A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

June 12, 2007

If They Spit and Run Their Pregnant – Right???

Filed under: alpaca, Alpaca Care, Alpaca Health, Alpaca Reproduction, Alpacas, camelids, Crias, Family, General — alpacalady @ 7:53 am

Ric called yesterday to let me know he has arrived safely in England.  His flight was 1 1/2 hours late arriving (even though it departed on time) and his son Paul did not arrive to pick him up until 30 minutes after Ric had arrived.  That good old M25 traffic delayed Paul but at least he arrived in one piece!

My other “waiting” Clarissa is still holding onto her cria although she spent all of yesterday with her tail much higher than usual, surely soon it will arrive.

I had a couple of females to behaviour test yesterday, one  rejected the male spitting violently at him, the other after an initial mild spit decided to cush and breed. 

Behaviour tests are often referred to as “spit tests” in the alpaca world which is a little bit of a misnomer for not all alpacas spit when they are pregnant.  Maiden female alpacas in particular will often run from the male rather than spit when they are pregnant.  Some older females will only run too and then there are those that spit like crazy as soon as they see the male leaving you in no doubt at all about their receptiveness (or rather lack off).  I have even had a couple of girls refuse to walk over to the breeding pen when they are non-receptive, they know they have no need to breed again and are telling me so in thier own charming way.

One concept a lot of new breeders struggle with is the fact that the first behaviour test is not an indication of pregnancy.  All that the first behaviour test tells us is that the alpaca has cycled and released an egg.  With the release of the egg her hormones change causing her to be non-receptive.  If that egg goes on to be fertilized and implant itself in one of the uterine horns (usually the left horn) then the none receptive behaviour will continue.  If the released egg does not get fertilized and passes on through, the female will usually be receptive to the male at her next behaviour test.  So while the first behaviour test indicates that things are starting to happen it is certainly not a definite sign of pregnancy.

Some female alpacas undergo a complete personality change once they are pregnant.  My first alpaca Jenny was a classic case of that, she would be as sweet as sugar if she was open but the moment she got pregnant watch out!  She would then remain grumpy until the cria was delivered and then the sweet Jenny would re-appear.

So far our behaviour tests are looking promising, a few more tests and then we will be making an appointment for the vet to do some ultrasounds and give us confirmation that the next bunch of crias is busy in the making!

Rosemary

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