How do I prepare for birthing time?

posted in: Alpaca FAQ | 0

You want to start preparing the dams for birth at least a month prior to their due date.

      • Start increasing their grain amount. Use the bag instructions
      • Sprinkle Lactation Herbs on their grain especially for first time moms
      • Make sure your birthing kit is well stocked and available (more on what to include in the kit)
      • Talk to them and observe them daily
      • Check their teats and notice any changes
      • Watch their appetite- they should be eating quite well
      • Make sure they are comfortable in terms of not being too hot or cold
      • Watch for cria movements
      • The dam may sit funny occasionally, but she shouldn’t be rolling around in discomfort.
      • Start thinking about names for the baby
      • Don’t give shots or deworm (unless under the instruction of a vet)
      • If shearing is scheduled during their last 30 days, it’s best to get them shorn as heat stress is more dangerous. Make sure the shearer knows and handles her with extra care.
      • Sometimes they can be grumpy and anger easily or be super affectionate- just depends on the alpaca but this is normal for some girls
      • If you have a large pasture, keep the pregnant dams closer to the barn as they near their due date
      • Spring gestation averages 345-355 days while fall averages 335-345 days.
      • Most of the times, they will birth during the day- but night time births can happen, so check them often
      • Newborns and young crias do not understand the concept of a barn… so when it rains, they tend to cush where they are. This is not good if it is chilly or cold. It is best to lock them all up in the barn if it is raining or forecasted to rain while you have very young crias
      • Have a vet’s number on your cell phone
      • Locate a certified dairy to buy cow colostrums for emergencies- you can buy frozen colostrums and have it on hand in the event the dam’s milk doesn’t come right in. If you can’t locate one, you can look for powdered colostrums- but frozen colostrums is probably the best. Make sure it is from a certified dairy as you don’t want your cria to get sick from it.