How to Chukker your Alpaca

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We recommend that you have an experienced alpaca handler demonstrate how to chukker an alpaca, before you attempt it yourself. In practice, with a properly trained and handled alpaca, the need to chukker is rare, and this may be a skill you never need master.

To “chukker” an alpaca, you need a soft rope long enough to go around the animals belly and knot above the animals backbone. A reef knot is the only feasible knot to use as you need a knot that will readily allow you to shorten the belly rope, but will not loosen when pressure is placed on it. You need at least two people to successfully chukker an alpaca.

Get your helper to hold the alpaca correctly while you loosely knot the rope around the alpaca’s belly (slightly in front of the rear legs)- but take care that you don’t get kicked! Alpacas are extremely ticklish around their tummies, and become more so the further back you go, so expect your alpaca to object! If you have an alpaca that is unused to being handled it may pay to get a stick with a hooked end to catch and draw the rope under the animal rather than reach under the animal with your hand. Take out the excess slack but you should still be able to fit the full width of a mans hand between the backbone and the knot.

Pick up one of the rear legs and thread through the rope to just past the ankle. If you have the correct amount of slack, the weight of the alpaca on the rope will prevent the animal being able to withdraw its foot. Too much slack, or an incorrect knot that allows the rope to slip, and your alpaca will be able to force its foot forward and down and escape its restraint. Too tight, and you won’t get the second foot in!

As soon as you have the first foot firmly held, swiftly move around the alpaca and lift the other rear leg and place through the rope. You will find as you pick up the second leg that the alpaca will quite naturally lie down without either struggling or panicking. Your helper will need to move down with the alpaca, but should not release it. As soon as you have the 2nd leg secured, tighten the belly rope. Properly done, even a struggling and determined alpaca will not be able to stand until the rope is released.