Category Archives: Medical

Plans for a Restraining Chute

Chute plansHE0One of the most important tools you could have for your llamas or alpacas is a restraining chute.  It can makes tough jobs like medical work, shearing, trimming toes and grooming a lot easier – especially when dealing with nervous animals.

While most commercial chutes  are great, they can be quite expensive. Here are plans for building your own.

Click here:  chuteplans  (pdf)

Camelid Community Jamboree Targets New Owners

by Sheila Fugina

cc-logo-webCamelid Community’s “Fiber as Business” conference in Wooster, Ohio, in August created a great deal of excitement and enthusiasm about the potential for camelid fiber to generate income for alpaca and llama owners. That income potential is not limited simply to selling fiber and fiber products. A profitable camelid fiber industry would add value to our animals and make them more attractive to new owners, demonstrating why we raise camelids and what we can do with them—and we must have new owners if we are to succeed as an industry.

Just as the “Fiber as Business” conference was designed to provide a format and template for similar fiber conferences to be held in other parts of the country, Camelid Community has developed what we feel is the next step needed to grow our industry, an educational camelid jamboree designed to attract and educate the potential new owners who will insure that our industry’s future is a bright and strong one. The Camelid Community Jamboree also is designed to provide a template for use in future locations.

Target Audience—Young families and newly retired couples living on small acreages are the primary target for an educational camelid jamboree. They and others who are looking for family friendly, easy to care for animals that can generate an income flow are the main focus for such an event. The initial Camelid Community Jamboree will be held Sept. 19-20, 2015, at the Pierce County Fairgrounds in Ellsworth, Wisconsin—ideally located to draw people from a wide area in both Minnesota and Wisconsin and near enough to the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area to draw fiber enthusiasts. The event will be free to the public.

Sponsors—Sponsors of the initial Camelid Community Jamboree include Alpaca Owners Association (AOA), International Lama Registry (ILR), International Camelid Institute (ICI) and Greater Appalachian Llama & Alpaca Association (GALA). Additional groups also have indicated interest in becoming sponsors.

Content—The jamboree will include a series of short educational sessions, around 45 minutes or so, that will be repeated mornings and afternoons on both days so that people have the opportunity to attend all or most of the sessions no matter when they arrive. Topics will include camelid healthcare, nutrition, housing, training and handling, camelid 4-H projects, fiber both on and off the animal, the business end of fiber and demonstrations related to many of the topics. There will also be opportunities for hands on experiences with alpacas and llamas for both adults and youth, including animal walks, obstacle courses, etc. Other hands on activities will be fiber related, again for people of all ages. Attendees can leave the jamboree with all the relevant information needed to start their camelid adventure, and they will have made contacts with current owners who can be called upon for mentoring.

Vendors will offer a wide range of fiber and fiber products for sale as well as other camelid related items. In addition to providing a good marketing opportunity for the vendors, it also demonstrates to potential new camelid owners what they can do to generate an income flow from their animals. Exhibitors may have llamas and alpacas on display or for sale, and camelid organizations may have booths and displays to educate both current and future camelid owners as well as the general public. In addition, this will be an attractive venue for fiber mills, pools and cooperatives, as well as livestock related businesses—trailer manufacturers, feed suppliers, producers of farm buildings and equipment, etc. Local food vendors will provide meal and snack items for purchase.

The “workforce” for the jamboree will consist of volunteers: alpaca and llama owners in the region, members of regional and local camelid organizations and 4-H/FFA members and leaders in both Minnesota and Wisconsin, especially those with llama and alpaca projects. Additional details will be forthcoming the first part of 2015, and updates will be posted on Camelid Community’s website at

If you or your organization is interested in becoming a sponsor for Camelid Community Jamboree, or if you are interested in vendor or exhibitor information, please contact Sheila Fugina ( or Barb Baker (

Obit: Dr. Murray Fowler

On May 18 of this year, we lost a dear friend, LLII contributor, advisor, mentor and amazing human:  Dr. Murray Fowler of UC Davis in Sacramento.

Shortly after, I received the following letter from another long time friend and LLII contributor, Eric Hoffman: 

You’ve probably heard that Murray Fowler died on May 18 after first suffering a stroke on May 9. There won’t be another Murray Fowler. He was an original with a positive way of doing things. For me personally Murray was a big deal.

My first contact with him was 1979 when I phoned UC Davis to find someone to talk to about conditioning a llama for a arduous trek. I still remember his advice: “Run three miles a day with the llama to get in shape and get to know how well you’ll get along.”  We worked on the screening protocols together (adopted around the world by every alpaca registry at one time or another) and more things.  As you know he was integral to stressing conformation in show standards. And, we wrote The Alpaca Book together. Murray was a giver, pivotal to many people in how their lives went forward. I last ran into about the Camelid Health Conference at OSU in Corvallis last July. He was hanging out with LaRue [Johnson] and proudly presented two papers to all veterinarian audience (except me).  [I was asked to join] Murray and LaRue [and one other vet for dinner]. We had a good time: many old stories and laughter. I’m glad I went, because I will remember how he was still so engaged in learning. He and LaRue were debating the pros and cons of one of the speakers that day and we discussed his help to Bob Frost who had died from cancer.

I’m sending you an article I wrote about him for the SF Chronicle Sunday magazine in 1984. This puts his contribution to zoo animal medicine and nonstandard animals in context of his bigger than life reputation he had which many camelid owners may not have realized.  In the course of the last week I ended up talking to Murray’s family when he was being moved to rehab. I communicated with them to offer support. A few old friends had remembered the Chronicle article and suggested it be resurrected. I asked Tricia, Murray’s daughter if she remembered the article and did she think it was a good tribute to her father. Audrey, Murray’s wife, had sent the article to all of their kids and the family really liked it.  At the time we were thinking Murray was in for a long arduous rehab (he couldn’t talk) and putting the article in print again might help lift his spirits. Shortly after my exchange with Tricia I received notice from her that Murray had died —  The tribute turned into a tribute-obituary. I ended up writing an addendum to the SF article describing in more detail Murray’s specific contributions to the camelid world and about his special qualities as a human being. Both will run in ICQ and it just went to press yesterday.

I’m sending the SF article for you to use if you want it. I know Murray had a relationship with Llama Life II for many years. Feel free to use the attached article.

Thank you, Eric!  We at LLII miss him, too!  To view the article, click here: Best_Vet