Today is our Jill's 5th birthday! It really is the season for alpaca births at the moment, hence lots of birthdays too.
Alpaca's are "induced ovulators" meaning the mating process itself causes them to ovulate. Therefore in theory alpacas can be mating at anytime during the year, however it's best to plan for the cria to arrive in spring/early summer here in the UK. This is so that the cria are born when the weather is most favourable, and also so that the cria has had chance to develop and be weaned from the mother before the winter. Once an alpaca is pregnant the gestation period can be anywhere between 330-370 days meaning they can be pregnant for 11-12 months. So if they're mated now, the birth date next wouldn't be too far off the same time of year.
As a result a lot of alpacas are mated and thus give birth at very similar times of the year, and therefore lots of birthdays to keep track of all at once!
Today is Jill's birthday, a white lady, and last year she was mated to our Lenny who is a solid black. She will be due to give birth in a few weeks as she was a slightly later mating, and we're super excited to see what colour their cria will turn out out to be. We're expecting a brown, but it will be lovely to see exactly how colourful the cria turns out to be.
Keep an eye out on our facebook page, Meadow Valley Alpacas, for birthing and cria updates.