Alpaca breedings

I must say we have been fairly unlucky in getting new crias from our 3 females; well, to be more specific, the goal is to have females for selling as breeders and they sell for more money than males.  The males are usually viewed critically in order to be chosen as a herdsire.  If the quality is not there to be passed on then they are gelded usually and become herdmates for fleece sales.  We purchased them all as bred, and out of our 3 girls we have had 2 boys and one girl.  Unfortunately the beautiful girl cria was killed when two months old at the small farm they were being boarded at, by that family’s dogs.  It was most unfortunate.  Two lessons we learned: always get insurance on them asap after birth and also don’t assume  family dogs will not harm these animals; make sure fencing is tight and secure.  The breedings scheduled at that farm for our three girls never seemed to get accomplished  and we were not close enough to monitor their routine for breedings.  The books say there must be several breedings over a series of weeks until the female finally spits off the male.  The female is an induced ovulator and does not go into heat, but requires the breeding to stimulate egg production.  It can take several breedings to finally “take” and even then they can reabsorb the pregnancy up to a certain number of weeks, so spit testing is a definite must until well into the pregnancy and it can be confirmed by ultrasound and/or progesterone tested. 

So now that they are on our ranch, it is for us to now guide and manage the breeding schedule.  We put one of our open females in with our herdsire and there was no interest from either one whatsoever.  After several hours of him in one corner of the pasture and she in another, I went to the Alpacanation community blog and researched this phenomena.  It made me feel better to know that this was not unusual behavior.  I decided to leave them together as long as it took.  Well, a week and a half later, I witnessed the male chasing her and finally the breeding took place.  I am keeping them together until she spits off.  There should be more breeding taking place now that they are living together.

I do have another open female who seemed highly interested in all the activity and will soon introduce her to him as well. 

I have one pregnant female due this fall and so if I can get these other 2 bred for next year I will feel like we accomplished our goal for this year.  Now, if they are all 3 girl crias, I will be ecstatic.


1 Comment

  1. Chris Moran said,

    July 11, 2008 at 11:47 PM

    Nice writing style. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    Chris Moran

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