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Alpaca Cooling Options

Updated: Jan 17

As temperatures rise during the summer, it's essential to implement measures to keep your alpacas cool and prevent heat stress. Follow these guidelines to ensure the well-being of your alpacas in hot weather:

  1. Heat Stress Risk Calculation:

  • Determine the risk of heat stress by adding the ambient humidity (%) and temperature (F).

  • If the total is less than 120, there's minimal risk. If it's 150 or more, take precautions. At 180 or above, alpacas are at high risk.

  • Observe alpacas closely when the risk is high, checking on them during water bucket changes.

  1. Monitoring Signs of Heat Stress:

  • Increased respiration is a sign of heat stress. Use a hose to water the underside of their bellies, avoiding getting their backs and sides too wet.

  • Wet fleece prevents air circulation, hindering cooling through evaporation.

  1. Natural Ventilation:

  • Keep barn doors and windows open to allow natural airflow. Position doors to align with prevailing winds for effective ventilation.

  1. Fans:

  • Use fans in enclosed spaces where natural ventilation is limited. Fans are cost-effective and help move air to keep alpacas comfortable.

  1. Sprinklers:

  • Alpacas enjoy water, and sprinklers can cool their thermal window (belly). Set sprinklers to come on for short periods during hot days, focusing on their bellies.

  1. Kiddie Pools:

  • Provide quick and effective cooling by using kiddie pools. Fill them with enough water to cool the alpacas' bellies, and change the water daily.

  1. Evaporative Coolers:

  • Consider evaporative coolers for more elaborate cooling. These devices can lower barn temperatures by up to 15 degrees.

  • Different from misters, evaporative coolers emit relatively dry air, keeping alpacas dry yet cool.

  1. Regular Monitoring:

  • Regularly check alpacas during hot weather, especially if the risk of heat stress is high.

  • Adjust cooling measures based on the specific needs and behaviors of your alpacas.

By employing these practical cooling methods, you can ensure that your alpacas stay comfortable and healthy during the heat of summer. Adjust the strategies based on the severity of heat stress risk and individual alpaca responses to the heat.


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