Love at first sight, everytime. That is the way when we welcome new alpacas births at Two Crows Farm. Alpacas are pregnant for 11.5 months so there is plenty of time for anticipation. What will it be, male or female? What color? Always wanting to be present for the birth but knowing our experienced dams and maidens with strong maternal genetics are well prepared to handle bringing new life to the farm with out our interference.
Alpaca babies are usually 13-21 pounds at birth. We have had a 26 pound birth here…twice from the same female! These fuzzy, long-legged critters start to work almost immediatley trying to navigate that long neck and legs so they can join their mother and their herd. Usually, a new baby is nursing and walking, perhaps running, along side his mom within 2 hours of birth.
You can almost always count on new “cria”, as we call them to arrive here in the spring and the fall. Alpacas carry a dense fiber coat and do enjoy the colder temperatures so you may even find us having a youngster or two make their arrival around Christmastime. One of our favorite foundation females on the farm is named Chritmas Eve. Can you guess why?
The best fun ever is when you have 3 or 4 of these little guys all within a few weeks of age. In the late afternoon when the sun starts to set, you will always find them “pronking” and chasing eachother about the pasture. Pronking is all four feet leaving the ground as if they are spring loaded. The conventional wisdom is that young alpacas are hard wired by their ancestral DNA (originating from the high desert of the altiplano in Peru) to run at dusk in order to raise their body temperature in preparation for the colder night ahead. Maybe that is so but I have seen them run and pronk as expression of unbridled joy and their mothers and herd mates have joined in with them. When you have witnessed this dispaly, you can truly say you have seen poetry in motion!