The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Barbara Patterson
Special to The Sentinel 

Alpaca breeding, birthing season underway



Meet the Alpacas: Pat Patterson, owner of Golden Pine Alpacas, and McCloud get better acquainted. Golden Pine Alpacas will open their doors this weekend for their annual Open Farm Days.

Nothing is more delightful at an alpaca farm than the advent of birthing season. It’s a time when prior breeding decisions become reality and the crias (Spanish for babies) make their long-awaited appearances. Gestation, or the length of the pregnancy in an alpaca, averages 11-1/2 months. Normally, just one cria is born.

Will this cria be a boy or girl? Black, brown, fawn, grey, or white? Will it have two colors? Spots? A tuxedo look? All depends on the genetics brought to the mix by the alpaca mom and the herdsire she was bred to. Sometimes there are surprises: two completely white alpacas can produce a colored cria. In that case, the cria inherited genes passed on to one or both p...

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