The Watertown Alpaca Chute
The Watertown Alpaca Chute
By popular demand we can now offer a more compact version of the Llama Chute which is tailor-made for alpacas ! This chute has the neck bars or yoke restraint , and all the straps , but in addition it has removable lower side panels on both sides , ( made from weld mesh , similar to the optional gates used on the Llama Chute in Option 3 ,) to safeguard the alpacas legs . The lower side panels can be easily lifted on and off to allow easy access for toe-nail trimming , and once the alpaca is secured inside the chute more challenging husbandry tasks such as ultrasound scanning can be safely and more easily accomplished. The neck bars prevent the alpaca from lunging forwards whilst the halter straps prevent him from reversing out ! Drenching is so much easier in the chute , especially if your alpaca is very head-shy , as there is no need to hold the alpacas face, and tightening the top straps will elevate the nose and facilitate swallowing . As the halter restraints limit movement of the alpacas head it also makes ear, eye and teeth treatments so much easier. If your alpaca has a tendency to kush when under stress then the belly straps will enable you to pre-empt this, or even to gently and safely raise the alpaca from the kushed position. If you have a needle-phobic alpaca the withers strap can be used to deter him from trying to rear up just as you are about to give him an injection , and good all round access to every part of the animal makes it easier to treat skin problems in all of those awkward sensitive areas ! Blood-testing is made so much safer and easier to achieve, minimising risk and stress both for the alpaca and the vet ! The interior floor space is wide enough for alpaca-sized platform scales and the chute makes weighing even simpler. The compact size of the alpaca chute makes it a little more portable , but for camelid owners who keep both llamas and alpacas we can offer a suitable chute that can be used for both , known as the ALPALLAMA Chute ! . We would be happy to discuss your herd and suggest which product would be most appropriate for your particular animals.
The alpaca chute is also available with the optional gates which provide containment without the need to halter , and make it ideal for quick simple procedures when restraint is not needed. It is also perfect for routine weigh-ins using platform scales which fit neatly within it .
The Alpaca Chute comes with easily removed side panels that just lift off to give access for such tasks as toe nail trimming , and the belly straps prevent kushing .These three boys from the Berry Valley Herd had never seen a chute before , but very quickly accepted it and stood calmly to have their toenails trimmed and their teeth tails and testicles checked ! Thank you Andrea May of Andes Alpacas for the loan of Rupert , Fred and Olly ! The floor is aluminium treadplate , durable outdoors, anti-slip and easy to disinfect whilst providing an ideal surface for toe nail trimming. The alpaca is contained securely making pregnancy scanning safer and easier to carry out , and just about any husbandry task can be undertaken using the chute.
For tasks that require the alpaca to keep still for a reasonable period of time I use the yoke bars towards the front of the chute, which close on the alpacas neck and prevent forward movements, and the four straps on the front frame clip onto his halter to stop him from backing up. These straps are easily tightened, although they dont need to be excessively taught which would tend to induce greater resistance.
This arrangement is ideal for taking bloods for testing as there is excellent access to the alpacas neck where the vein is, and we have found it perfect for the ministry vets to use as all our imported llamas have to be sampled on arrival here. It is also ideal for oral drenching as the alpacas head is elevated , and there is no need to hold or touch the alpacas muzzle which many do object to. If we need to perform an ultra-sound using valuable equipment the vet is much happier to do so because the alpaca is not in danger of damaging it when she is secured in this way. The chute also has the added safeguard of a withers strap that passes over the alpaca to prevent him or her from rearing up, and two belly straps that can be deployed beneath the alpaca to prevent kushing. The location and distances between these straps is easily adjusted according to the length of the alpaca, and just like the halter straps they are easily tightened but can be quickly released in an emergency. Toe nail trimming, injecting, vaccinating, micro-chipping, and shearing are all made easier using the chute, and of course topical treatments for mites, dressing wounds, taking temperatures, checking ears or eyes and pretty much any potentially tricky procedure can be much more safely undertaken .
For basic routine injections with alpacas who are fairly relaxed about such procedures the yoke bars and halter straps are not always needed, so the other mode is to use the chute with a pair of gates instead. This is a quicker simpler method and does not require the alpaca to be haltered.
The gates are easily lifted on and off, and can also be hung on the left or the right. If the gates are to be used in place of the yoke then the yoke bars can be unclipped at the base and set to the sides out of the way or they can be removed completely. I tend to position my chute next to a holding pen so that the alpaca can be herded in to the chute with the back gate open and the front gate closed, and then shut the rear gate behind him, inject him, and then release him forward by opening the front gate. The gated chute is ideal when the alpaca just needs containment for simple procedures that dont intimidate him too much, such as worming injections or vaccinations, and it just ensures that he cant evade you as he might in a larger pen. The other ideal use for the gated chute is for weighing your alpacas using platform scales which fit neatly inside the chute. Once again the alpaca is led or herded in to the chute via the rear gateway, weighed and then released out of the front gate.
Galvanising the chute means that it can live outside, ideally in an area where the alpacas hang out so that they can become accustomed to it, and the floor is aluminium treadplate . If it is to be permanently positioned then if required the base of the frame can be pre-drilled to faciltate bolting it down in place.
If the alpaca is introduced to the chute in familiar surroundings then he soon gains confidence which will help him when he has to use it for veterinary or husbandry procedures in the future. Hay nets can be hung from the chute frame to encourage familiarity with it when its not in use, and of course your alpacas can even be fed or rewarded when inside it.
This video , shot in real time, shows two methods of loading and unloading the llama when using the neck bars and halter straps. First time around the handler leads the llama through the chute by also walking through it first , and then unloads the llama by walking back through the neck bars and reversing the llama out of the chute. It is also possible to lead the llama in by walking alongside the chute rather than through it , as shown on the second demonstration , and this time the llama is released forwards to unload by lifting one of the bars up and out to one side , rather than by asking the llama to reverse out.
The Llama Chute Options Available
Option 1 Galvanised Llama Chute with yoke restraint,all the straps, removable side rails but no gates £950 plus vat = £1140
Option 2 Galvanised Llama Chute with yoke restraint,all the straps, removable side rails and gates £1070 plus vat = £1284
Option 3 Galvanised Alpaca Chute with yoke and straps , plus removable lower side panels , £875 plus vat = £1050
Option 4 Galvanised Alpaca Chute , with yoke, straps, removable side panels plus removable gates , £985 plus vat = £1182
Option 5 NEW !! Galvanised AlpaLlama Chute with yoke, straps , removable side panels, removable gates , extra hanging position for rear gate, extra fixing points for halter straps, suitable for people with alpacas AND llamas ! £1175 plus vat = £1410
Delivery by national carrier with tail-lift to most mainland England and Wales post codes £82.50 plus vat = £99 . Quote for delivery to other post codes on request .
(But only as close as he can get with his lorry! Then it's all yours!)
Llama Chute 675 w x 190 h x 244 l
Weight around 125 kilos
Alpaca Chute 675w x 1700 h x 1830 l
Weight around 100kgs
Alpallama Chute 675 W x 190 H x 244 L
Weight around 155 kgs
These dimensions can be adapted slightly if for example you need a slightly reduced height in order to be able to transport the chute in a trailer with limited headroom as the chute can be made to order / customised to suit.
For owners of both Alpacas AND Llamas the new ALPALLAMA CHUTE is the perfect solution ! The same size as a standard Llama chute , this version can be scaled down to Alpaca size by using the additional lower fixings for the halter straps and withers strap, and by the provision of an extra hanging position for the rear gate inside the chute in order to shorten it. As with the standard Alpaca chute there are drop on side panels for containment , and as with both the other chutes the positions of the belly straps can be adjusted to suit the length of the camelid in either case.
The two llamas in this video are both using the chute for the first time. The brown llama, Ettie, needed an internal exam and an injection , but remained calm throughout . After the procedures there is an option to unload the llama from the chute either by reversing her out as we did with Ettie, or of fully opening the yoke bars to make a wide "V" , or setting them both to one side and leading the llama out of the front , as demonstrated by Limon in the earlier video. Depending upon your preferred method , the distance set between the bars at the base is adjustable , so set them close together if you want to lean both to one side to make the exit route forward , or further apart if you want to lead the llama out through the "V" . Its also easy to release one or both of the bars at the base completely and set them to each side to make the exit forwards completely unrestricted. The second llama , Cinzano, was newly imported from Europe just days before , so the ministry vet was collecting a blood sample from his neck for routine testing . Taking blood from a camelid is not easy but having the chute minimised the risk of injury and stress to both the llama and the vet , allowing him to get the job done as efficiently as possible. You can see that we left lots of slack in the noseband so that I could also check his mouth for fighting teeth.
Our Alpallama Chute is proving to be a great asset with both the owners and their vets :
"We used our Llama and Alpaca Chute for castrations yesterday. We were quoted £90 per alpaca. After we had finished, the vet said she had never had such easy castrations and as the alpacas were so beautifully behaved, the charge would be nowhere near the price quoted, belly straps were used to stop cushing and they stood like statues. A stress free afternoon !!! ( I was going to say painless, but I won’t !!!"
We recently supplied a Llama Chute to Les and Chris , way up in Argyll , who`s llamas were in need of shearing at the start of the summer , and this is the lovely feedback we received from Les and his llamas !
"We now have four cool llamas, two very relieved owners and a big pile of llama fibre! The chute worked like a dream – the best thing we have ever bought ( apart from the llamas ) even the gelding who can be tricky to handle stood quietly with very little restraint. The removable bars were a godsend making shearing so much easier. What a brilliant design, we can`t thank you enough and have no hesitation in recommending your chute to any other llama owners".