• Alpaca Neonatal Problems

    Generally healthy, well-fed female alpacas give birth to strong and robust babies. But anyone who has raised livestock knows there are occasional problem births and babies that have a difficult time surviving shortly after birth. With birthing season upon us, it seemed only fitting to find a strong article on how to deal with problem births. There are few ecstasies in life greater than saving another living thing. Brad Smith, Karen Timm, and Pat Long were kind enough to allow the reprinting of ‘Birth to 24 Hours of Age’ from their excellent book Llama and Alpaca Neonatal Care. more »
  • Labor and Delivery

    We have been fortunate to have experienced almost one hundred births at the Alpaca Hacienda, and every birth is just as exciting as the first. Here, we would like to cover some of the things we have learned about this most amazing, but sometimes stressful time in owning and breeding alpacas. more »
  • Neonatal Care

    Most normal crias will start attempting to stand by ½ hour, succeeding by 1 hour after birth. Once they are up, they start attempting to nurse (usually start trying around 1 hour, succeeding by 3-4 hours). Once the dam and cria have bonded (usually when nursing is established), start dipping the navel with iodine or chlorohexidene 0.5% (repeat 2-3 times daily for 1-2 days) and weigh the baby. Normal (“average”) alpaca babies weigh at least 12 pounds. 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 »

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