when to blanket
Not all llamas and alpacas need polar coats. However, there are times when coats are very useful.
Some conditions that may require coats are:
Animals that are sheared late in the season
Extreme changes in the weather
Weak or sick animals
Animals that are being moved from a warmer climate to cold climates
Young animals born late in the season
When choosing a polar coat there are several choices. A standard polar coat is made with a 600 denier water resistant outer layer lined with polar fleece. These blankets are best for milder conditions or temperatures down to about 25 degrees. They are good when you need a wind break but temperatures won't be extreme. They are generally used on healthy animals that just need some extra protection. They are generally the best choice for animals that are active such as youngsters that spend a lot of time playing and generate their own heat.
Double polar coats are used when weather conditions are extreme or with weak or sick animals. They also may be used if animals need to be sheared late in the season due to health concerns. These blankets are made with 600 denier water resistant outer layer lined with a double layer of polar fleece. Be careful not to use these blankets if it is too warm or when animals might over heat.
Suri coats are made for animals with extremely fine suri fleece. They are made with polar fleece sandwiched between a layer of 600 denier cordura and a cotton or nylon lining to help reduce felting of fiber. These coats will protect the suri animals while causing the least amount of damage to their unique fiber. Suri coats also come standard with extra straps in addition to the velcro closures due to the lining making them "slicker".
With any of the polar coats it is important to monitor animals. Place your hand under the coat at least twice a day to be sure the animals are not getting too hot. Be sure to check if animals become active during the day and temperatures are warmer. Your animals are more likely to become sick from being too hot than from being cold. If you have other animals in the field you may want to add straps to your blanket. These straps are added in addition to the standard velco closures and help keep other animals such as goats or donkeys from removing the blankets. They are also used to keep blankets more secure on very active animals.
The best way to judge if animals need blankets is if they are shivering. Knowing your animals will let you know what they need. For help knowing what size blanket you need check the size charts on our web site. Click on the size button in the upper right hand corner of the home page and follow that link.