2 Feb 17, 2019 09:36 am
When we first started raising alpacas, the common practice in our area was hand breeding. This turned out to be quite a chore with getting the female in the breeding pen, letting the male in and sometimes waiting for him to decide if he wanted to breed or graze. Once he settled the female, making sure he got the job done and timing the process. Sometimes this took all day and was exhausting!
It was out of necessity that we started field breeding. I had accidentally discovered when we put a young male in with our females, that night time breeding was preferred. He was a good male so if he bred everyone of them, that was fine with me. And so in the darkness of the night we could hear the soft orgling of the Male. It was a calm and peaceful event. Soon we didn’t hear his nighttime song.
This was our mistake… We left the males in with the females reasoning that if the dams slipped the pregnancies the male would know and re-breed her. However, a month or so before the due date, I had noticed a male chasing a dam. Nothing ever came of it so I didn’t think much about it until we found the dam had aborted and the male was trying to breed so we separated them.
When this happened again with a different male, I reasoned that the dams hormone levels must be changing therefore exciting the male causing him to want to breed which stresses the dam to the point of aborting.
We still pasture breed but pull the males at no more than 3 months before due dates.