Alpaca Press Release


Holmes Laboratory, Inc.

Attention: Reputable Breeders, Concerned Owners, Established Farms

Reprinted with permission from American Livestock Magazine, Spring 2005 Edition.

The overall health, growth, reproduction and fiber quality of your animals is directly correlated to their daily nutritional intake. Knowledge of these factors can be instrumental in their development.

The nutritional values in your pasture and hay reflect what the soil contains. Dr. Norm Evans, DVM presented a seminar in Canfield, Ohio, on August 10, 2004, with a focus on Alpaca nutrition. The importance of knowing what animals are eating, drinking and what fertility levels are in the soil were stressed.

Holmes Laboratory, Inc. is dedicated to assisting you with your comprehensive Nutritional, Water and Soil Analytical needs. If you have been searching for a testing service that can explain how to collect and submit samples, that can benefit you, they welcome you to contact them.

Holmes Laboratory is an Independent Analytical Laboratory that is committed to the continued growth and success of the Camelid Industry. Holmes Laboratory has been in business since 1979. Wet chemistry procedures are used for all analyses. The growth, success and expansion of their laboratory services are directly related to their loyal customers. They appreciate the support, encouragement, suggestions and thoughtful referrals. Although they are offering additional analytical services to meet your every need, they are still small enough to continue to give each customer personalized attention.

Specializing in the following: Hay, Pasture, Grain or Supplement Testing, Soil Testing for Pasture or Hay Fields, Water Testing.


Reprinted with permission from American Livestock Magazine

Why Test The Water For Your Camelids, Equine Or Other Livestock?

Water is the most important nutrient and is consumed in the largest quantity. Water may appear clear and pure, but it contains numerous dissolved minerals and other substances. This extreme variability of water quality can have an effect on your animal.  Researchers have determined that good, clean water is essential for normal rumen fermentation and metabolism, proper flow of feed through the digestive tract, normal blood volume and good nutrient absorption. Water composition varies across the U.S. and also within a geographical region.

Holmes Laboratory offers a comprehensive Livestock Water Suitability Analysis (the test desired is S) to evaluate the composition of drinking water. This test will provide very important diagnostic parameters for you or your nutritional consultant. Research work indicates that animals consuming 0.3 ppm Iron or 0.05 ppm Manganese in the water will have reduced performance. This is due to a negative affect on taste or palatability and thus reduced water consumption. In addition to testing, it is very important to practice good water management practices such as cleaning water devices daily and ensuring that adequate volume of water is available for peak demands.

There are many nutritional mineral relationships involved in water that we should monitor on a yearly basis. It is also crucial to know the levels of Nitrate, Sulfate, Zinc, pH and total dissolved solids in your water. All of these can cause health problems. We also need to recognize that substances found in our livestock drinking water can affect the availability of other dietary elements. Copper and Selenium availability can be affected by high intakes of Iron and Sulfur.

Testing confirms if your water is acceptable for your livestock, or if possible problems exist. When the water quality problems are properly identified, they can often be corrected with the necessary water treatment systems, or the nutritional consultant has the data required to adjust the feeding program. There are some cases where water has contributed enough available mineral elements to create a mineral toxicity.

If you are interested in knowing if your water is suitable for your livestock, please follow these instructions:

How To Take A Water Suitability Sample

Use a clean plastic bottle with a screw on cap that will hold about 16 – 20 oz. Many individuals use grocery store water bottles or soda bottles. Locate a cold water faucet that is near the well, and before any treatment device such as a water softener or filter.

Open the faucet completely and allow it to run for 5 minutes. This will flush out all the plumbing and ensure that the sample represents the groundwater in the well. Reduce the flow of water and fill the plastic bottle to the top. Attach the cap tightly and wrap some tape around the cap to prevent leakage.

Be sure to label your bottle with a sample description in case you have more than one water source to test. Complete the Sample Information Form and send your water sample(s) to Holmes Laboratory in a cardboard box for protection during shipping. The sample form can be downloaded from our website,

We always welcome any questions, so for additional information, call 1-800-344-1101.