The sexual behaviour of alpacas joined under a selective breeding programme was recorded to assess performance and to examine ways of providing optimal conditions for mating. Groups of 4 females and 1 male were joined in paddocks for 5 days (3 groups) or in pens for 3.5 hours on 2 consecutive mornings (3 groups). Sexual activity was more variable in paddocks compared with pens, and more females were mated in pens. Duration of copulation was longer in pens that in paddocks, and for first compared with subsequent matings. Within pens, sexual activity was more intense during the first hour following joining than for the subsequent 2.5 hours, on Day 1 than on Day 2, and differed between groups. Females became more receptive later in the mating sessions. The study indicated that pen mating using small single-sire groups, over short periods, was a suitable method of breeding alpacas.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 50, , 489-492, 1990
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