I had sent away for the DNA testing kit and also for microchips. The DNA collection seemed straight forward enough - pull some hairs that included the follicle. The microchipping seemed the most daunting. But it turned out to be quite the challenge! Michele has a ton of experience with microchipping after her years with animal control. She took care of microchipping and hair pulling, and I was responsible for keeping the animals steady.
Catching them to begin with was a challenge. Then I would hold the body steady, and Michele's son would hold the head steady. She'd microchip the ear (we chose that because we weren't certain that they hadn't been microchipped in the past, and the "regulation" position is under the tail) and then pull tufts of hair. It sounds straightforward. But not one of those alpacas wanted to submit to our efforts without a fight. The males were the worst! At one point I thought Patrick had broken my jaw after he reared up unexpectedly.
We were all sweating and swearing and concentrating, but after an hour and change we were done.
I found the DNA portion the most stressful - I was concerned that we wouldn't gather a suitable sample. You pull up to 30 hairs (we did waaayyy more than 30) and run tape across the middle so that the follicle end is exposed. Then you put the samples in an envelope and label it with the microchip number. Send it off, and in a couple of weeks find out if everything you believe about your animals is true!
At the end of it, I can only say that I'm grateful to have a partner that is as experienced as Michele - and I pity anyone who does this as a novice! In the future, doing all of this for the crias we'll have will be much easier!