AlpacaU Series 2

Getting Started as a Breeding Alpaca Farm
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This series is designed for individuals who

  • Have a goal of being a breeding farm

  • Want to learn about breeding selection, birthing and cria health

  • Want to learn more about participating in the industry’s alpaca show system – fleece or animal

If your goal is to raise and sell alpacas and perhaps, market the fleece and end-products, then the decisions you make about animal selection, building your foundation herd (breeding stock), and selecting animals to breed, are critical.  In this series, sessions focus on the key considerations and strategies to continually grow and improve your individual animal and overall herd quality.

In the end, we want you to be successful in achieving your business goals, effectively serving your targeted market(s), and contributing to the strength and longevity of the industry.  

2021 Session Schedule
Series 2 will be held August 14-15, 2021

All sessions will be held at:

  Foggy Bottom Farms

  3499 305th Ave. NW

  Isanti, MN 55040

Series 2 Session Breakdown
Session 2-1
Getting Started

There’s nothing wrong with purchasing an alpaca because it is cute, or affordable, or sweet, or all of the above.  We have been there, and done that!  But it will be important to understand how that purchase will fit into the scheme of things, your plan, so those characteristics don’t sway every decision you make going forward.  In this first session, we start at the beginning, given all the constraint realities you might face:  budget, space, time, etc.  And we walk through where the market is today so that whatever decisions you make, they are informed decisions.

Topics covered in detail during this session will include:

  • Animal Selection

    • Market considerations

      • Changes in Phenotype and Size

      • Lineages

    • Confirmation for breeding stock

    • Fleece characteristics

  • Establishing and enhancing your herd

    • What to buy and when

    • Where to buy

    • Purchase agreements

    • Price structures

Session 2-2
Breeding

Imagine this….perhaps you have just purchased your first few females, or perhaps you’ve had alpacas for a while, and you’re ready to breed and build your herd, or know you need to be more strategic in your breeding decisions.  Maybe you purchased an initial package of alpacas and a male was part of the mix.  Do you use that male to breed your females?  Is that a good decision for you?   Now it’s time to be clear on your goals, your budget flexibility, your options, the risks, and benefits and the up and downside of any decision you’ll make.  As an alpaca breeder, there are lots of things to consider:

  • When to Breed

    • Considerations regarding your breeding season and timelines

  • Breeding Decisions:  Which female to which male?

    • Characteristics to build on

      • Fleece

      • Confirmation

      • Phenotype

      • Size

      • Temperament

  • The mechanics of breeding

    • Maidens vs Experienced (yes, there is a difference in making this work)

    • Basic anatomy and physiology

  • The options for breeding

    • On your own farm

    • Drive-by

    • Boarding at the male farm

    • Attended vs pasture breeding

    • Breeding contracts

  • Confirming Pregnancy

    • Behavior testing

    • Progesterone

    • Ultrasound

  • Basic supplies and record-keeping

Session 2-4
Cria Care &
Post Delivery Female Care
  • Cria Care Day 1

    • Cria Assessment (weight, temp, poop, and pee, energy level, level of alertness)

    • Nursing

    • Colostrum: mom’s or replacement

  • IgG testing

  • Vaccinations/Vitamins

  • Nutrition for nursing dams

Session 2-5
Ongoing Cria Health Management
  • Weight management:  nursing adequacy and need for supplementation

  • The transition from nursing to hay/grain

  • General health

  • Typical behaviors

  • Signs and symptoms of possible problems

  • Commonly used medications and supplies

Session 2-3
Pregnancy & Birthing
  • Nutrition requirements for pregnant females

  • Vaccinations and deworming during pregnancy

  • Readiness

    • Supplies

    • Record keeping

  • Things to watch for

    • During pregnancy

    • Labor

  • Birthing

    • Normal delivery

    • Dystocias

      • The value of wet-labs and strong veterinary relationships

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