Sunday, January 27, 2008

We got a scale and alpaca weights

Given vet scales and easily cost $600+ we were not eager to go out and spend that money, we didn't get a scale right away. But now that we have alpacas that are under a year old we do need to monitor their weight. And it won't be long until we have some cria who will need to be weighed.

So Saturday we set up the scale and put the alpacas on it. They do not like to be haltered! J was the lucky one to catch and halter them then pull them to the scale. I stood behind the alpacas and pushed their back hips into the scale.

Maddie weighed in at 66 pounds. She's 4.5 months old and appears to be a good weight for her size. She has a good spine score so she's a perfect weight for her frame.

Sommerfield weighed in at 88 pounds, which appears right on for her body frame (her spine feels like a 3). She's pretty big for her age, given that breeding is usually done when they hit 90 pounds, and she's almost there. We plan to wait until late summer to early fall to breed her. But she will be plenty big by then, and will be around 18 months old (most start breeding between 15 and 18 months depending on the alpaca, the bigger ones earlier as they are ready earlier). Also we noted when Sommerfield first came to our farm she was showing herself to all the alpacas (she didn't know if they were males or not). At less than a year she was already presenting as ready to breed. In the wild some male would have tried! But we don't have any able males near her so we will wait a bit.

Sancha is a spitter and spitted a few times as J, but did eventually get on the scale. She weighed in at 190 pounds. We knew she was a bigger than average alpaca (average is supose to be 150 pounds) because she is taller and has a bigger frame than our other females. She seems to be a perfect weight as her score (spine score) is right on.

Snowstorm would not cooperate and after much struggling we gave up. I would have predicted he was over 200 pounds (before we got the scale). But looking at him next to Sancha, I bet they are very close in weight (though that can be deceptive, as we will see with the later weigh ins). He is overweight as his body score was a 5 to start, is slowing going to a 4.

Victoria was a suprise, she looks big but I think it's more due to her very dense and long fiber. She weighed in at 142.6 pounds. I fully expected her to be above the 150 (thinking 170-180). We were off on her! She is a bit on the heavy side for her frame as her spine score is a bit higher than the 3 it should be.

Kateria, who we thought was so much smaller than Victoria weighed in at 142.8! They are almost the exact same weight. I'll have to see if I can get a picture of them together, because I swear Victoria looks heavier.

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