Alpaca gestations are normally 347 days on average (around 11.5 months), though at our farm they average longer in the spring and shorter in the fall (closer to 11 months or 335 days). Nobody knows why this happens, and there are exceptions, but I do start watching earlier in the fall. Hot summer gestations tend to be longest, which is one of the reasons why we avoid breeding for late summer crias- we believe it is just asking for problems (weakborn crias, prematurity, lack of milk in the dam).
So... here I am waiting and watching for Eyecatcher to have her cria (shown above calmly chewing cud, no signs at all), now at Day 344, (as well as anticipating a hotly contested election!) Will it be a winner... or a loser? As with the election, I am most of all hoping for a smooth and healthy process which will ultimately result in a good outcome for all! (Though I can still wish for an awesome grey female cria and ___________ for president!)
Later this week I will share some of the signs we watch for that tell us that a cria is imminent.... NEWSFLASH! I may lose all credibility, as I was just informed by our farmhand that Paris has just had a healthy female cria at Day 332, never showing a sign! Yeah, finally our male streak has ended!