Alpacas – so fluffy and lovely and beauteous! Here are some facts about their bouncing babies…
- Baby alpacas are called crias, as are baby llamas.
- The name cria comes from the Spanish word that means baby. Spanish sailors in the 18th century called them this after the baby-like ‘mwa’ sound that they make.
- Crias weigh up to 18-20 pounds (8-9 kilos) when they are born – about the same weight as a car tyre!
- Weaned crias are called weanlings, and their mums wean them at aged 6-8 months.
- Alpaca mums normally give birth to the babies in the morning so the crias have chance to walk around and dry off before the temperature drops in the evening.
- Alpacas are pregnant for a whopping 11-12 months. That’s a loooog time to have a bun in the oven! Unless there are any complications, they don’t need help delivering their babies. In fact, they prefer to be left alone.
- Alpacas are usually bred for their lovely soft and strong fleece, and for breeding. Alpacas are relatively rare because each alpaca mum, called a dam, usually only has one cria a year.
If the mum has more than one cria, it is dangerous and can kill both the mum and baby. Although, on rare occasions, alpacas do give birth to healthy twins.
Can you find any more interesting facts about crias? Comment below with your favourite fact!
Do you want to meet some beautiful alpacas?
At Sweet Home Alpaca in Wales, we have a Wales’ largest herd of black Huacaya alpacas. 11 crias were born this year and they absolutely love meeting new people!
Join us for an alpaca walk, meet and greet or come and camp in the field with our favourite fuzzballs.