Paco-vicuña ‘PV’ general herd management practices:
1. PVs are a herd type animal and do not mind being grouped in tight quarters. You need to have at least two animals. Males need to be kept separate from females.
2. PVs are intelligent animals. They are still considered to be livestock and not pets.
3. PVs are very curious, alert, and calm. They like to be around people yet they do not necessarily liked to be touched. You can stand right next to them and talk to them and they are right at home. A number of them will go nose to nose with you in a “kiss”.
4. PVs on average are smaller than alpaca. Adult females average around 135 pounds and can range in weight from 100 - 175 pounds. The higher end of the weight scale is attributed more on the amount of alpaca in their breeding. Alpaca can average around 150 pounds and weigh over 200 pounds.
5. You can pasture approximately 5 – 10 animals on an acre of land. It depends on the amount of grass available.
6. An adult PV can eat approximately 3 ½ pounds of hay or grass a day.
7. PVs usually have single births. It would be very rare for them to give birth to twins.
8. The female is a self induced ovulator. This means that when a female is bred she will ovulate. A female can be bred for the first time when she is between 18 and 24 months or about 100 pounds. A female can be bred back 15 days after she has had her cria. A cria is a baby PV.
9. The crias are vigorous. This is attributed that to their vicuña heritage. They are up and nursing right away. Crias that have weighed as little as 10 pounds and as much as 19 pounds. Fourteen to sixteen pounds is a good average.
10. Gestation length averages 345 days or 11 months and 1 week. It can range from 330 – 370 days.
11. PVs have protruding eyes. This is a vicuña characteristic and sets the PVs apart. Those big beautiful eyes!
12. PVs are shorn in the spring.
13. Fiber growth on the PV can range from 1” – 4”a year. This depends on their breeding. Usually the closer you get to the vicuña, the shorter the fiber growth. The 1” is more on the premier-plus side where the 4” a year leans towards the classic-plus category. Our goal is to have a premier-plus animal produce 3” of fiber a year.
14. PV fiber has crinkle, while alpacas have crimp.
15. Vicuñas have dense fiber and it is a characteristic of the PV. On some animals, it is difficult to spread their fiber apart in order to see their skin. You know you have density when you can shake their blanket out after is has been shorn and it stays intact.
16. PVs have guard hairs, which is a vicuña characteristic. One of the main purposes of guard hair is to shed water away from the animal. Guard hair can be removed in the milling process.
17. With regards to the temperatures, the PVs handle the cold well. They are tolerable with the heat.
a. Administer CD&T as directed to crias and then annually after that.
b. Intestinal worming as needed.
c. In areas where the white tail deer are resident - administer ivomec vaccinations every four to six weeks as a precaution to the meningeal worm, which is carried by the white tail deer.