CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Country Smallholding today CLICK HERE

InFocus: Reliability in breeding alpacas

PUBLISHED: 09:00 21 October 2014

Mum with cria feeding

Mum with cria feeding

©ken@bozedown-alpacas.co.uk

Advice from Joy Whitehead of Bozedown Alpacas, Oxfordshire

A good alpaca should be well conformed, with a boxy head and neat topknot, well-aligned dentition, and with consistent fineness, character, density and coverage to the fleece. A female should breed easily, carry her cria to full term, and then have good lactation in order to feed and raise a healthy cria, ideally every year – but you can give her a break now and then! Breeding reliability is paramount to ensure good returns on investment.

A stud male must have even testicles of good size and texture. This is essential in any breeding programme, to ensure that any reproductive defects are not carried down to the next generation. It is bad breeding practice to use males with small or uneven testicles. It is a fact that any resulting offspring, whether male or female will almost certainly carry reproductive defects themselves.

Breeding problems have been discovered in some of the alpacas exported from South America over the years, as it is not possible to obtain a reproductive history when selecting direct from Andean farms – records were simply not available. However, at Bozedown, we have kept meticulous breeding records over many generations, and thus have been able to eliminate from our breeding programme firstly any problem stud males, and then any female lines that we have identified as poor breeders, having multiple abortions, producing crias with failure of passive transfer (poor colostrum), or otherwise having crias that need bottle feeding (poor lactation). We now attain very high pregnancy rates from first matings, along with strong healthy crias.

MORE: For a sound future in alpaca breeding talk to Mary-Jo, 0771-8750303, or for information and hands-on, try a Beginners’ Day at our Prizewinning Alpaca Stud on November 12.

See our website for lots more information, www.bozedown-alpacas.co.uk

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Country Smallholding visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Country Smallholding staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Country Smallholding account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Most Read

Newsletter Sign Up

Country Smallholding monthly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

This Year’s Shows

Country Smallholding cover image

Don’t miss our comprehensive guide to rural events

Find out more

Like us on Facebook


Follow us on Twitter