Cria birthing season is fun... and laden with anticipation. Right now, we are eagerly waiting the arrival of Maddie's cria, and now Tess is due to deliver, too!
Average gestation for an alpaca in our area is between 340 and 350 days. Note that I qualified that number with the word 'average'. Average is key. Gestational length in alpacas can be quite variable. We have had babies born as early as 317 days, and as late as 359 days - that's quite a range!
Today, Maddie reached 357 days. I wonder if she is going for a Pronkin' Pastures record? I expected Maddie to deliver right around the same time Willow delivered.
In the past Maddie has never gone longer than 342 days. Needless to say, I have been on cria watch for some time now! Each morning, the minute I get out of bed, I pick up my binoculars and focus on the pasture looking for any new additions. Each day, much to my disappointment, Maddie's belly looks bigger and more mis-shapen than the day before. All day long, I make trips back and forth, just checking, until I finally give up in the late afternoon.
Maddie has waited so long that I am now watching Tess for signs of delivery, too! Tess is at day 341 today.
Meanwhile, Forrest and Laycee (the crias that have been born) are thriving. They are both gaining weight steadily and are active and healthy. Farm visitors are smiling and laughing at their cute faces and cria antics.
Keep you fingers crossed for two babies very soon! I'm hoping for a 'two-cria' day!
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About the author:
Always an animal lover, alpacas entered my life in 2005.
I enjoy all aspects of life with alpacas - from caring for them, to training them, spinning and knitting their wonderful fiber, photographing them, and even writing about them!