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Sweet Clover Alpaca

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The 2014 Spring Cria

Gale Warning

Gale Warning

On Thursday, April 3rd the very anticipated first cria a major thunderstorm. As I had waited around the farm for two days, I decided that I needed to run an errand. Alpaca like to have their cria in private and especially not when you are hovering over them. Phedina had all the signs - for two days - of being in labor so I headed out for my errand. I was on my way home when the sky opened up and the lightening struck. I was five miles from home and my phone rang. It was my closest neighbor, closest to the girl paddock too. 'You have a baby in the yard and it's pooring down rain! She's not getting up! What do we need to do?" I asked if they could jump the fence and bring her in the barn, I'd be right home.
I got home and the storm had subsided. In the barn, wrapped in a towel in my neighbor's arms was a beautiful, patterned girl cria. She was accompanied by the cria's dam and my guardian dog, Peaches. My neighbor told me that Peaches herded all the other girls back out of the barn and into the rain. The amazing little cria was about to drown before it was rescued.
I gathered the baby up and profusely thanked my neighbor for all her help. Seeing that she was cold, I took her and her mom to the back patio so I could get the blow dryer and heating pad out to warm her. While I dried her, Phedina enjoyed the much deserved extra bowl of grain. It took me about 2 hours to dry her off and get her core body temp up so that her first time at the 'milk bar' would be successful, another two hours before I could get her walking. It was a cold April, so this pair spent the next three nights in the 'nursery' or my garage.
I named this baby girl Gale Warning. She is the most friendly cria I have had born on the farm. She follows me everywhere and nibbles on me whenever she can. :-)

On a sunny day, Thursday, May 1st the second cria for the year was ready to appear. After pacing the fence, watching Montenegra as she was in the throws of labor (up and down and roll and poo pile), I saw her start to deliver. I watched from my lawnchair, always having the feeling that I needed to be here for her delivery. I saw the bubble of the first presentation. It was not the right parts. Feet should be first. I had already scrubbed up and trimmed my nails, I was ready. I had to help this momma. Into the paddock I went. I noticed it was baby nose, not feet. I found the feet! Baby had tried to dive for the exitway but forgot to point it's toes. :-) I righted the feet and placing the nose between them, gently pulled baby to the ground. A beautiful true black boy! He was barely born and he was already trying to stand. He was born with a full bladder. Poor little guy stood in about ten minutes and christened the ground with a puddle.
This little guy was named Atticus by my daughter from our favorite book, To kill a Mockingbird.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

The 2011 Fall Cria

Sunset Brilliance Newborn

Sunset Brilliance Newborn

On a beautiful late Summer day, Friday, August 26th, I came home from work and did my daily check on the heard. I took a look at Valentina (Val), who was almost eleven months pregnant and she looked considerably thinner. It was only day 313! I looked up to the barn and saw a large pile and my first thought was "Oh NO!" she has lost her baby. I rushed up there and I saw that the pile in the barn was the afterbirth. Right by the barn entrance, in the dirt the same color, was a tiny cria and IT MOVED! We have a live one, dried and ALIVE! I called the kids and asked for a cria coat, the medical kit and HURRY! We have a baby boy.
He sat up straight and his mom came over, just a little concerned. We took his temperature and it was 101 deg F, good. We weighed him and he weighed 11 1/4 lbs, good. We haltered Val and lifted up the baby to nurse, he had a good suck reflex, but was not really able to latch on long due to his inability to stand well and he was not conforming to being held under Mom. His ears were a little curled and his teeth had not erupted, but he had good leg/ tendon strength, both front and back. He walked around a little and seemed to be a fighter. Intervention in action.. been there..done that. I got a clean cup and tied Val in the barn to milk her. She really didn't have a big udder, but I was able to get about two ounces. (That's a good start!) I put it in a bottle, since the baby was willing to suck and we got that in him. I knew that I would have to be the human helper and that ment two hour feedings.
Two hours later I got the alpaca milk from the freezer that I saved from Bella when her baby was euthanized in the Spring and defrosted it in a warm water bath. Just 2 bags.
It was brilliant sunset the night after his birth, so that is how he got his name, Sunset Brilliance.

Our last cria for the season was about to be due. Cenicienta (Cinnie) was a three time mom and she was looking pretty tired as of late. I did not check on her that morning because I had expected to be home by 1:15 pm and she had a record of excellent deliveries and likes to hide them. It was September 8th and had worked a long day at my job and did not get home untill almost 3 pm. When I got home from work, I found Cinnie on her side in the pasture. I let the herd out to the back yard. She did not get up when they ran out. My little cria, Sunset, stayed with her. When I approached she lifted her head. She is a very timid girl that is terrified of handling. She got up and acted like she was in pain in the hind quarters. I took a look and saw frothy liquid coming from her hind end. She came to me as if asking for help. I easily caught her and haltered her. I got the stethoscope out, but did not hear anything or feel any movement. I decided that the worst had happened and decided to procede with manual inspection. Cria was head back and one leg locked and it was not warm, stillborn. I had to reposition her cria and pull it out by myself. It was a beautiful Auburn/ Dk Brown Girl cria. My herdsire, Moreno, would have been 2 for 3 in girls. It was day 326 and I think she had been dead a day or so. Probably a Dystocia related death.

Another cria that God thought was too beautiful to be on this earth.
Blessings Cinnie's first girl cria, Heaven is your home.

All I can say is that 2011 has been a year of learning. Thank goodness I was able to take Dr. Evans' Neonatal Clinic and Wet Lab a couple of years ago.
One leg locked assisted delivery, two premie's, one CA girl cria and a stillborn girl cria delivery.
I am glad my 2011 birthing seasons are over.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The 2011 Spring Cria

Esmeralda, May 15th, 2011

Esmeralda, May 15th, 2011

All three births have had their own stories:
Ginger Snap appeared at 324 days on a drizzley Tuesday morning, March 29th while I was cleaning the pastures. She needed a little assistance getting here and I was very glad that God put me where I could help her. She was elbow locked and I just had to give a little push and pull and out she came. After her arrival, her mom Calli, took on the role she excels at, doting and loving caretaker. Ginger weighed 14 lbs, 8 oz. I was overjoyed to find gray fiber in this very active and energetic beautiful girl. She is just what we were looking for in this match. At 17 days she was already 24 lbs, 8 oz.

Spiridion (a.k.a Spirit) was born Friday, April 8th at about 3 PM while I was at work. He was born on day 335, but was a bit premature. He was breathing normally, but did not have teeth, was walking on his hocks and his ears were curled. He weighed 10 1/2 pounds. I was able to get him to take mom's milk right from the start twice before things started looking scary. By 2:30 am on Saturday morning he did not have the energy or the will to get milk. Well, thanks to a Mentor of mine instructing me about tube feeding and the very willing mom, Phaedina, I was able to milk her and give Spirit mom's milk to save this little guy's life. I know God was helping me through this, because some of the time I was so tired, I was on autopilot. Spirit gained weight every day! I was able to not only maintain him but get enough calories in him for him to gain weight. I used my experience as a mother of twins to make sure he did not use all the calories he took in for eating. He would not take a bottle. I tried every time I fed him. Then on a beautiful, sunny Saturday afternoon, I witnessed him up under mom, trying to eat. I watched in awe and excitement. He was hungry! He was trying on his own! I continued to let him feed and them milk mom and feed him what I was able to get from her. The next day, before church, he was already nursing mom when I got out to the pen. I fed him one more time and went to church. For the rest of the day I just watched him and decided to let him learn as long as he had vigor and strength. One more milking and tubing at 10 PM and I went to bed for the first whole night since Friday morning. Monday morning found the scale still rising and I knew he was on his own. He was up on his feet and his teeth had erupted too. At two weeks old he weighted 16 lbs, 8 oz.

Esmeralda was born Friday, May 13th at 9:15 am to our rose gray, Bellesima. She was solid True Black and had gray eyes. Unfortunately she was born with a congenital defect, Choanal Atresia. There was nothing we could do for her. We had to give her back to God because she was just too beautiful for us to keep. We miss her very much.
April 12th, 2011 'Telling secrets'

April 12th, 2011 'Telling secrets'