Housing needs for young crias
One of the things crias need, besides proper nutrition, is space and a decent amount of it. Your cria will be most happy and healthy when they are not cramped and have the freedom to move their bodies. These housing tips will provide you with the knowledge needed to raise your cria.
Housing in the first few days
For the first day or two, you can keep your newborn cria in an indoor stall. This will be especially helpful if the weather outside is not ideal. It is important to have the dam or one or two other mature female llamas or alpacas in the stall with the cria so they learn to bond with the herd, not humans. Behavioral issues may develop if humans handle their cria any more than necessary or treat it as a pet. After these first few days, cria should be integrated with the herd.
Importance of proper ventilation indoors
When your cria is indoors, your structure should have proper ventilation without direct drafts to make them more comfortable. This will also reduce the moisture, animal odors and gasses that can cause respiratory illnesses, such as pneumonia. If you can smell ammonia in the barn or see condensation on the walls or ceiling, this may be a sign that the barn does not have adequate ventilation for your newborn cria. To fix this, install windows, fans and inlets around the ceiling perimeter to allow fresh air from the outside to mix with the air inside before coming into contact with the cria.
Must-haves for their outdoor space
The outdoor space for your alpacas or llamas should allow them the opportunity to graze daily. Since they are herd animals, they should not be kept alone. Make sure they have shelter, such as a lean-to, they can use to escape the beating sun, pouring rain or chilly winds.
Another important element of outdoor housing is fencing. This keeps the alpacas or llamas in and dangerous predators out. Fencing should be 48-60 inches high and no more than a foot off the ground.
With this solid knowledge to back up how much space your cria will need, you can confidently welcome them into your herd.
Get more care and nutrition tips for your crias and follow My Farm Journey on Facebook and Instagram for additional insights.
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