Thursday, June 7, 2012
Transporting alpacas is surprisingly easy. You do not necessarily need a fancy trailer. They can be put in trucks, cars, vans and horse trailers if you have one available. We’ve put several in the back seat of my Honda on occasion and go cruising down the road.
Alpacas need to feel secure. Never, ever tie them up, or they can easy break their necks. We usually do not even leave the halters on to ensure they do not get caught on something.
When traveling in a trailer, we provide a bed of hay for our alpacas to travel in. It is a comfortable place to sit, something to eat en route, and also a good distraction to get their attention and keep them in once loaded. Keep the water covered with a lid until you stop for gas or to eat. Most will not drink during the trip.
Alpacas are placid travelers, usually sitting down once the vehicle starts moving, and when the motion stops, they stand up to look around. Unlike horses, which stand to travel and are tied with a lead on their halter, do not tie alpacas for travel. Males should be separated from females during travel.
When loading / unloading into the back of a truck, back up to a hill or ramp. This will allow them to walk in or out on their own rather than needing to pick them up.
Check out your alpaca’s health before travelling them. Also, see what the requirements are for your destination. All inoculations should be up-to-date. Ensure that your alpacas meet any requirements for Tb status before they travel. Most times you will need health papers from your vet.
Our cushioning hay is both bedding and food. For long distances we provide a water bowl. A dog water bowl, which attaches with hooks to the side of the vehicle works well, as a bucket can get knocked over.
If you are travelling a dam with a cria, it needs as much space as an adult so the cria does not get squashe. Stop every four hours for them to stand and drink from the mother. Before we put alpacas in their transport vehicle, we give them access to a manure pile. Generally they will then not need to toilet for a few hours. As long as we keep moving, they stay sitting. Once we stop they stand up, and that is when they tend to go to the bathroom.