Young alpacas are known as cria. The birth of our cria is always the highlight of our year. Alpacas are pregnant for approximately eleven and a half months so once the breeding decision is made it’s a long wait to see if it was a good choice!
All cria are an absolute delight. Extra care is taken with these precious bundles. Daily weight checks, ensuring mum has a sufficient milk supply and just generally keeping them out of trouble takes time and patience. It’s incredible to see them thriving and exploring their new world.
When our cria reach around six months of age and are over 35kgs in weight, we wean them from their mothers. This allows the mother to have a break and get into tip-top condition ready for the next birth. Cria are weaned together regardless of sex. Putting them with a couple of non-pregnant females to act as aunties takes away the stress and fear that weaning can bring.
Extra care is taken to weigh and body score our cria. We also take faecal samples after a few weeks to ensure that the stress of weaning has not affected their health. Weaning is also the time that we halter train our youngsters. Time and patience makes for a well-rounded, easy to handle youngster.