Our lovely light fawn Gretal, is due to give birth to our first cria of the season this Father's Day. Of course it is highly likely that she won't be giving birth on her actual due date, as lets face it who does? But its certainly getting us excited! And what a lovely Father's Day present that would be, if she happens to surprise us!
An alpacas gestation period can be anywhere between 11-12 months so there's a fair bit of scope as to when we can expect it to happen. The key is to keep an eye on the animal and do more regular visits to the field. That way you can start to notice any change in behaviour and look for any clues. The main clues being obvious signs of discomfort; lots of standing up and sitting down, going to the dung pile but not actually going to the toilet, and general restlessness.
In any case it's just good to be ready. We have the birthing kit ready to go, and we're already having more regular visits to the field just to keep an eye on things.
Gretal was mated with Melford Green's Manitou. Manitou is a white stud, well known for his silky bright fleece. Gretal is a lovely light fawn colour, so we're hoping for light alpaca, with a bright fleece to match.
The next thing we'll have to get thinking of is the names for this year's cria. Every year we have a theme for the names, and last years were elements from the element table. Hence; Tungsten, Zinc and Quartz! Who knows what this years will be...we'll keep you updated!