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What’s in A Breeding?

June 12, 2014

So what is in a breeding? Well to start with – knowing what kind of offspring you desire is first and foremost. What kind of qualities would you like your cria (baby alpaca) to have? Then you need to look at your female and decide what she’s already bringing to the table. Does she have nice confirmation, but maybe not great fiber? Then you fill in the desirous qualities through the male, like nice fiber. Once you have a pair picked – you just need to set up a date 😉

Now for the tougher part – pairing up two alpacas the old-fashioned way. Since alpacas are induced ovulators, artificial insemination is not an option. Alpacas must mate to successfully breed. fortunately alpacas are easy to read in the sense that the males always want to mate and the females make it clear if they are interested or not. If possible, create a small section of pasture where you can have the female in an enclosed area and bring the male to her. Once the two have checked each other out, the male will attempt to mount the female. You may need to encourage the female to cush (lay down). If she refuses, you may have to wait and try again another day. There is no advantage to forcing a breeding session. If it doesn’t work, don’t overly stress your animals.

If the breeding does occur then allow about 15-20 minutes of active breeding. Males make “orgling” noises while breeding that will get less intense and perhaps stop once he is done breeding. The female will also likely start to move like she is ready to get up.

Now that the breeding is done, return the animals to their respective pastures and try to allow for a relaxing day for the female. Don’t schedule any herd health or attempt to handle her if at all possible. She will ovulate in the next 24-48 hours and it is helpful if she is not stressed during that time.

After seven days has passed you can behavior check your female to see if the breeding was successful. Bring the male to your female as before, but this time you are hoping that she won’t cush and she “spits off”. This will indicate that she is most likely pregnant. Then in thirty days an ultrasound can be done to verify pregnancy.