Wal­ton pair take on hairy task

Kerri and Neil Camp­bell hope their al­pacas will pro­vide them with an exit strat­egy from farm­ing free range chick­ens. Abby Brown sat down with Kerri to learn about the fas­ci­nat­ing an­i­mal.

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

then the breeder knows the fe­male has no use for the male, as they have be­come preg­nant.

But Kerri said even the al­pacas don’t like the taste of their own spit.

She said they push their lips out once they have spat, as they don’t like the taste.

Fe­males have an un­usual cy­cle, she said, as mat­ing in­duces ovu­la­tion.

Kerri was wait­ing for a cou­ple of fe­male al­pacas to give birth, as ges­ta­tion was nor­mally 11⁄ months, but both fe­males were pro­long­ing their preg­nan­cies, as they seemed to think the weather was not safe enough to give birth.

Fe­males can pro­long a preg­nancy by sev­eral months if they felt the weather would af­fect how quickly their baby could be up and run­ning af­ter birth.

Kerri said this was im­por­tant, as in the wild al­pacas knew new­born ba­bies neg­a­tively af­fected by bad weather would be tar­geted by a preda­tor.

Photo: ABBY BROWN

EN­TER­TAIN­ING AL­PACA: Kerri Camp­bell says al­paca are en­ter­tain­ing and en­dear­ing.

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