2022/2023 Alpaca Owners Guide

a limb deformity and you will probably get judged down for conformation. Plus, it is uncomfortable for the alpaca. Halter fit is something that seems to bedevil even the most experienced breeder. An ill-fitting halter can really bother the alpaca and make handling him in the ring very difficult, if not impossible. Sometimes people get rushed at a show and put an ill-fitting halter on their alpaca and hustle him off to the staging area. If the halter is not firmly above the soft nose cartilage, it is very uncomfortable for the alpaca, and he will let you know by his unruly behavior. It is a good idea to halter him up ahead of time and to pay particular attention to the halter fit. Once you’re in the ring you can’t call time out to get a halter that fits well. Some breeders mark a halter that has been specially adjusted for a certain show alpaca. You look for the marked halter, put it on the alpaca and head for the show staging area. However, show alpacas tend to be young and growing, so that same halter may be very uncomfortable at the next show two or three months down the road.

Large shows can seem intimidating with hundreds of alpacas competing. So how can a small farm hope to compete? Well, you are not competing against hundreds of alpacas. You are only competing against the alpacas in the ring with you on that day, at most eleven alpacas.

Make a checklist for shows. The checklist should name every item you need to bring to a show. Do you notice that alpaca supply vendors at shows seem to get a lot of business? A lot of that business comes from people who don’t make a list and therefore leave critical items at home. On the list, include the paperwork you need (vet certificates, registration papers, registration certificates), hotel reservation info, maps, buckets, minerals, pellets, hay bags, advertising material, camera, halters, leads, gate latches for stalls, etc. 

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