A baby alpaca weighs between 6 kg and 9 kg at birth, and reaches between 25 kg and 40 kg at the sixth month of age. They are smaller than llamas, which weigh go from between 9 kg and 14 kg at birth to between 35 kg and 65 kg at the sixth month of age.
Let's take the opportunity to learn a little more about how Peruvian alpaca owners take care of their herds. The first thing to learn is that you need to be quite careful with the females. Allow us to elaborate.
In the alpaca business, the animal husbandry begins with a proper management of females before and during gestation. Before breeding, it is important to keep young females away from males to prevent health problems (in the female) for breeding too early. Alpacas, unlike other mammals, do not have a mating season. Ovulation is induced by the presence of males' sperm. That's why it is important to keep young females separate until they are old enough to breed.
Baby alpacas are born after eleven and half months of gestation. There may be two babies, but it rarely happens. The newborn baby alpaca will be able to stand up about half an hour after it is born. They look lovely, by the way.
Alpacas are really dependent on their mother's milk, so owners need to make sure those females that are expecting are strong, healthy and well fed. Else, they won't be able to create enough milk for their offspring (called cría, in Spanish). This extra care starts when the alpaca female is at about 7 or 8 months of gestation.
Despite the fact during the first week of its life you can sometimes see a baby alpaca eating some grass or other type of solid food, this will not become a main component of its feeding until the second month of age.
We will tell you more in future articles.