Little is known about the incidence of birthing difficulties (“dystocia”) in alpacas, specific information about the type of problems experienced during birthing and the time around birthing (the “periparturient period”), or the outcome of the problems experienced. Furthermore, a similar paucity of information exists for the incidence of problems experienced by crias during the critical neonatal period.

Reproductive success and cria survival is crucial to the alpaca industry. Given the increasing alpaca population in the UK, there is a corresponding demand from owners and vets to improve the availability of information on managing alpacas during the periparturient period and to ensure cria viability. This study aims to evaluate the incidence of events around the birthing period and neonatal problems in order to highlight where potential improvements can be made in both management and veterinary care of the species.

This questionnaire forms the first part of participation in this study. We would like to ask you general questions about your herd, general management and your experience level as well as historical data from your herd in regard to periparturient events and problems with cria illness and/or death over the last 5 years (where available). This will provide some background information about the sorts of issues that have been experienced over a reasonable period of time. Before you start, you may find it helpful to look back at your herd data to find information about the number of difficult birthings and any cria problems you have experienced in your herd.

Thank you for participating in this study. This questionnaire must be completed by 24th August 2017 in order for us to collate all responses. Should you have any questions about this survey or the broader research project, please feel free to contact Claire Whitehead on 01491 680313 or via email at