and Showing Alpacas and Llamas
You'll need to pre-order livestock supplies to show your alpacas and llamas in a halter show. Having the proper livestock supplies will keep your animals happy and you stress-free.
The halter show is where you
exhibit your breeding program, market your animals, and network with other breeders. To show
animals, you need to be well-prepared with all the correct permissions, livestock supplies, farm display,
animal feed, and so on.
If you have never shown animals, I recommend that you first attend some
halter shows to see how they work and what livestock supplies you need to bring. Volunteer to assist another breeder to experience a show from
a breeder’s perspective. It's a good idea to use a checklist to ensure that you have all the livestock supplies that
you need for the comfort of your animals and yourself as an exhibitor.
All shows require a certificate of health signed by a
within 30 days of the first date of the
show. In addition, some shows require extra tests for brucellosis, TB, and BVDV. Some lab tests
can take a week or more for results. So don’t wait until the last minute to get to the vet.
See U.S. State and Territory Animal Import Regulations for veterinary health check requirements.
Each alpaca also needs a microchip, and the vet must read the chip and record it on the health
certificate. When you arrive at the show with your alpaca, it will be checked for vet papers
and microchip before being admitted. You are advised to take your own microchip reader. Before
you leave your ranch for a show, always double-check to see that you have the two copies
of your vet health certificate, 2 copies of a negative BVDV test for each animal, and two copies of
the ARI or ILR of each registration certificate! I take extra copies of registration certificates
and fleece histograms in case someone inquires about the animal. I also put a copy of the
ARI certificate and the histogram in a plactic sleeve and hang it from the animal pen.
Managing Animal Stress
As much as we love shows, our animals do not like them. It is very stressful on alpacas and
llamas to be penned in a 10’ x 10’ stall for 3 or 4 days. It’s also stressful to transport them
back and forth. You need to be well-prepared to manage animal stress. Your first and foremost
rule must always be Animals First! There is nothing more upsetting than seeing animals
in a filthy pen with no water because the owners don’t show up until very late. Your animals,
your farm, and you as a competent breeder are all on display. Weeks before going to a show,
spend time getting your animal halter trained. Take enough quality pellets, hay, and separate
feed bowls for each animal for the entire show. I always take extra pellets. Rather than feed
one meal in morning, I feed smaller portions several times a day because it helps relieve stress
and boredom for the animals. Give fresh water daily, or more often if it becomes dirty. Put
some electrolytes in the water. Sweep up the poop as it is dropped. If your animal whines and is
antsy a lot, take it for a 10 or 15 walk through the show. They are very curious and like seeing
the other animal.
What to Take to a Show
You can take as much stuff in your trailer or truck as you like. However everything that you
take in, you must also take out! It can be very tiresome at the end of a show to pack
everything up. So I prefer to take less and only what’s essential. My farm display is very simple,
lightweight, and easy to put up and take down. The following table lists recommended items for
your show kit. I know of one farm that has no farm display at all. Their farm display consists
of big blue first place ribbons and purple championship banners on the pens of almost all their
animals. Very effective marketing!
For the Animals
- 10’x10’ woven plastic mat for each animal stall. An extra mat for the farm display is optional.
- Separate feed bucket for each animal
- Separate water bucket form each animal stall
- Separate hay bag for each stall
- Adequate hay and feed
- Electrolytes for the water
- Thermometer to take rectal temperature
- Banamine, syringes, alcohol, and cotton balls for pain, high temperature
- Probiotics if the animal develops diarrhea
- Oral antibiotics
- One black correct-fitting halter and one black lead for each animal
- Wire beater-wisk to whisk of vegetable debris and poop off the animals
- Broom and poop pan to clean the stalls
- Large plastic tub with wheels to transport your animal tack
- Neck string for show-ring number
For the Farm Display
- Dolly/cart to load and unload stuff
- Large plastic tubs with wheels for containing stuff
- Folding chair for each person (and guests)
- Folding table(s) and table cloth for each - I take 2 tables
- Literature box to hold my farm literature, vet papers, registration certificates, etc.
- Farm literature, brochures, business cards, sales list, sales contracts, herdsire contracts
- Copies of each animal’s pedigree and histogram. I hang 1 copy of each in a plastic sheet
on the stall of each animal.
- 8 1/2 x 11 Plastic sheets
- Copy of the vet certificate and negative BVD test
- scotch tape
- plastic electrical binders/ties
- Baskets for yarn
- Weavings and yarn
- Pens and Guest book
- 2ft x 4ft vinyl farm banner(s) -- I use three
- Cell phone
This page was last updated on June 18, 2009.