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Steps to a Normal Delivery = ABS Faith (female Suri cria born May 15, 2003)

Alpacas typically have a gestation period of approximately 335 - 355 days. The delivery may actually be either side of specific due date and is still considered full term. When a cria (baby alpaca) is born, they usually weigh between twelve and twenty pounds. Birthing generally requires no human intervention. The birth is usually rapid, lasting between 20 and 30 minutes once the head and feet are seen. Most alpacas give birth during the early morning hours or early afternoon. Seldom do they birth at night. Babies are usually up and nursing within a few hours of birth. Bonding is natural for alpacas and they are very good mothers. They bond with their cria through scent and humming. A cria will nurse for about six months and the mothers are re bred within three weeks of delivering their cria. 

The following is a series of photos and clips taken by Francisco Montes of Alpacas de Montes, during the delivery of "ABS Faith" at Alpacas by the Sea. Cria photos taken a few days later were by Kathy Porter from Alpacas Beyond the Horizon. 

Thank you both for your educational contribution to our web site and all of your help and support around our ranch.

Victoria and Kenny 
To view movies of the birthing process click here.  Not recommended for those using dial up connectivity.
Click Photos to enlarge
ABS_Birth 002 .JPG (176574 bytes) Alpacas generally give birth while standing, yet can also do this lying on their side. Often the dam may remover herself from the herd just prior to delivery. Even so, the other alpacas are often curious and will inspect the situation as it progresses.
ABS_Birth 004 .JPG (136252 bytes)
ABS_Birth 006 .JPG (147187 bytes)

The dam will walk around, roll or go back and forth to the dung pile and get up and down to assure that the delivery is progressing. The crias two front feet typically present, then the nose, head and a slight stall at the shoulders. From here on out it is smooth sailing.
ABS_Birth 009 .JPG (123129 bytes) In between contractions mom continues to look to her backside to observe the situation. 
ABS_Birth 011 .JPG (128507 bytes) One good push at this point and she is home free. 
The baby is born with the amnion covering her/him, rubbery pads over their feet (to protect mom from injury). Umbilical cord typically breaks on its own and no intervention is required.
ABS_Birth 015 .JPG (132770 bytes) Mom (Dollie) and Cheryl Satterlee (our ranch manager) inspect the cria to make sure that the baby is breathing and determine the sex. Cheryl, dips the navel and decides if intervention is required to assure that the baby is warm enough during the mother up period (first three days).
ABS_Birth 021 .JPG (130510 bytes) Dollie and baby (Faith) rest after the big event, but that won't be for long. 
faith4.JPG (130628 bytes) faith2.JPG (165395 bytes) faith3.JPG (189252 bytes)
Let me introduce you to
 A NEW LIFE "Faith"
Warm coat and here I am Strutting my stuff
faith6.JPG (157496 bytes) faith5.JPG (121336 bytes) faith-dolly3.JPG (133422 bytes)
Legs work fine, time to run! "Hi Mom,  I need a kiss!"
Milk is somewhere around here?
faith-dolly4.JPG (162657 bytes) faith-dolly.JPG (176142 bytes) faith-dolly2.JPG (192387 bytes)
Here it is!
Time for a little rest and sunshine Who's coming?
faith-dolly5.JPG (138493 bytes) faith-dolly6.JPG (132458 bytes) faith-dolly7.JPG (133979 bytes)
Veterinarian draws IgG (antibody level)
Mom is a little concerned.
"Oh! Just a blood test"
Dollie knows all about this.
"You say it wasn't bad,  not so sure about humans."

Bonding1.jpg (47231 bytes) Little Princess1.jpg (48940 bytes) I'm Hungry1a.jpg (48005 bytes)
Dollie and Faith bonding
"Look at me"
"I am a princess and I am only 8 days old"
 Milk Time, looking for a good latch
I'm Hungry2a.jpg (46712 bytes) Weighing In1a.jpg (47951 bytes) Weighing In2a.jpg (49434 bytes)
"I have it down now"

Time to weigh in 
"Mom, 17 lbs, Wow!"
lb a day weight gain
"Right on!"
Faith at 1

"I'm a month old, and I'm gorgeous."

To view movies of the birthing process click here.  Not recommended for those using dial up connectivity.

 

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Alpacas By The Sea
P. O. Box 371628
1162 Tamarind St.
Montara, CA 94037
(650) 728-LUCK
Fax: (650) 515-3000

For further information on Alpaca farms, alpaca husbandry and alpaca sales,
write to:  Hibbits@alpacasbythesea.com