 499-0383
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318 Posts

Posted - 01/13/2015 :  05:29:15 AM  Show Profile  Visit joeykatp's Homepage  Reply with Quote
You can feed beet pulp (soaked as they are quite dry and hard) or add some oats to the grain. Alfalfa will put some weight on but not too much at a time as it can cause urine scald. As always slow changes in diet are recommended as their stomach bacteria must adjust to the change.
I had a girl who just recently passed away two months shy of her 20th birthday. She came out to the main barn area for her supplements morning and night for years. You might also add probios (optizyme at Tracor Supply is cheaper) to add bacteria to help digestion.
Good luck

Kathy Paternoster
Our Father's Farm
New Hampton, NY
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11 Posts

Posted - 07/22/2015 :  4:25:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
could you please tell me how much probios to sprinkle on grain ?
pam farnham
unger, wv
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319 Posts

Posted - 07/23/2015 :  10:10:00 AM  Show Profile  Visit Kate's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Isn't there a little scoop in the container? I remember sprinkling a very scant scoop over each serving of food when I used the powder. I think it was a tablespoon measure. I tend towards using the paste now...
Adding Equine Senior really upped the calories and improved condition as well.

Kate McKelvie
Alpacas of Sunset Fields
Glen Rock, PA
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