Dam Rejects Cria
Disrespectful Llama
Late-Day Babies
Toenails

We've all heard stories of the recently purchased 'pregnant' llama who fails to deliver! Late perhaps? A little more time passes ...until her owner resigns himself to the unhappy fact she is not pregnant after all. Why!! New llama owners aren't the only breeders to suffer this disappointment.

So how to ensure it doesn't happen to you!

Today, most vets have ultrasound equipment so testing is easy. And if purchasing a 'pregnant' llama, the buyer is entitled to ask the vendor to provide an ultrasound certificate, confirming the llama is pregnant at purchase.

However, llamas, like all livestock can ... and occasionally will ... abort at any time during the pregnancy ... but it is generally accepted that this takes place during those first 90 days.

Whilst we can't prevent abortion, we can ascertain whether or not it has occurred.

The simplest method is by introducing an entire male to the pregnant females, at regular intervals throughout their pregnancy. This is called 'spitting off'.

If the female is pregnant she'll reject the male's advances, flattening her ears, elevating her head and 'spitting' at him. But if she's aborted she'll be receptive and probably sit for him.

Every 2-3 weeks, we pen our pregnant females in a yard approximately 5m x 10m, then lead a haltered male past each female. He need not be a stud male ... just mature and entire.

It soon becomes obvious which girls are pregnant. Whether it's the flattened ears; raised head; extended height; spitting or just moving as far from the male as possible, the message "Stay away! You're not welcome!" is abundantly clear.

To avoid mistakes, each female is released from the yard as soon as she signals her rejection of the male. This process of assessment is easily managed and takes only a few minutes.

Some larger breeders run a stud male with a group of females almost constantly. The male is removed from the female herd only during those times when breeding would result in births taking place during bad weather or at times unsuited to the breeder's designated breeding program.

The advantage of this practice, should a female abort, is the male will remate her immediately. However, the disadvantage is the inability of the breeder to establish accurate mating dates and birthing dates.

Generally the spit-off method works, but very occasionally a female may give the impression she's pregnant, by rejecting the male, when in fact she's not. Should this occur, invariably it's the result of a medical condition, the details of which need to be discussed with a veterinarian.

Dam Rejects Cria
Disrespectful Llama
Late-Day Babies
Toenails

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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