Cria Needs a Coat

..continued from Page 4 << Coat Sizes Adapted by Linda Berol, Farm Manager

Newborn cria, just a few hours old.

Newborn cria Roi-Henry is only a few hours old in this picture and walking just fine on his wobbly newborn legs.

After I made several adult coats that first winter, I started a coat for a cria in anticipation of our first birthing on our farm.

I learned how important cria coats are! Even in late spring or early summer on a rainy or windy day, the cria absolutely NEEDS a coat! And for some weird reason, it seems like birthing happens on a rainy or windy day.

I really like the way the cria coats turned out. It’s a good feeling to be prepared — to have enough cria coats for the number of birthings in one season. For now we make breeding decisions, so that our crias arrive in the summer months. Perhaps in the future we will have a warm area of our barn for fall or winter birthing. For now, we must provide for temperature extremes because we have a cold unheated barn.

Birthing season is so exciting at our farm – I just love it!

It works so much better for our crias to arrive in the summer months.

I don’t believe all alpacas need coats. A healthy alpaca with lots of fleece is just fine in cold weather. Here in northeast Pennsylvania our winters get colder than the winters that the original alpacas dealt with in South America, so I have come to realize that cold stress is a definite problem for some alpacas. I frequently observe our alpacas when the temperature goes below 20 degrees for an extended period of time. And putting a coat on the possibly cold alpaca seems to make a big difference.

Next >> Sew a Coat Thoughts

This article is copyright 2011 and beyond, copyright by Linda Berol. Cannot be republished elsewhere without express written permission.