Saturday 14th January 2017
Alpacas and Vitamin D
We are a little late but we need to give our alpacas doses of vitamin paste this month. This is usually recommended to be done as winter sets in (so December really). The paste contains Vitamins A, B, D and B12 and is given to help prevent Rickets: a condition that affects bone development. Good bone development is aided by Vitamin D (in humans too) and Vitamin D is of course produced by the action of UV light on the body. In the winter our daylight hours are very short (unlike the high South America plains where alpacas naturally live) and as such, in this country, Vitamin D deficiency can occur, particularly in growing cria.
Signs to look out for are a wobbly gait, a hunched back and weight loss! There are some vitamins in the hard feed that we give to the alpacas and a tiny bit may still be found in the grass and even the hay but we think it is advisable to give the paste still.
It is a fun job: the alpacas don’t like being touched and they especially don’t like their mouths being forced open and the paste squirted in. The first time we gave it to Jupiter, back in 2013, most of it ended up on his lips and chin!!!