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Preparing for Alpaca Birthing Season


Attend birthing classes if available.  Ask your experienced camelid vet about his or her recommendations, as well as experienced breeders.

Many births are unattended and do not require assistance, but when they do, it's important to have supplies on hand, know how to help or get help.

Keep a birthing kit on hand that includes, but not limited to:

Clean towels/blanket

Clean Bucket

Lubrication such as K-Y jelly

Utility gloves

Plastic bags

Nursing supplies, bottles, nipples, dry formula specific to camelids

Cria coat

Triodine to dip umbilicus



Have a clean, safe stall ready with clean straw bedding for mom and cria to stay up to 24 hours after birth.  Be sure other alpacas are within sight of mom in order to relieve stress. Provide a bucket of fresh water for mom.  It is normal for mom to hum to her cria the first 24 hours, this is part of the bonding process.  It's been our experience that by keeping them in a pen together, nearby but protected from the rest of the herd, improves outcome.

Besides providing the above, these are very important things to do right after birth:

Dip the cria's navel in Triodine.  It will shrivel up thereby preventing bacteria from entering into the abdominal cavity.  This is often the cause of cria death related to sepsis.

Check mom for milk by gently removing the tiny wax plugs from the tips of all nipples and expressing one squirt of milk from each of them.  The milk should be sticky.  Sticky milk=Colostrum.  Do not milk this important component out because he cria needs every bit of it for a healthy immune system.

Allow and observe bonding.  In other words, if possible, ?leave the pen after your initial work is done, and let them bond.  Observe mom for the passing of her placenta.  Observe the cria for adequate nursing. 

When adequate bonding has occurred, weigh your cria, with mom close by.







Updated September 30, 2015