Saturday, September 18, 2010

Breeding...Breeding...Breeding

Last year, we bred all of our alpacas from mid May to mid September. This year, we have decided to breed mid June through mid October. No real reason other than we have been a little less diligent about breeding this year than we were last year. Last year, we had 8 females to breed and we made darn sure that all 8 of them got pregnant and stayed pregnant. When we got ultrasounds last December, all our hard work had paid off and all 8 of them were pregnant over 90 days. This year, we are expecting our own child and have been very busy getting ready for that as well as building a barn, putting up fence amongst a million other farm improvements. Therefore, we have been a little less diligent when it came to breeding and even being around to see our alpaca births. In the past, we had only missed 1 cria being born on our farm because the dam had it in the night. This year, we missed 4 of the 7 births on our farm. Life has just gotten really busy.

Now that fall is just about here, we are working on getting all our females bred. While some farms are choosing not to breed right now because of the crumby economy, we are breeding all but two of our breeding age females. We got almost all boys this year and are hoping for a healthy crop of girls next year. We have decided not to breed our older girl Bellesa this fall because she is pretty old (over 13 years) and is very thin. We are working on putting weight on her. We are also not breeding our suri girl Paisley. She is old enough, but we don't have the money to spend on a breeding for her right now, our suri boy is not mature yet, and I couldn't find a good breeding/breeding trade. We will wait to breed these two girls until next spring.

So, we are working on breeding 6 of our own females and 2 boarding females. Two of them are just about 90 days bred, so we don't have to worry about behavior testing them too much longer. If alpacas are going to absorb or abort their pregnancies, it will almost always be in the first 90 days after being bred. For those of you who are not familiar with what behavior or "spit" testing is, it is when you bring a male in with a female to see how she reacts. If she stands still and lets him mount her or kushes (lays down) right away, she is usually NOT pregnant. If she puts her ears back, spits, screeches, or runs with what we refer to as "fear in her eyes" she is usually pregnant. This isn't a fool proof pregnancy detection method as alpacas can sometimes have false pregnancies (called retained CLs) and act like they are pregnant when they are not. But for the most part it is pretty accurate, especially for the experienced females. The maidens (females who haven't had a cria before) can be a little trickier to tell as they are more likely to "run with fear in their eyes" than to spit, but once you get to know your alpacas, it is pretty easy to tell. We feel confident enough this year in reading the females' behavior, that we will probably not be getting ultrasounds. We have always gotten them in the past, but now that our herd and family are growing, we are looking to save some money in a few areas.

Alpacas kush to breed and normally breed for 8-45 minutes. We do pen breeding where we bring the male in with the female in a small pen and make sure he gets the job done. We normally make sure he gets his business done where it is supposed to be done and we time the breeding. If the female is rolling or trying to get up, we stop the breeding, usually to the male's dismay. Alpacas are induced ovulators so they ovulate when they breed. The male makes an orgalling noise when breeding to help stimulate the female and to help her to ovulate. After the alpacas breed, we behavior test them 7 days later to see how they react. If they kush, we breed them again and repeat the process. If they "spit off" and are non-receptive to the male's advances, we behavior test every 3-7 days until they are 90 days bred. It can be a lot of time and effort (and frustration for the males when everyone is spitting them off), but we have found it is the best way to ensure that they get pregnant and stay bred. This year, once the end of October hits, we will probably stop behavior testing since we don't plan to breed any later than October anyway. Alpacas have an 11 1/2 month gestation and we don't want any cria born in the cold weather next fall/winter (even though our new barn has a heated stall in it). Its better for them to be born in the warmer months of the year here in Michigan.

Here are some pictures of us breeding a few females at one time last week. Alchemy and Lady are breeding on the right and Smokey and Maree Sol are breeding on the left. Notice Noah helping Smokey out a bit. Smokey is a small boy and Maree Sol is a very very large girl, so he needed a little helping staying on top. Also notice all the other females surrounding the breeding. There are 4 females kushed near the breedings. These females are not pregnant yet (open) and want some of the action. Also notice Cafe, Apple, and Jewel still with the herd, but standing at a distance. These females are 4-11 weeks bred and aren't really interested in the breeding which is a good sign that they are holding their pregnancies.

9 comments:

Dallas apartments said...

Here are some pictures of us raise a few women at one point last week. Lady Alchemy and race to the right Sol and Smokey and Maree race left. Noah Smokey notice a little help. Smokey is a boy and a girl Maree Sun is very big.

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Great pictures and the small kids are having the fun as well breeding the things.They look like having fun with each other.The care taken is also been special to them by the owner.

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Thanks for sharing such type of topics. I like your post. I am searching for this type of information from last one week and finally i got it.

Lubemaster said...

These are breeding on the right, and Smokey and the processing of Maree Sol are on the left. Please help out a little Smokey Noah. Smokey is a boy and a girl Tides Sol is very big.

criminal attorney in miami said...

Large images and small children have fun as well as processing things.They seems fun with each other.The care for them is also the owner of a special.

transport freight miami said...

Lady Alchemy and the race to the right and Sol Smokey and Maree ran. Noah Smokey notice a little help. Smokey is a boy and a girl Maree Sun is very large.

tratamientos osteoporosis said...

They breed on the right, and Smokey and the treatment of Maree Sol is on the left. Please help a little Smokey Noah. Smokey is a boy and girl, Sun Tides is very large.

johnpoll said...

This is great and fantastic information about the breeding .I like your pictured also and some new things post is great effort.I like this post.


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sumidubi said...

This is fantastics picture about the pet animal.Breeding and birth new baby is great natural process and this process is god beauty.This all thing created by god and I salute to you for share amazing information.



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