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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Belly-Bathing in February?

Belly-bathing lesson

Belly-bathing lesson

When the temperature in Kansas is 69, yes, we DO belly-bathe in February! Our heavily-fleeced alpacas get too hot. Our two little girls, Talaya (Red Granite's MariRose x Crescent Moon's Shiftin' Gears) and Lily (Snowmass Princess of Peace x Mile High Golden Legend's Inception) both have very dense fleeces. Even though they were both Spring babies, keeping them cool last summer was a challenge. From now until mid-April, when we hope the shearing team arrives, we'll monitor them closely to keep them comfortable and healthy.

Kansas Belly-Bathing
Squirt cold water only on the following body parts: belly, legs, underneath the tail.
(Don't get the other parts wet - it would feel like you wearing a heavy wet overcoat in summer.)
Teach your alpacas to "show me your tail." This makes it easier to squirt cold water on their genitals. They really do like it in hot weather. This is especially important for stud males. If you see it sagging, cool it off right away!!
Lining up

Lining up

THE MAIN EVENT!

THE MAIN EVENT!

We like cold drinks afterward

We like cold drinks afterward

The worst part

The worst part


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A little privacy please...

Privacy, anyone?

Privacy, anyone?

After all the Valentine's Day talk of alpaca romance, the studs are all dreaming of breeding season. The Black Baron of Alpaca Kingdom's photo shows the intense expression they'd all like to be sporting right this minute!
If you missed the link to Baron's orgling yesterday, check this out: photo link.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day! Alpaca Romance

Classic alpaca breeding posture

Classic alpaca breeding posture

Alpaca's breed when the female is willing. It's all about the female! Looking at the top right photo, Gingerale is in the "cush" position - laying down with legs tucked beneath her. The male's job is to chase the female a little until she's willing to cush for him. If she screams and runs, or spits and runs, he's out of luck. He'll have to wait for another day when she's in the mood.

Once the female cushes, the male mounts from behind to breed. Alpaca males have a very long, skinny, mobile penis. They are "dribblers" which means they deposit sperm a little bit at a time over a period of time from 10 minutes to 40, or even longer. The male's job is to deposit the sperm right into both horns of the uterus, so he has to work hard to get the job done.

While he's working, the male sings a mating song to the female, known as orgling. To listen to this sound, visit and look for the Alpaca Kingdom's Facebook page photo link as pictured below. Some males are very loud while orgling, and others make hardly any noise at all. We have a stud we call the "stealth breeder" since he's very quiet. He doesn't want the other males down at the boy's barn to know he's up at the girl's barn getting some action!

Alpaca females are induced-ovulators. This means that they don't release a follicle for fertilization until after stimulation through sexual intercourse. Again, it's all up to the female whether she gets pregnant or not.

The "natural state" for female alpacas is to be pregnant, and they prefer it. Gestation lasts roughly 11.5 months. Once a female delivers her cria (baby alpaca), she is ready and willing to be bred within a few days. Most ethical breeders will wait a few weeks or even up to a year to rebreed her, depending on her body condition, the cria's needs, and environmental concerns.
For alpaca breeders, the most exciting time of year is "cria watch." That's when we anticipate a birth, but can never tell exactly when it will occur. Gestation calendars generally allow us to put in a breeding date and calculate a birthdate based on 330, 335, 340, or 345 days. That's quite a range! It all depends on the season when the cria is anticipated, the particular female, and the level of inconvenience waiting around will be for the breeder!! If you're planning a wedding on the farm, your dam (female alpaca) may decide that the wedding day is just perfect for a birthday too!
At Alpaca Kingdom, most of our crias have been born when no one was watching. One Mom waited until I went to the boys' barn to pop out her daughter-literally within 5 minutes before I returned to her- while another waited until I'd gotten to church before delivering. Neither gave any sign of distress before the event. Mother Nature tells dams to deliver in the morning, usually by 1 p.m., so that the cria can get up and nursing, be dried off, and running with the herd by nightfall. That's all for their protection as a herd animal.
The males have a hard time of it. Only about 5% of males born will be selected as suitable enough for passing on their genetic traits - just like other male livestock. The "onlookers" are very interested in the stud when he comes back from the girls' barn. Studly is always subject to a good tail-sniffing when he gets back. I try to make sure all the boys are out enjoying the pasture after a successful breeding so the proud herdsire has a little space in which to relish his prowess.
 https://www.facebook.com/AlpacaKingdom/videos/1289673387765748/

https://www.facebook.com/AlpacaKingdom/videos/1289673387765748/


Monday, February 13, 2017

Valentine's sneak peek...

Phoebe and the Bride

Phoebe and the Bride

We'll be featuring real, uncensored photos of alpaca romance on Valentine's Day. Be sure to come back for photos, sounds, and solid information...unless you're afraid you'll blush!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Fun photos and a little quiz about you

This is from Buzzfeed. Copy and paste the link and enjoy!
https://www.buzzfeed.com/lorynbrantz/alpaca-lotta-punch?utm_term=.id349Dm9d&bffbanimals#.rovd5bO5w