• Semen Preservation and Artificial Insemination in Domesticated South American Camelids

    Semen preservation and artificial insemination in South American camelids are reviewed giving emphasis to work done in Peru and by the authors. Reports on semen evaluation and the preservation process indicate that semen of alpacas and llamas can be manipulated by making it liquid first. Collagenase appears to be the best enzyme to eliminate viscosity. Tris buffer solution maintains a higher motility than egg-yolk citrate, phosphate buffered saline (PBS), Triladyl, and Merck-I extenders. Cooling of semen took 1h after collected, and equilibrated with 7% glycerol presented a better motility and spermatozoa survival at 1,7,15 and 30 days after being slowly frozen in 0.25mL plastic straws. Trials of artificial insemination with freshly diluted semen and frozen–thawed semen are encouraging and needs to be tested extensively under field conditions. Recently, fertility rates varied from 3 to 67%. Semen preservation and most important, artificial insemination appear to be a reality, and could be used to improve the genetic quality of alpacas and llamas. more »
  • Alpaca Fleece Development and Methods of Assessing Fibre Quality

    The paper defines the major quality attributes of alpaca fibre (fibre diameter, fibre length, fibre colour, contamination and incidence of medullated fibres). The development of alpaca fleece and skin follicles is then discussed. The connection between the evolution in the textile market and alpaca fibre quality are discussed particularly in regard to fibre diameter variability. Suggestions on the methods of assessing fibre quality in the shearing shed, in the laboratory and in the office are made. Preliminary data from a survey of Australian alpaca fleece quality are presented along with some examples of fibre diameter and medullated fibre histograms produced by measurement on the optical fibre diameter analyser (OFDA). The paper concludes with a brief discussion on the main management and environmental effects on alpaca quality. more »
  • Reproductive Anatomy and Physiology in the Male

    The male camelid has a tremendous impact on the reproductive performance and genetic improvement of a herd. Despite this, scientific reports on the male in the published literature remain scarce. Approximately only one paper is published on the male for every six papers published on reproduction in the female. In recent years, interest in the male has increased, particularly in semen and its use for artificial insemination. This chapter covers the reproductive physiology of the male with regard to the development of testicles, the disappearance of the penis–prepuce attachment, and the concentrations of testosterone. Finally, the spermatogenic function of testicles, including spermatic reserves, and the relationship between semen characteristics and fertility of the female are reviewed. more »
  • Alpaca Breeding - A Reference

    It is widely known and accepted that the simple act of breeding can have a major impact to an alpaca female uterus. Generally, it repairs itself after a period of time, 7-20 days. The uterus requires a certain amount of time to heal itself after a birth and regain a normal non-pregnant shape. This is the reason why you wait for nearly three weeks before rebreeding*. Studies have shown that this is common in open alpaca ranges of Peru. Repeatable breedings at short intervals or unnecessary breedings can do irreparable damage to a female. This action has the effect of shortening the breeding life of a female. The idea here is to breed females keeping the damage to her uterus minimal. To do this requires a good understanding of a female’s cycle and her receptiveness to a male. more »
  • Prenatal Development of the Alpaca (Lama pacos)

    The prenatal development of the alpaca was studied. An evaluation of the reproductive tract by rectal palpation was described throughout pregnancy. Forty-eight embryos/fetuses were collected from a similar number of pregnant females at La Raya research station, in Cusco, Peru. Fetal data were analyzed by least squares regression. Ninety-eight percent of fetuses were located in the left uterine horn; however, corpora lutea were distributed evenly between the left and right ovaries. The pregnant uterus was within the pelvic cavity until 90 days of pregnancy, thereafter, the uterus was located cranial to the brim of the pelvis within the abdominal cavity. The growth curves of body weight, crown-rump length, vertebral column length, curved crown-rump length were quadratic in nature. The sex of the fetus could be distinguished at 60 days. Hair was present on the lips, eyebrows and tail at 210 days. The body was completely covered by fiber by 240 days of gestation. The mammary gland began to increase in weight only 30 days prior to parturition. more »