How we care for our cria…

Our main focus will always be to re-home alpacas and llama’s, that’s what we are most passionate about! But every few years to keep the herd young and healthy we breed some of our own little new recruits and they bring so much joy :)

Alpaca and Llama females are induced ovulators, this means that they can get pregnant at anytime and all they need to make them fertile is the crazy reving sound that alpaca males make called ogling…isn’t nature the weirdest!

Gestation lasts for 12 months and caring for the babies is a full-time job (for us and the mums!) The Mum’s are usually really good at selecting the right time and place to give birth but occasionally we have to step in.

We always do a full health check on both Mum and baby, make sure the baby is breathing, walking and feeding well. On the rare occasion that this is not the case, then sleepovers in the shed, bottle feeding every 2 hours and providing warmth is all in a day’s work for Terry! Ensuring the mums have the right nutrients both during and after pregnancy is also key.

If we have fragile cria, our involvement has to step up a few notches and we focus on the following essential steps:

  • Managing their temperature and trying to get it stable
  • Establishing a feeding routine, regular and often
  • Getting the mum and her baby to bond, this doesn’t always happen naturally
  • Keeping a contact check on the mum and baby and recording what’s happening
  • Being vigilant and taking action quickly if there are any signs things are not working

While our alpaca mums do their very best, sometimes things do not go as planned. We can often tell very early on if this is the case; if they’re not actively moving at birth, if they don’t try to kush (sit upright with all 4 limbs under their body) if they are premature, if there are difficulties during birthing, if they are born during bad weather and if they are not feeding within 4 hours. So when we say we are busy with new babies… if any one of these complications is happening, it’s all hands on deck and in some cases Terry actually sleeps out in the barn with them!

If you ever have any questions or concerns about alpacas and llamas then please email: [email protected] and we’ll do our very best to help!

Come and meet our cria

Some of our 2020 babies…

Wordsmiths: Rachel Kearns & Emma Smalley

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