• Alpaca Fact Sheet #1: Key Reproductive Features

    Most domestic species show regular distinct periods of 'heat' or sexual receptivity. At each 'heat' one or more mature follicles (fluid sacs) on the ovaries ruptures spontaneously releasing an egg (ovulation). The number of follicles depends on the species. Alpaca females do not 'come on heat' but show prolonged periods of sexual receptivity during which time they will allow the male to mate (Fig. 3). Ovulation generally does not occur spontaneously and it is the act of copulation itself which induces ovulation. During copulation, the penis of the male stimulates the vagina and cervix of the female. This stimulation causes the release of hormones from the brain of the female which circulate in the blood to the ovaries and cause final development and ovulation of the ovarian follicle (Fig. 2). more »