A quick run down of basic required care for alpacas:
Spring/Summer/Fall: Fill water buckets, check hay bunks (we fill ‘em around every 3 days), spray their bellies if it’s too hot, see if anyone’s in labor, make sure everyone is still alive & healthy, scoop poop.
Winter: Same as the rest of the year, but NO SCOOPING POOP! WAHOO! Throw down straw instead (we do deep bedding). Lock them in the barn if it’s below zero wind chill. Blanket anyone that looks cold.
Check body condition, de-wormer shot to ward off Meningeal Worm, check toenails (some need trimming every 3 months, some annually), trim bangs, check ears, nose, armpits, & ankles for mites. We can do about 25 animals in a hour with 2 people. It can be done with just 1 person depending on how calm all the alpacas are during the process (or using a chute, but that takes longer ‘cause you have to strap them in).
Shear (our pro shearer takes 3-5 min per paca), check fighting teeth/trim if needed, vaccination shots
That’s it! What takes the most time is when one gets sick or gives birth. Otherwise, they’re super easy keepers.
Want to know more? Here’s a video series posted by the Alpaca Owners Association discussing parasite management, handling, and other basic need-to-know for alpaca owners: https://www.arilist.com/academy/camelid-education-videos/parasite-control
Want to know a lot more? Here are some references we keep on hand:
Llama and Alpaca Care http://www.amazon.com/Llama-Alpaca-Care-Reproduction-Nutrition/dp/1437723527
Alpaca Field Manual http://www.lightlivestockequipment.com/evansmanual.php
Neonatal Care for Camelids http://www.lightlivestockequipment.com/proddetail.php?prod=NEONATALCARE