There are about as many ways to predict due dates are there are alpaca farms. Alpacas tend to average 11 1/2 month gestation period...around 350 days, but often range between 335-355 days. Alpacas tend to have longer gestation period in the spring and shorter gestations in the fall, possibly due to environmental differences like temperature and forage availability. So far, on our farm we have had an alpaca give birth as early as 327 days (Snowflake) and as late as 367 days (Lady). On our farm, we base our due dates on the females due date history. We find that each of our girls tend to have similar due dates each year. For girls we don't have a history on or females that are maidens, we estimate on the early end of 335 days to be safe. Here are all our girls and who they are bred to in order of due date:
Bellesa is 8 months pregnant and due the end of April. She was bred to Peruvian Macusani at Evergreen Elegant Alpacas in Palmyra, IN. She was bred to Mac fall of 2008 and absorbed over the winter. She was rebred spring of 2009 to Mac so hopefully she has held. Macusani is over 18 years old and was one of the original greys imported from Peru. This will be his last cria. I am hoping for a grey boy or girl.
Now that the 2009 breeding season is over, it is time to start looking ahead and planning who we will breed who to in 2010! We will only have 6 of our own to find herdsires for and I already have some ideas in mind.