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 2. Alpaca Healthcare & Nutrition
 Early Weaning Cria
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2 Posts

Posted - 09/20/2009 :  08:48:48 AM  Show Profile  Visit CreeksideAcres's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Has anyone had any experience with a first time mom weaning her cria early? We have one dam who is definitely old enough to have been bred and have a cria but just wasn't interested in being a mom too much since her cria was born. We watched her closely and she allowed the cria to do all that it needed to do but she was clearly just "tolerating" the cria.

Now, the cria is just 3 months old and is big, healthy and normal but I have noticed that the dam is weaning her....more and more each day.

Does anyone have any experience with this? Would you supplement? She is not eating grain yet but is grazing beautifully.

Oh, the dam appears well.

Thanks for the input!

Creekside Acres
Pleasant Valley, NY


4103 Posts

Posted - 09/20/2009 :  10:01:30 AM  Show Profile  Send Judith a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Hi Candice - Some moms aren't the best of mothers whether it's their first or their 10th cria. But it's not unusual - although not common - that a first time mother seem less interested than more experienced dams. You'll have to watch how she behaves with her next cria.

I've noticed that weaning times can vary from cria to cria. I have one mother who typically allows nursing up to about the 5th or 6th month, but in one instance (not her first), she started kicking a male cria off at about 3 months. Maybe she just didn't like him. Others will allow crias to nurse so long that they practically overlap with the next birth, and you have to forcibly wean them by removing either dam or cria from the group (even then, some of them will return to nursing once returned to the herd).

As long as the cria is eating and digesting well hay or pasture, and has access to supplement and minerals, it should be okay. But do watch body score to make sure that it doesn't start to lose weight, and remember that weaning - whether done by mom or by a herd manager - is a stressful time for the weanling, so they are more susceptible at that time to parasites or other health issues.

Judith Korff
AlpacaNation Forum Co-Moderator
LadySong Suris
Randolph, NY 14772
Cell: (716) 499-0383
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