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Friday, April 27, 2012

Erin Murphy Knits: Spit Happens!

I thought I'd share my first post from my Erin Murphy Knits Blog:
One of the questions I get the most frequently about alpacas is "Do they spit?". The honest answer is..sometimes! Alpacas don't spit as often as llamas & they don't usually spit at people. You'll also get a few warnings before they spit: ears back, head back with neck arched. They do occasionally spit at each other when they squabble over hay. One of the times you definitely want to see an alpaca spit is when you perform a spit test, which is an alpaca pregnancy test that even a novice can perform. The alpacas' gestation period is 11.5 months and they don't really look pregnant till the end. you want to make sure that once you get your female pregnant that they maintain their pregnancy. Ultrasounds can be expensive and require a vet visit. Progesterone testing isn't always accurate. Right now I have four females that I'm hoping will maintain their pregnancies & provide me with cria (baby alpacas). Once every month, I bring one of my males into the female pasture on a lead & walk him amongst the pregnant girls. I have two maidens (females who haven't given birth before) & two proven moms. If the females are open (not pregnant) they'll typically cush (lay down) for breeding. If they are pregnant they'll either spit, kick or run away. These could also be symptoms of a retained CL (Corpeus Luteum); but that's probably more info than my casual blog readers are interested in. Today, I had four positive spit tests, so fingers crossed!
I've attached photos of the two beautiful studs we used this year: Canzelle's Mombasa & Canzelle's Swahili. If you're interested in alpacas, knitting or ME, here's the link to my other blog: Erin Murphy Knits: Spit Happens!:

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