Alpaca Health- Weight and Body Scoring
Here at Carrageen Suri Alpacas in Maine, we designate the first weekend of every month to herd health. Each animal is weighed and body scored. For those of you not familiar with body scoring, the thumb and index finger are placed against the animal about 6 inches behind the withers. We use a 1 to 5 system, 1 being too thin, 5 being too fat. Our goal is a score of 3. If your fingers are too close together, that is a 1, too far apart is a 5.
Weight is recorded and measured against the last month's weighing. Any dramatic loss of weight ( more than 5 lbs.) requires that a fecal test be done to determine the possible cause of the weight loss.
Newborn crias are weighed every day for the first ten days. Weight gain should be 1/4 to 1 pound per day. After this period we weigh them every week for 3 months.
Also while we are weighing the animals, eyes are checked for any abnormalities and the body is checked for any wounds that may have occurred.
By being vigilant and having these regular health sessions, your alpaca will enjoy good health and a long life.