Analysis of alpaca (Vicugna pacos) cria survival under extensive management conditions in the high elevations of the Andes Mountains of Peru

O. E. Gómez-Quispe, E. L. Rodríguez, R. M. Benites, S. Valenzuela, J. Moscoso-Muñoz, V. Ibañez, C. R. Youngs

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Resumen

In the Andes Mountains, alpaca rearing is the main economic activity of many families. One of the factors that affects the economic viability of this breeding activity is the mortality of offspring. The objective of this investigation was to analyze factors that influence the probability of survival of alpaca crias raised under extensive management conditions in the high elevations of the Andes Mountains in Peru. The study involved 100 crias born during a normal calving season that were monitored from birth to 12 weeks of age. Mortality of crias was recorded daily whereas body weight and other variables were recorded weekly. Cria survival was estimated using the Cox proportional hazard regression. Crias that never showed clinical signs of disease had a higher (P = 0.001) probability of survival (93.9 %) than crias with visible signs of disease (5.6 %). Crias with a heavy birth weight (exceeding 7.13 kg) had a greater (P = 0.001) probability of survival than those born with a moderate (80.6 %) or low birth weight (52.6 %). Survival of crias was not affected by sex (P = 0.303) or fleece color (P = 0.361). The most important factors that influenced the survival of the crias were clinical health status (P < 0.001) and birth weight (P = 0.001). These results highlight the importance of cria health care management during the first six weeks of life. More vigilant observation of cria health during this time could reduce clinical disease and improve cria survival, thereby improving the profitability of alpaca producers through the reduction of cria death losses.

Idioma originalInglés
Número de artículo106839
PublicaciónSmall Ruminant Research
Volumen217
DOI
EstadoPublicada - dic. 2022

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