Alpacas are induced ovulators and do not have a season/cycle as such so they can be mated at anytime, However,pregnancy is dependent on the stage of egg development. In order to catch the egg at the right stage when it is mature enough, matings are normally done weekly. One of the neat features is that the females will reject the male (spit off) if they have ovulated or are pregnant.
A typical course of events might be:
Generally, you can assume pregnant after 4 consecutive spit offs. Scan to be sure at 60 days.
20% of pregnancies are re-absorbed in the first 60 days but after the 60 days threshold, the rate of re-absorbtion drops to 5%.
There are several options for mating:
On farm - your female and any newly born cria go to stay at the stud farm for 2 months (check bio-security arrangements), or
Drive by - you drive your female to the stud's farm, she is mated and you return home with her or,
Mobile mating – the stud male comes to you (this normally incurs a mileage charge).
With any option, beware that several matings may be required.
It is probably best to pay for stud fees in the early years, this gives you the opportunity to access some fantastic males and a wide range of genetics to choose from.
Expect to pay between £400 - £1000 for a top quality stud.
Payment is normally due once a pregnancy is confirmed and most breeders offer a live cria guarantee or free remate.
Do consider local studs, there are some very good males around, you do not have to compromise on quality and they have the advantage that there is less travel involved. Many breeders will have their studs’ progeny there for you to view and record of their show success.
If you are planning to expand your herd for the first time or looking a stud for your next generation there are many top quality studs in Cornwall, the genetics you may be seeking to improve your herd may well be closer than you thought.