2011 Health Survey Results

Posted by Stephen Mulholland March 31, 2013 0 Comment 2216 views

Click here to read this PDF article by Stephen Mulholland, Ph.D.: 2011 Health Survey Results

An extract of this article is below, click on the link above for a pdf of the entire article.

The 2011 health survey covered the period from September 1st 2010 through to August 31st 2011. This time period is used for health surveys as it covers a complete “season” for alpacas in New Zealand. The survey period allows for the analysis to primarily encompass one cycle of birth and matings (so, for example, the effects of an especially harsh or easy winter can be seen in all the spring/summer births).

For the second time, the online service Survey Monkey was used to collect the results, with links to the survey being distributed via email to alpaca owners in New Zealand. This list includes the members of the AANZ, and participants in other camelid-interest mailing lists to which I have access. Versions of this survey were also sent out to alpaca owners in South Africa and Germany, the analysis of that data will be covered in another document.

Most of the survey responses came from people with relatively small operations; very few large breeders have historically participated in these surveys. This does create a potential bias in the data, as we might be missing information relevant to alpacas living in larger groups. In addition, people who take the time to answer a health survey are likely to be more interested in animal health and welfare, so these responses probably represent better than average knowledge and practices.

One complaint regarding the 2010 survey was that the setup of the survey form only allowed people to log into the survey once (Survey Monkey uses the IP address as a unique identifier). This meant if people only filled out the form half way then lost their internet connection, they couldn’t return to finish the form.

This restriction was removed for the 2011 survey, and that caused a different problem. In some cases it appears people logged on, partly answered the form, then logged in again and partly answered it again. This resulted in doubling-up of portions of some responses. I have endeavored to rectify these extra-entries, but even so it is likely that an occasional data-point was either double-entered or dropped.



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