top of page

The Importance of Weighing

Updated: Jan 17

In their natural environment, alpacas have a balanced diet, making it nearly impossible for them to overeat and become overweight. However, in North America, this scenario is not as straightforward. The risk of obesity in alpacas poses not only health concerns but also impacts their reproductive capability and can lead to birthing problems.

On the flip side, a sudden drop in weight is equally worrisome. Alpacas are known for their stoic nature, concealing signs of illness adeptly. Weight loss often becomes the sole indicator of underlying health issues that demand immediate attention.

To safeguard your alpacas from gradual weight gain or to detect sudden weight loss, routine weighing is paramount – preferably on a monthly basis, and more frequently for crias. Investing in a digital small-animal livestock scale proves invaluable for this purpose, providing accurate measurements crucial for your alpacas' well-being.

During the weighing process, incorporating body score checks is essential to assess their overall condition. This involves feeling the animal near the spine, between the withers and the hips, and evaluating the fat content. The scoring system ranges from 1 to 5 or 1 to 10, with lower scores indicating serious underweight and higher scores signifying obesity. Striving for a middle ground, such as 3 or 5, depending on the scale, is ideal.

Regularly assessing both weight and body score, coupled with meticulous record-keeping, offers a comprehensive understanding of your alpacas' health. This practice should be an integral part of your routine herd management, ensuring proactive care and well-being. Your alpacas, if they could express gratitude, would undoubtedly thank you for this essential aspect of their care.


bottom of page