Friday, May 28, 2010

A Date

We were waiting until show season was over to breed Tehya. She will be 2 years old in July, and is about 130 pounds. She's old enough and big enough to breed (typical breeding age is 1.5 to 2 years old, though some aren't ready until closer to 3, and over 120 pounds). If they aren't ready, they won't show interest, and a pregnancy won't take hold. First, a few days ago, we teased Tehya with a male. Then last night, we brought down her date.

Here is Kateri's Tehya:

We decided to breed her to Our Peruvian Navigator:

Tehya is fawn with a secondary color of brown or black (we don't know which one she received from her mother). Both of Tehya's parents have had grey offspring, so they have a recessive grey gene. It is quite likely that Tehya inherited a recessive grey gene (the type that makes a modern, roaning, grey). Navigator is a classic dark rose grey. I don't know that I would call him a tuxedo grey, because it's not a typical tuxedo, but he clearly has more of a classic pattern (he is not modern grey). I've heard his type referred to as "fancy grey". This type of grey is dominate, he will either pass it on and the cria will be grey, or he won't pass it on.

Tehya has crimpy fleece, with great staple length. She is consistent, with crimp from her legs into her top knot. Tehya isn't as fine as we'd like, and her fleece could use some bundling organization. Navigator is very fine, especially for a grey, and has nice bundles. His fiber characteristics fill in any weakness she has.

Alpacas are induced ovulators, so you do not have to time breeding to meet the female's cycle. The act of breeding, especially the orgling noise the male makes, causes the female to ovulate. Now, for a maiden, sometimes the first breeding is what starts their cycling, so often they do not get pregnant this first time. She and Navigator did breed for 17 minutes, and we did tease her a few days before, so it's possible it will take. But it wouldn't be a surprise if she needs to be bred again. We will wait a few days and try it again. If she goes down to breed, then she did not take. If she spits him off and runs, then likely she is pregnant. This isn't always accurate with a maiden, so we will need to keep monitor of her. Our experienced moms, we have a very good idea of how they act when pregnant vs open. But with a maiden it's harder. But I think we did fine with Maddie last year using this method.

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