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Breeding & Reproduction


  • Wethering your young males

    Castrated male alpacas are termed “wethers”, and the act of castration “wethering”. Wethering must be carried out by a qualified veterinary surgeon while the alpaca is under the influence of an anaesthetic.  This can be under a general anaesthetic but these days it is more usually done under local anaesthetic as this is safer for Read more…

  • Birthing Kit

    If you are breeding alpacas, it is essential that you maintain a Birthing Kit within easy reach. In most instances, alpacas give birth without difficulty but 5% to 10% of alpacas will have some birthing or neo-natal difficulty. We recommend you always call your vet as soon as it becomes obvious your hembra or her Read more…

  • Blue-Eyed Whites – not as black as they are painted

    The real truth about Blue-Eyed Whites: A great deal of controversy and prejudice exists in the Alpaca industry regarding the use of blue-eyed white alpacas for breeding. A blue-eyed white is an all-white alpaca with blue eyes, which are often deaf – although around 20% have normal hearing. Many alpaca breeders (usually those who have Read more…

  • Breeding Alpacas

    Breeding alpacas can be very rewarding! Most of the early problems attached to breeding what is, for most, an exotic animal, have been overcome. With their increasing popularity,there is now a widening differential in prices between poorer quality stock and good quality breeding stock, making it easier for potential breeders to buy stock that fits Read more…

  • Breeding on a Budget

    All new or intending breeders have a budget! However the size of the budget can vary enormously, from a few thousand to tens of thousands. This page is dedicated to those people who have a limited budget. If you have a larger budget, we suggest you read “The Quality Route to Breeding Success” There are many Read more…

  • The Quality Route to Breeding Success

    If you wish to take a quicker route to create a successful alpaca stud than that outlined in Beginning Breeding on a Budget, you will obviously need to be prepared to invest more funds in your fledgling business than those who choose the slower method of “breeding up” the quality of their alpacas. You will Read more…

  • Gestation Table

    Gestation in alpacas is approximately 11 to 11½ months – around 335 days. Autumn born cria tend to be born closer to their due date, while spring born cria are commonly born around 342 days. However alpaca gestation can be very fluid – full term cria are successfully born anything from 1 month early to Read more…

  • Mating & Pregnancy

    Alpacas can be bred at any time of year, but more difficulties (for the new-born) are likely to be encountered in winter, or the heat of mid-day summer, so many breeders in New Zealand try to get their females to give birth in either Autumn or late Spring. Females are usually mated for the first Read more…

  • Immunoglobulins, Plasma and Cria

    The following article was a presentation to Central Region Alpaca owners by Geoff Neal formerly of Manawatu Veterinary Services, Feilding, and is reproduced with his permission.   The Facts In the world of immunology (the study of how an animal’s immune system works) the terms antibody, immunoglobulin, IgG, plasma, Colostrum, etc are used without much Read more…

  • Plasma Infusion

    This is a health technique that is practised more in Australia than NZ at this point in time. We have been given permission by Geoff Neal (formerly of Manawatu Veterinary Services, but now at Te Kuiti Vet Services) to print his excellent presentation on this subject. Please click here to read about the applications for Read more…

  • Intraperitoneal Infusion of Alpaca Plasma

    The following procedure must be administered by a qualified Veterinary Surgeon. Geoff Neal has supplied these instructions for you to pass on to your Vet if they are unfamiliar with this procedure in alpacas. Intraperitoneal Infusion of Alpaca Plasma Procedure for veterinary administration of plasma to alpaca cria 1. Thaw plasma in a water bath Read more…

  • Pregnancy Testing in Alpacas

    How do I know if my alpaca is pregnant? Until she actually comes to light with a live cria, it can sometimes be very difficult to tell! No form of pregnancy test is 100% proof that a live cria will be born. Even tests that cannot return a false positive, will tell you only that Read more…

  • Homeopathy – Sepia

    Prudence’s Story: On the advice of an experienced alpaca homeopath we tried administering Sepia to  an alpaca who has a diagnosed hormone imbalance which made her extremely ill-tempered and confrontational during late pregnancy and the early post-natal period. Having discussed this behaviour with a number of other alpaca breeders we have concluded that there are Read more…

  • Choosing a Stud Male

    When choosing a stud service, always consider the following: Does the stud you are considering have any progeny? If so, have a look at them and see if they are an improvement on their dams.The proof is in the progeny – if the stud is acheiving good quality offspring over a variety of dams, he Read more…

  • Hand rearing Cria

    Alpacas, in general,are excellent mothers, and your only involvement in feeding your cria will be watching from the sidelines! However, whenever you are breeding animals, there is always the possibility that something can go wrong, and you should be prepared to step in and assist. When a cria loses its mother, or is unable to get Read more…

  • Choosing Stud Stock

    The term “stud” can be applied to a number of different, but related situations. It can be applied to a single animal, when the term “stud” means an entire male used for breeding purposes. It can also be applied to a place, ie “stud farm”, or simply “a stud” when it refers to a specialist Read more…

  • Herd Sires

    As your herd increases in size there will doubtless come a time when the purchase (or retention) of a young male to act as your “herd sire” becomes more practicable than continually paying stud fees. (“Herd sire” is the term commonly used to describe an entire macho that is predominantly used to breed your own Read more…

  • Weaning your Cria

    Weaning can be an extremely stressful time for dam, cria and owners! However we often make it more traumatic for all concerned because of lack of thought and planning. While most cria are ready for physical weaning at 6 months old, both they and their mother have a strong emotional bond. Do not assume  that Read more…

  • Cria Development

    Once a new-born cria “hits the ground” there are stages of development you can expect. A new-born cria should have “cushed” by the time it is 30 minutes old, and be on its feet within an hour,  feeding very quickly after that. A cria that has not fed by the time it is 4 hours old, Read more…

  • Grey and Roan Alpacas

    Grey and roan are a combination of any colour and white. Unlike the white spotting or pinto (multi) genes, the white hair is distributed throughout the coat.  As this description applies to both grey and roan, what is the difference? The Alpaca Association of New Zealand gives no guidance on this, and not only does Read more…

  • DNA Parent Verification

    When the Alpaca Association of New Zealand separated their Registry from Australia (approx. 2010), and renamed the NZ Registry, IAR(NZ), it also opened the way for further initiatives to be developed for the NZ Registry. One of the most important of these initiatives was the ability to scientifically determine alpaca parentage by DNA testing, thus Read more…