Mulberry Alpacas Home Page
Located in the mountains of Ashland, Oregon  
Mulberry Alpacas Saturday, 19 July, 2008  

Reproduction

Gestation is usually between 11 to 12 months and females are commonly mated around 14 days after giving birth. Alpacas are induced ovulators and do not have a regular breeding season, meaning they can be bred at any time of the year. Many breeders prefer to plan their births for early spring on their alpaca farm to ensure the mildest weather and the best start for the cria.

Females are usually mated for the first time according to weight and age. With good management, females usually start breeding at around 18 months of age.

Pen mating is the most common and successful method of mating alpacas. Mating may be observed for effectiveness and dates recorded. Paddock mating on an alpaca farm can also be used when mating small numbers, although observation of copulation is not so accurate. An open female will accept the male's advances by sitting down in the kush position. When a female thinks she is pregnant she will then reject the male by refusing to sit, spitting or kicking him away.

Pregnancy may be determined in a number of ways. Ultrasound scanning is one of the most effective methods as the operator can see the foetus. Alpacas usually give birth during daylight hours and seldom need assistance. Within an hour or so the cria will be up and walking, looking to mum for it's first feed.


A birth on our alpaca farm A new cria only minutes old comes in for close inspection from the rest of the herd.
The newly born cria is quickly dried and examined by Jo and Camilla before being reunited with her mother. Wherever possible, we leave the cria alone here on our alpaca farm, only "interfering" when a little help is called for. A birth on our alpaca farm
Reproduction The newly born cria is now mobile and is sniffed by her big sister under the ever watchful eye of mum.