There are always a multitude of ways that raising animals will scare the bejeesus out of a person. Animals are very effective at finding trouble and getting into it. They are also very motivated to do whatever it takes to get their favorite foods, even if it means the risk of killing themselves. Go figure.
One of the worries of having a herd of alpacas is that they can & do, start choking on their pellets or grain. They have very long necks- it’s a lot of potential for hazard.
Since we’ve switched over to pellets only (for other reasons then choke which I can go into in different blog) as our supplement feed for our herd, I noticed an increasing instance of choking.
Now we do all the other things you’re supposed to do- we space out the buckets and have them at almost floor level. We also have more buckets then alpacas so they don’t feel so competitive- but the pellets still had more choking incidents.
Well- we had an alpaca fall sick(stormies story coming soon) & lose a lot of weight. I started soaking the pellets in beet pulp and giving that to all the alpacas – a couple reasons.
We run a sanctuary and have a lot of elderly alpacas, and they Run on the thin side. Since it was winter and very cold and windy at that, I made the decision to supplement all of them. I’m glad I did- our vet thinks they are in excellent condition.
With the soaking of the beet pulp, mixed in the pellets, the pellets of course soaked up the water and became more of a mash- and well- friggen duh – the alpacas stopped choking altogether.
So – the end all of this blog is yes- do all the other things I mentioned. But if you’re feeding pellets and seeing more and more choking incidents, please soak your pellets in water. Your herd and your stress level will both be better off.
Until next time, have a wicked good day!