John & Susan Merrell
41390 Hwy 226
Scio, OR 97374
503-551-7219 (cell)
Alpaca Farming
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Alpaca farms need some basic supplies to care for their animals.  Although easy to care for, there are some regular husbandry procedures that that need to be completed.

At a minimum, the alpaca owner will need the following:

  • toenail clippersNail clippers - alpacas toenails need trimming every 2 -3 months.  We have found that the clippers found in many florist or garden shops are excellent for this task, and they are relatively inexpensive to boot.  The actual trimming of toenails is pretty straight forward.  The alpaca's foot is lifted off the ground and the nail is clipped so that it is even with the pad of the foot.
  • Leads - a regular dog leash will work.  For a nicer appearance, leads can be purchased from any farm supply store.  You will occasionally find them on sale for very good prices - buy as many as you can!!  Ideally you should have a lead for every animal
  • halterHalters -these are a specialty item.  There are several on-line sources of alpaca halters.  We prefer those that have a clip on the side, rather than a buckle, since they go on and off faster.  Alpacas tend to shy away from having their heads and faces touched.  You will need a variety of sizes.  Again, you should have a halter that fits for every animal on the farm.
  • Scales - two types of scales are desirable.  A digital package scale that weighs up to 100 pounds in 1/10th pound increments can be acquired for $150 or less.  These can be readily adapted as cria scales simply by building a box in which to place the cria.  A larger platform scale capable of weighing up to 500 pounds is desirable for adult animals.  These range from $450 to well over $1000.  While not absolutely necessary, they are a good management tool.  Given the fiber coverage on alpacas it is impossible to make a visual assessment of weight gain or loss.  Weight loss is an early sign of ill health in these animals, so a scale is really helpful.
  • Teeth Trimmer - alpacas' teeth grow throughout their lives.  This often means that teeth trimming is necessary as they age.  Some have had success with a simple high speed grinder, like a Dremel.  However, there is now a specially made teeth grinder that attaches to an angle grinder that works very well.  Cost is about $125.  It is also good to have OB wire to trim the male's fighting teeth.
  • Basic Vet and first aid supplies, which are covered in a separate section.



Alpaca Sales

"He was a big man; his features and even his ample moustache gave a disconcerting impression of rugged integrity,and I remember him chiefly in an alpaca or seersucker coat. Though much less formal, more democratic -- in a word -- than my father, I stood in awe of him for a different reason, and this I know now was because he possessed the penetration to discern the flaws in my youthful character..."

Winston Churchill
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