Love is in the air

Spring is our time for breeding the alpacas since they have an 11 to 12 month gestation.  We don’t really want to have any births in the heat of summer.  And if they perchance have a fall birth I worry that a newborn will be caught in an early winter cold snap, so I would prefer a late spring birth. 

We are new to this I admit and so I have been researching what I can to discover what the magic formula is for getting a male and female to breed.  Our lackluster results last spring proved our male is very “polite” and will not chase the females.  He tends to hide in a corner if they spit at him or rebuff him at all.  This year we are going to be more proactive in getting the female to kush, and catch-penned in a more “private” area of the barn so they have no distractions from other curious alpaca eyes.

This week we have had success with our herdsire Hershey Surprise and our female Kona Queen. The key for him is they have to kush, he will not chase. So Sunday was the date night  and,  once Kona  got tired of prancing around the catch pen while Hershey reclined in the corner, she kushed and he was romancing her immediately.  Knowing that it may take another “date” or two for success, we got them together Tuesday and she would absolutely NOT have anything to do with him.  Several times she looked like she was going to kush, but she would take an over the shoulder glance at Hershey once again in the corner reclining and she never would kush.  After about an hour of wandering around the catch pen she looked like she just might kush and he took the cue but it just erupted into a spitting match between the two.  We removed Kona drolling green from her mouth, and Hershey, whose lower lip was slimed and drooping  almost down to his chin, was sent back to his pen and pasture.  Could it be she knows she is pregnant this soon?  I have no clue, but spit testing will be in her future very soon.

Next we have two more girls, a mother/daughter actually.  We dedicated this week in the evenings to breeding and so Hershey will have dates every night.  We will see how this goes.  It should be interesting because these two  girls spit trying to keep others out of their food bowls.  Having a date with Hershey in a catch pen may prove too much for them.

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