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Changes in body weight and condition of female llamas and alpacas throughout the year

Journal of Dairy, Veterinary & Animal Research
Marcelina Peña,<sup>1</sup> Sunny Florez,<sup>1</sup> P Walter Bravo<sup>2</sup>


The yearly time course of body weight and body condition was evaluated in female llamas and alpacas. One hundred and twenty lactating females, 60 llamas, and 60 alpacas maintained grazing natural pastures were assessed monthly for body weight and body condition. Body weight was registered using a scale to the nearest 1 kg. Body condition was evaluated behind the shoulder, and dorsal protrusion of the thoracic vertebrae was detected. Body weight was analyzed using analysis of variance and body condition using the Chi-square test. Body weight, kg, was different (P≤ 0.05) by species and breeds, 97.6 and 56.2 for llama and alpaca, respectively. Chaku llamas, 94.3; Kcara llamas, 100.9, Huacaya alpacas 56.3, and Suri alpacas 55.9 kg. Body condition varied significantly (P≤ 0.05) between llamas and alpacas. Twelve percent of animals presented good body condition compared to 46% of regular and 42% with poor body condition. More llamas and alpacas were in good body condition, and 82 animals, during the rainy season, December, were also pregnant, more than 15 females with poor body condition and nonpregnant during the same period. Body weight and body condition improved during the rainy than the dry season.


Body weight, body condition, year, llama, alpaca