After several months of taking care of our 3 fiber (non breeding) females we felt we were ready for a breeding female. We had our hearts set on Carmelita with her ET-Whoville looks and superior lineage. She was pregnant when we purchased her and within several weeks of having her cria, so we took our mentor’s advice (Lynn and Jim Roy of Klamath River Alpacas) and waited until after the birth to move her.
We got the call in early June that our cria had been born and Carmelita had a smooth labor and delivery. We could hardly wait to see the new baby girl! We went to the ranch and met her and decided she looked like topaz. We name our crias after rocks, so Topaz it was!
We were very happy to have a female since we had no males at the time and it would simplify things to not have to figure out what to do with a male in 6 months when it was weaning time. It was a long 3 months while we waited for Carmelita to recover from the birth and then get bred again. It sounds crazy, but alpacas seem to enjoy being pregnant. Within 2 weeks or so of Topaz’s birth, Carmie was flirting and ready for breeding. We had a “breed back” coming since we just purchased her, so we chose the amazing Seiad to do the honors. Seiad is a beautiful, regal, rose gray male and is an experienced herdsire, so the job got done fairly quickly.
Finally the day came for Topaz to come home. She and Carmelita fit right in and they adjusted to the move easily. Carmelita and our fiber females were from Lynn and Jim’s ranch so they already knew each other. Topaz was a very active cria. The first morning after her arrival I was lying in bed about ready to get up when I heard a BANG! Topaz had broken out of the night-time paddock and was running free. The ranch is fully fenced but we still wanted to get her back in as soon as possible. Now this was totally unexpected because we had always heard that alpacas do not challenge fences. Well evidently, Topaz was absent the day they covered that because she continued on with her “don’t fence me in” attitude. While Topaz ran free the “Aunties” and Carmelita stood in the paddock watching her without even attempting to take the opportunity to escape the enclosure. We got Topaz back in and reattached the fence. That was the first time she fought with a fence and won. She has been successful in a couple of other attempts as well. She would go on a run about almost every evening when it was time to go from the daytime pasture to the night paddock. She is not doing that quite so much any more and is growing into a beautiful, yet still independent yearling. We look forward to breeding her next year and will expect her first cria in spring of 2011.