A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

February 25, 2009

Longer Days, Warmer Temperatures…


And a herdsire’s thoughts turn to alpaca girls!  This last week we have really noticed the days are getting longer and we have also had some unseasonably warm weather even for the southwest.  Temperatures have been in the high seventies and on Monday reached 80 degrees – can it really only be February?


Our herdsire Zin has started to think that spring is in the air and has taken up position by the gate in his pasture.  He just knows that when he goes through that gate he usually goes for breeding, unless of course we are doing behavior tests when he is more likely to get a rejection from a pregnant female than a hot date, but he’s always willing to risk that chance.


While alpaca females are induced ovulators and can breed year round I do feel that spring is a natural time of rebirth in the plant and animal kingdom.  Maybe scents that indicate a female is receptive to breeding are stronger, maybe the warm air just makes those scents travel father but something in the air is definitely telling Zin he should be breeding.


Unfortunately for Zin he is going to have to wait a while yet.  If we bred our open females now they would be having cria at the end of January beginning of February 2010.   January in New Mexico is often colder and wintrier than December and is definitely not a time of the year when we want to be planning on delivering and caring for newborn cria.


The earliest we will resume breedings for our girls will be mid to late May with the aim of delivering our 2010 spring cria crop in late April.  Anytime before then our weather could take a turn for the worse, our average last freeze is April 15th and we have seen some pretty chilly weather in past years in March and early April.


If we get some females from other farms sent to us for breeding then Zin may well get lucky before May, some of the alpaca breeders in more temperate areas of the south do breed for crias to be delivered in January – March.  If that doesn’t happen then Zin will just have to wait by the gate, happily day dreaming about that young female alpaca he just spotted in the girls pasture.  Happy dreams Zin!


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