Breeding Alpacas

Breeding

On average, gestation is eleven months and it is recommended that mating be timed to ensure late spring or early summer birthings.

Young females are ready to be put to a stud male only when they have reached 60 per cent of the weight of their mother, or are 14 months old. Following a normal birthing and complete cleansing within 12 hours of birth, a female should be in a fit condition to return to a male from 10-14 days post partum.

It is known that some males are able to breed from about nine months of age but most males are not fertile until they are 2-3 years old.

During copulation, the stud male intrudes through the cervix of the female and deposits sperm repeatedly into each uterine horn. This action can cause damage to the uterine lining and disrupt a developing pregnancy. Frequent and indiscriminate mating should be avoided.

The selection of stud males is an important decision. The stud should be chosen to add improvements to the female such as better crimp or lower micron count because the male has a major influence on the quality of the offspring.

cria apacaCria should be weaned at around six months of age.

It is unwise for the safety of a newly born cria to have expectant mothers birthing in a field with deep puddles, ponds or streams.

Hypothermia in cold or wet weather can be fatal to young and newborn cria.

Cria should be vaccinated at four weeks and a booster given four to six weeks later. From then, they should fall into the regular schedule of the adult herd. Worming of cria is normally commenced at weaning. Late born cria can be given vitamin A, D, and E boosters in the autumn as a precaution against rickets.

Weaning

Cria are usually weaned from the dam (mother) at six months of age. This ensures that there is enough time for the dam to dry up before the next birthing.

The advised weight for weaning cria is 25kg or more. Some cria will reach this weight before six months of age. Ask your vet before weaning sooner.

Weaning can be distressing, therefore it is important to put newly weaned cria out of eyesight and earshot from their dams.

Males and females can be weaned together but it is advisable to separate the two at approximately 10 months of age.

Cria are usually administered their first dose of wormer at this time.

Due to the structure of most people’s breeding regimes, cria are usually weaned during the winter months. At this time a dose of vitamins A, D and E would be beneficial to them. Discuss with your vet.


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