Very Pregnant Females

By Mike Safley

Eric Hoffman was the head salesman for the importers in the late eighties and he held an import sale at his ranch in Santa Cruz, California. Eric controlled most of the market in those days and he had the biggest group of females for sale outside of South America. The sale format reflected his control, you needed an appointment to even go to the sale and he only allowed prospective purchasers 30 minutes to select their alpacas.

Dad and I arrived at the appointed hour and waded into the available females. Dad would hold the head and I would slip up behind them and massage the momma’s belly. If I could feel a body part we bought the mom.

We purchased 7 females that day and they all had cria within 60 days. Lo and behold each was a female cria. I have always had a soft spot in my heart for Eric and his sale after that purchase. Needless to say, the arrival of all of these female cria really accelerated Northwest Alpacas herd growth.

For anyone who wants to make a high value alpaca purchase, pregnant females are the best choice for several reasons:

  • 1) They have a proven ability to conceive.
  • 2) The shorter the due date, the higher the value of the Dam.
  • 3) Pregnant females will have 2 or 3 cria before a six month old female cria might

    have 1.

For anyone who wants to grow their herd size and have alpacas for sale in the shortest possible time it is point number 3 above that makes pregnant females a high value purchase. You may want to consider the following chart before making your next purchase:

  1st Cria 2nd Cria 3rd Cria 4th Cria
Maiden Female

6 month old

 

18 Months 30 Months 42 Months 54 Months
Pregnant Female

Due in 10 months

 

10 Months 22 Months 34 Months 46 Months
Pregnant Females

Due in 30 days

1 Month 13 Months 25 Months 37 Months

(Please note the chart above assumes an ideal reproduction schedule for each female. This is not always the case and sometimes rebreeding a proven female or a maiden can take longer than described.)

To further illustrate the value of the female due in 30 days, consider the following scenario; 1) the first cria born 30 days following your purchase is a female, 2) you successfully breed her at 12 months of age and 3) she delivers at 24 months of age. This means that your original purchase of 1 pregnant female due in 30 days has turned into 4 cria in 25 months. Compare this to the maiden female in the chart who will not have her first cria until 30 months after purchase.

Now let’s compare the value of each females’ production in dollars and sense. The value of cria was created assuming each female produced four cria, a 50/50 male/female ratio and that the two female cria were worth $20,000 each.

  1st Cria Production Value of Female per month
Maiden Female

6 month old

 

4 cria – 54 months $40,000 $740
Pregnant Female

Due in 10 months

 

4 cria – 46 months $40,000 $870
Pregnant Females

Due in 30 days

4 cria – 37 months $40,000 $1,081

The female who was due within 30 days would earn $341 more per month , over 54 months than the maiden female and would be worth $18,414 more ($341 X 54 mos). The analysis does not take into account the potential for the female cria of the female due in 30 days to start producing additional cria during the same time frame. In fact, a female cria could produce 2 additional cria by the time a maiden would produce four. If one of these were a female cria, the female due in 30 days could be worth $20,000 in addition to the $18,414 for a total of $38,414 more than the maiden female in 54 months.

Another way to look at this is that a female due in 30 days is worth $3,069 more than a female due in 10 months ($341 X 9 mos) or $6,138 more than a maiden ($341 X 18 mos). The analysis also demonstrates that a pregnant females production is worth close to $1,000 per month to their owner. This makes pregnant female alpacas a pretty good cash flow machine.


Reproduced with permission from:  Northwest Alpacas: raising suri and huacaya alpacas for sale, alpaca investment, and alpaca business plans for alpaca breeders and owners worldwide. Copyright © Northwest Alpacas.