Fun Facts About Baby Alpacas (Cria)
Alpacas are often referred to as “lama pocos”, or small llamas. This is understandable since they both come from the camelid family. But that’s pretty much where the similarities end.
Unlike other camelids, the alpaca breed is known for its calm nature. Yet that doesn’t stop them from always being watchful of everything going on around them because they tend to scare easily.
Overall, however, alpacas are quite the social bunch. You can pet them and feed them without worrying about getting bitten or kicked. And maybe they’ll even plant a kiss on your nose.
We’ve made a list of 10 fun facts about baby alpacas. Keep reading to find out more about these gentle creatures and their babies.
10 Fun Facts About Crias.
Alpacas breed once a each year. Their gestation period lasts from 242 to 345 days, roughly 11 months. They only carry only one offspring at a time.
Crias are generally born in the spring between May and September. Alpaca mothers tend to give birth during the day. This gives time for the baby to begin suckling before night time when temperatures drop.
At birth, a baby alpaca, also known as a cria, weighs from 6 to 8 kg. As adults, they can weigh up to 70 kg.
Crias can stand up shortly after birth. The fact that these cute babies can stand on their own so early in their lives demonstrates their resilience. At the same time, you’ll rarely find alpacas, big or small, wandering off by themselves. If they do, they won’t stay away too long on their own.
Alpaca milk is lower in fat and salt than cows milk. It’s also higher in calcium and phosphorus. Because of its low fat component, crias need to suckle frequently to boost their growth.
A cria will stay by their mother until it’s weaned, which is around 5 to 6 months. Since alpacas are herbivores, crias start grazing as soon as they’re weaned. They eat grass, leaves, and even bark.
Similar to their ruminant counterparts, their stomachs are divided into three chambers. This efficient digestive tract breaks down food to produce the fatty acids and nutrients that alpacas need.
A female alpaca, called hembra, is ready to reproduce when she’s between 12 to 15 months.
Males are known as ‘machos’. They’re ready for mating by the time they reach 30 to 36 months. That’s the age when farms start offering alpaca studs for sale to breed or keep as pets.
Alpacas can live up to 20 years. They come in about 22 recognised colours. While most alpacas come in solid colours, some have blends and colour variations.
Alpacas are known to be gentle and mild-mannered. Even though they’re curious and love exploring on their own, they get scared easily. That’s why they prefer the companionship of other alpacas. When alpacas feel wary or frightened, they’ll usually huddle and move as a group.
If you hear an alpaca hum, it could be because they’re relaxed and content. After birth, both baby and mother hum repeatedly. They also make a staccato clicking or snorting sound to let others know there’s potential danger nearby. It can also signal discomfort or restlessness.
Alpacas are the docile and adorable animals of the farm world. They’re also extremely sensitive and quite intelligent. The sounds they make communicate certain messages and relay their emotions and fears.
All these unique features make alpacas highly prized cattle and pets worldwide.
MORE BUSH JOURNAL
Himalayan Brown Bear Project
In the heart of the Himalayas, where the rugged terrain meets the sky, a critical mission is underway to safeguard one of the Earth’s most endangered species: the Himalayan Brown Bear. Amidst this noble endeavour stands Dr. Johan Marais, the visionary founder and head veterinarian of Saving the Survivors, whose expertise and determination are reshaping … Continued
KRUGER'S RHINOS IN CRITICAL DANGER
We are deeply alarmed by the recent findings regarding Kruger National Park’s Rhino population, as reported in the 2022/2023 Annual Report by SANParks. The statistics are alarming: a staggering 16.2% decline, leaving only 2,060 Rhinos in Kruger, including 1,851 White Rhinos and 210 Black Rhinos. While there seems to be a decrease in poaching rates, … Continued
Rhino with damaged horn from a fight
A Bold Mission to Save a Black Rhino Bull: Dr. Johan Marais at Work In the heart of the African wilderness, a remarkable story of resilience and compassion unfolds. At STS our commitment to protecting and preserving wildlife knows no bounds. Today, we share with you an extraordinary mission led by our founder and head … Continued
Rhino suffering osteoarthritis
In the above image, you can witness a defining moment in the life of a magnificent Rhino suffering from osteoarthritis. What sets this scene apart is that Dr. Johan Marais and our team are applying the same approach and medications that have proven successful in treating horses. It’s a prime example of how we adapt … Continued
Seha's Great Relocation
A Journey of Hope and Healing In a world where stories of hope often shine through the darkest of times, the tale of Seha, our Southern White Rhino Bull, is nothing short of remarkable. This is a story of resilience, compassion, and the relentless dedication of a community determined to protect and rehabilitate endangered wildlife. … Continued
Treating a Rhino with infected horns
A Miracle in the Wild: Dr. Johan’s Life-Saving Mission for a Black Rhino Cow We are thrilled to share an incredible story of hope and resilience that unfolded in the heart of the wilderness. At Saving the Survivors, we are committed to protecting and preserving the world’s most vulnerable wildlife, and this recent mission highlights … Continued
The dark side of the super moon
Unveiling the Super Moon: A Celestial Marvel with Consequences for Wildlife Prepare to be captivated by an extraordinary cosmic display in the coming nights – the enchanting “super moon.” This celestial event promises a visual spectacle like no other, but as we marvel at its magnificence, it’s crucial to shed light on the potential challenges … Continued
Impi's Journey to Recovery
In the heart of the wild, where stories of survival and courage unfold, a young Southern White Rhino named Impi has captured our hearts and reminded us of the unbreakable spirit of wildlife. Impi’s tale is one of triumph over adversity, of a mother’s unwavering love, and of the collective efforts of dedicated individuals striving … Continued
Update on our anti poaching dog “Hope” We are thrilled to unveil the extraordinary journey of our anti-poaching marvel, Hope, and her devoted handler. Through your unwavering support and generous contributions this remarkable tale of dedication and protection is made possible. We cannot thank you enough for being the backbone of Hope’s mission. Join us … Continued
The value of a Rhino
Will a Rhino Ever Be Worth More Than Its Horn on the Black Market? In the intricate tapestry of wildlife conservation, one of the most poignant challenges we face is the preservation of Rhinos, these majestic beings that have graced our planet for over 50 million years. The question looms large: will the value of … Continued
Saving Private Rhino
A Bright Future for Private Rhino Custodians in South Africa: Potential Tax Incentives In a promising turn of events for South Africa’s dedicated private Rhino owners, Environment Minister Barbara Creecy has hinted at the possibility of introducing tax incentives. These incentives could provide much-needed relief to individuals who have been at the forefront of protecting … Continued
WORLD LION DAY 2023
Greetings to all Lion enthusiasts on this World Lion Day! As we gather to honour these awe-inspiring creatures, we’re reminded of the remarkable initiatives we’ve undertaken to safeguard and conserve these iconic animals, all made possible through your generous support. With the help of your contributions, our dedicated team stands ready to rescue injured … Continued