Plum Creek Alpacas

Mentoring is what we do!

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Males, and some females, grow fighting teeth, usually around age three. These are razor sharp. There are usually 2-3 on each side behind the six front teeth. When male Alpacas fight, because they are expressing herd dominance, they can employ these teeth to rip the skin of their opponent. One of their favorite targets is the scrotal sack with castration the object to ensure that their opponent cannot breed. Consequently, it is important to cut the fighting teeth off near the gum line.

There is a commercially available tool made expressly for chores. The Fight o Matic tool is a possibility for Alpaca ranchers. Other ranchers, including ourselves, use a Dremel Rotary tool. Using a dog chew toy wrapped in a small light cloth to keep the mouth open, use the Dremel to grind them off. Be aware of the heat that can be generated by this process. Multiple sessions on the same teeth might be easier on the Alpaca. Shine a light through them so you don’t go too far and get into their root.

We have chosen never again to use “nippers” as there is a good possibility of cracking a tooth. Some males may need their fighting teeth done a second time as they grow. Here’s a link to a video about it:

As a side note, if you have intact males, it is very important to check their scrotal sacks for damages on a regular/monthly (or more often) schedule. You should also feel their testicles for size and firmness.


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Thursday, January 11, 2024