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Saturday, September 24, 2016

Breeding Alpacas

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Female alpacas are usually ready for breeding once they have reached 75% of their adult weight which normally occurs between 18 and 24 months of age.

Since it is possible for a female alpaca to become pregnant as early as 6 months of age, it is very important to separate young females from intact males from this age until they are ready for breeding.

Sexually mature females are induced ovulators. If not pregnant a mature female is almost constantly "open" or "receptive" to breeding.

Males mature slower than females and typically begin breeding at 2 1/2 to 3 years of age.

However, some are precocious as youngsters and should be separated at about 8 months of age from receptive females since fertilization is possible.

Males "orgle" continuously while breeding which lasts a minimum of 15 minutes since the male dribbles, rather than ejaculates, semen in to the uterus of the female.

Breeding is done with the female laying down in a cushed position with the male on top.

The mating process induces the female to ovulate so that she can become pregnant.

Methods of determining pregnancy include observing a female's receptivity to an intact male, determining blood progesterone levels after 21 days and internal ultrasound and/or external ultrasound.

The gestation for alpacas is approximately between eleven and eleven and a half months, and females almost always produce a single baby.

Twins are very rare.

A young alpaca is called a cria and normally weighs between 10-18 pounds at birth. A cria is usually ready for weaning at 5-6 months (once it weighs 60 lbs.). An alpaca birth usually occurs in the morning to early afternoon. It is rare that a dam will birth in the evening but it can happen.

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