As many of us may be enjoying afternoon teas, relaxing at spas and spending some quality time with Mothers, Grandmothers and special people in our lives for Mothers Day, this Sunday four of our alpaca mum’s will be enjoying some peace and quiet with their friends as we have just weaned our last four crias.
Julia, Jessica, Maria and Bianca are mothers to four of our crias born last summer, this week these four mums said goodbye to their crias and joined the rest of the female herd, as you can see from the photo’s the girls loved being reunited with their old friends and soon settled back in to being in a paddock wiith alpacas their own age.
When crias are born they solely rely on their mother's milk along with a few nibbles of grass until they are 3-4 months old at which point they can be introduced to concentrate feed and hay. Crias are weaned at 6 months old and by this time they should be eating a well balanced diet of all three; our crias at Yew Tree have been enjoying this varied diet for quite a few months now and are therefore ready to go it alone without mum at their side.
At weaning time crias still try to suckle their mother which is why it is important for them to be kept away from her for at least 8 weeks to enable full separation. Although our younsters are quite sad to be separated from their mothers and pine for a few days, after a week they soon settle into their new situation. Initially they all remain together with their fellow crias to reduce the stress of mum leaving. They then join the adult herd of males or females and enjoy meeting new friends.
The majority of our crias born last summer were boys all except one Henrietta, after the weaning period which will last through to the end March the boys will then join the main herd of big boys and get up to lots of mischief. Henrietta will be go to be with the adult girls, the main breeding herd in early April.
Our alpaca mothers will be enjoying some well deserved peace and quiet away from their crias this Sunday and whatever you have planned we hope you all have a very lovely Mothers Day!