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Regardless of the time of year, in order to keep stress to a minimum, Moms should be the ones moved to a different paddock, not babies. Taking babies away from Moms instead of the opposite makes way more stress by requiring babies to: get used to a new location-shelter,wind, sun,fences, view; get used to new place to eat (whether it is a creep or not) and drink on top of losing the milk; get used to new social atmosphere - especially when only
one or a few crias are taken out of a big group ; get used to a new routine (like the regular time of feeding, being looked at, etc.)
Losing Mom and milk, her protection and company, are hard enough without all the rest.
As far as other species go, I have found females need a little extra time with Moms more than the boys. Some boys who have stayed too long tend to be sulkier than the girls, and are more apt to run the fences if Moms are kept too close,
but I like the girls to have a little extra time. I believe it helps the little girls learn more good female behavior besides have security and milk (with the immunities) a little longer. Boys benefit from the opposite in order to learn to be boys. Handling PROPERLY, halter training manners into them early makes a big difference here.
For instance, with lambs and kids, ( and I realize there are a lot more factors here than I
have space to mention), I usually (all other things being reasonably equal, like size and condition) wean bucks first and give female sucklings another week or three with their Moms, Particularly with twins and triplets, which
can mean moving Moms and girls away from the sons.
The other factor here is the whole subject of smart and healthy drying up of the udders. Moms of boys are likely producing more milk (if they are able to do so), but all Moms should be carefully dried off by cutting their intake for at least a week, better longer. You may think this is unkind, but ask any woman who has breastfed a baby which way is kinder -- To have less nutrition at the end while still feeding the baby to taper off easily or suddenly stopping it.
I believe there is much more mastitis going on than is noticed,
and is still not recognized even when the alpaca breeder wonders, "But she had lots of milk last year...what happened?"
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Neonatal-Birthing Clinic for Alpaca and Llama Breeders
Springtime birthing season is right around the corner!
Island Alpaca Farm will host Dr. Cheryl DeWitt on Saturday, April 12 from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm for a most invaluable one day clinic, featuring new material on cria-care this year!
Light Breakfast and full Lunch included, as well as one Coursebook per farm. New lowered price this year, and registration is available online: http://islandalpaca.com/product_detail.php?p_id=228
MC/Visa and Amex accepted. $195, and $150 for additional farm members. $100 for repeat students.
Discount stays available at The Mansion House, Vineyard Haven. (Indoor pool, hot-tub, sauna, fitness center, and buffet breakfast. Make it a weekend get-away!
Learn More >