Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Cria Season 2015



Cria season has been a bit of a roller coaster this year. We lost one baby and we lost one dam - we miss them terribly but at the moment all is good and we are enjoying the sweet antics of all of our new additions.

Trooper joined us in July - pretty much on schedule, Quelle was amazing - no muss, no fuss, text book delivery and a great mother. It took him about 5 minutes to settle in and he's been running things (or at least, trying to) ever since

Velvet's baby was very late, had a birth defect and did not make it. RIP sweet girl.

Then the surprises really started. Anika delivered a healthy bouncing baby girl on Friday, 8/28 (three weeks early) and everything seemed to be going great, Saturday morning we found her down with a prolapsed uterus and lost her pretty quickly. Baby Joie de Vivre - Joy to her friends - has one of the strongest wills I've ever met and immediately began working on finding a surrogate mom. Saphira, a dam at Akasha Alpacas, our good friends and neighbors, has adopted her and with a few supplemental bottles each day, she is doing great. A nod to the other dams at Akasha as well, Joy is not shy about milk bar hopping and most of the moms have indulged her from time to time.

About an hour after we lost Anika, Dancer delivered her cria - again...way early - and this time it was a little scary. This baby looked like the preemie she was, only weighing 10.8 pounds at birth, and weak in her back legs. Most alpaca babies weigh between 15 and 20 pounds at birth. Until this baby, her mother had been my smallest baby - only weighing 13 pounds at birth, but she was strong, dancing and prancing the minute her feet hit the ground - thus her name, Tiny Dancer.. This was a different story - I was terrified we were going to lose her too. She did manage to stand with a little help and was able to nurse after a while, but I just could not imagine that she would ever be strong enough to make it on her own. I named her Dancer's Minuet - Minnie, of course - she was just the tiniest little thing! And she has been a joy and inspiration to us all - determined and focused - she weighed 15.7 pounds -at12 days, 20.2 pounds at 3 weeks.She runs and plays with the other cria and is just about the cutest thing ever! My heart just swells every time I look at her.

And then Friday, Sept 4, about 10 am, I was walking back to the house after having visited the babies and still expectant moms next door at Akasha. I heard a funny noise and looked up to see Layla coming toward me with her tail up, eyes bugged out, in obvious distress. Here we go again, another early baby - she was still a few days shy of eleven months. Well, I've shepherded more than a few maidens through their first birth but this was one for the books. Giving birth hurts, it really does - I know, I remember, but Layla was quite put out by the whole thing. I've had new moms have post partum blues, dementia, even had one catatonic for a few days, but I've never had one get angry about it. That is the only way I can describe Ms. Layla's attitude -- she was mad, just really mad -- and folks - mostly she was mad at me. L! I did what I could, gave her some banamine as soon as she passed her placenta, coo-ed, cajoled, tried to help her, held her head and scratched behind the ears, but she was having none of it - would not stand still for that baby to nurse. I finally gave up and thawed out the frozen cow colostrum I keep on hand for such eventualities, gave the cria a bottle or two and prayed for mom to settle down. Late afternoon I called the vet, scored a sedative, and she finally settled down about 7:30 and allowed her cria to nurse. Whew! They've worked things out between them, our Coleen is more beautiful with each passing day - fine and bright and crimpy with presence oozing from every pore - full of fun and BFF's with Minnie.

One more to go - check back in October - hopefully Earlah's delivery will be uneventful - she's an old hand, but this year all bets are off - the roller coaster is still on the track.

Joy w/

Joy w/"sis" Rita & "Mom" Roci

Coleen (standing)  & Minnie

Coleen (standing) & Minnie