Paul Hetherington – 31 January 2023

31 January 2023     British Alpaca Society     BAS Board

Mud and pregnancy testing

Cumbria has had more than average rainfall over the last month so, like many people, the ‘choke points’ where the alpacas come into their shelters were getting a bit muddy. After talking to a couple of friends who already use them we decided to invest in some mud control mats. Craig put his 20 years of civil engineering training to good use and laid out a couple of pathways into the shed. At the first sight of our efforts the alpacas did what they normally do when they first see something new; stop dead, stare, work out if it’ safe to continue, then run past just in case. For the first couple of days most of them ignored their new road and continued to squelch through the mud ( except when they need to pooh of course when the mats were very useful ! ). Now the ground has dried out they have started using their new path!

Routine husbandry has been the order of the day for the last couple of weeks. The cria have been transitioned from Lambivac to Bravoxin 10 to make sure they are better covered for Clostridial disease. They still get weighed every week to make sure no-one is going backwards. All the adults had their monthly weigh and were given a multivitamin and mineral drench. The girls we mated last summer were scanned and all those we thought were pregnant seemed to be which is good news. We use both ultrasound and Pregtone for pregnancy testing, if we don’t get a positive result on one we try the other and combined they give pretty accurate result overall. We only had one girl this year that didn’t give a definite indication on both systems but she looks pregnant so we’ll see!

All the cria are now weaned. We only had one mother who got a little vocal this year and interestingly she is not pregnant. All the other mothers seemed quite happy to forget last years cria to concentrate on growing this years.

The favourite cria this year is Mighty Mo. He was born in June weighing 6.5kg and has this week just tipped the scales at 14kg. He’s never been ill, has a massive appetite, and pushes the adults out of the way to get to the feed trough.

Can you spot Mighty Mo?