Sunday, 22 June 2014

A kick in the teeth

Sadly after my great news blog last week,  Isadora's baby, Mireya, took a sudden turn for the worse and despite being rushed to the vets sadly she died a short while later.  Having done so well it was horrific to see her go down hill so fast for no apparent reason and loose her fight for life.  We are awaiting the full postmortem results to see what happened.  

At times like that I really do wonder where I find the strength to carry on, but then sitting in the field with tears streaming down my face someone, in this case Selkis and Ankha, came along to offer kisses and you remember why you put yourself through the heartache.

We are awaiting our next new arrival, although I've got to be honest I'm quite pleased the girls are keeping their legs crossed, I don't want anymore early babies!  There are a few reaching their own personal due dates now.

Lucia here is on 328 days tomorrow and is waddling well, however she has no milk yet so could be a little while yet.

Oonagh on the other hand has bags of milk as well as being the size of a house.  She's on 329 tomorrow but usually likes her babies well in to the 340's, in fact she went to 360 last year, that won't be happening this year.

Whilst Oonagh baby likes pushing out her sides, sister Lualeni's likes pushing under her tail.  She's on 330 tomorrow.

Marne and Lucetta are also on 328 days tomorrow and both have milk so we could have another rush on any day!

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Play and poking

I am pleased to report that Isadora's little girl who we have named Mireya, meaning miracle in Spanish is doing well, in fact she is now just over 6.5kg and happily enjoying a game of chase.  Tonight is the first night in the big outdoors.  She is penned with her mum and Angelica and her cria (the one with the clicky hips) in front of my study window!

Having had a few girls decide to birth early we are supposed to have a little breathing space before the next cria is due however Cara's baby is proving very active and is trying to come out of her side constantly.

Oonagh has the most uncomfortable looking bulge and masses of milk.

As does her sister Lualeni, who managed to escape the camera!

At the weekend we moved the girls onto fresh which went down well, it also meant that we could fix the fence which was damaged over winter by the flying field shelter; which is the next job on the list; well the 'needs constructing' list!

Thursday, 12 June 2014

The good & bad of breeding

Firstly I would like to thank those of you who have been in touch following our two premmie babies, sadly despite my best efforts Casiphia's little man didn't make it and died in the early hours of yesterday morning.  Poor Casiphia was as heartbroken as I was, it's so sad to see alpacas grieving.

On a positive note, Isadora's baby is doing well, she has had no bottle at all today and is feeding fully off mum, she is getting steadier on her feet and today has enjoyed some sun on her back outside my kitchen window!

She is gaining weight to, tonight she is 5.79kg, so is back above her birth weight.  Fingers crossed she has turned the corner.

Following the sad loss of Casiphia's baby I decided to spend an hour in the field with the babies to cheer myself up and remind me why we put ourselves through the pain; the pleasures greatly outweigh the pain!

And here are a few of the pleasures born so far.  First up we have Cacace, she is a real mummy's girl.

Then the oldest cria, Invisible Sam, he is a real mischief and tonight weighted a very hefty 15.55kg.

Next up is Kimchee's daughter, we haven't agreed on a name for her yet but she is a little sweetie. 

Another no name; we are not doing well at agreeing on them!  This time from Meketaten, he seems to b sticking close by mum, despite not liking her constant kisses!

Next up we have Pixie and Mum Imala, she is a playful girl but likes to go running back to mum to tell tales!

And finally tonight we have Selkis, an Egyptian goddess.  She is just adorable, ultra friendly and with a fabulous rose grey fleece; everyone loves her! 

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

The most cria and the shortest gestation

Yesterday was a crazy day, we had four cria born, we have never had that many born on one day before.  

First up was Nicosia, she was in the early stages of labour when I checked the girls shortly after 5am, but last year it took her ages so I thought I was safe to co back to the house and get a cuppa; bad move next time we went up with food, there she was, a lovely dark brown cria trying to feed from a sat down Nicosia!

Having checked all was ok we went up to fed the boys and the littlies, on our way back down Meketaten had given birth to her baby too. A fawn boy boy who she really loves and wants to keep kissing but he keeps pulling away; h's a boy they don't do kisses in public!

These two weren't actually due until Wednesday, however than it nothing in comparison to Isadora who gave birth in the afternoon at 304 days gestation! As you an imagine she is very weak and needs a lot of TLC.

With a bit of help she can periodically left her head and is managing to feed a bit from mum.  She had been up one minute and flat as a pancake the next this afternoon, but I'm doing all I can. 

Whilst I was busy taking Isadora and her baby down and getting her settled Casiphia decided it would be a good idea to join in the fun and give birth at 313 days.  Her little man is really struggling, I've been working on him for the last 24 hours and he's still with us so he's a fighter!

Then this morning Beverley decided to join in the party and have hr baby, which wasn't due for another week.  He is a healthy wee chap though.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Three in a row

The birthing paddock has had a couple of busy days with the overdue girls getting on with things.  First off the mark was Chacha, who produced a lovely brown girl from Darwin before breakfast.  She is the full sister to Silhouette born last year.

We have decided to call her Cacace after the dancer Flavia Cacace seeing as she is from Chacha and Flavia is preforming up here this week.  Hopefully she will soon be as graceful as Flavia, she seems all leg at the minute. 

Next up was Kealani who sneaked out her daughter straight after breakfast.  She came over for breakfast giving nothing away and by the time we came down from feeding the boys she was out and just getting herself into the kushed position!

Then the weather turned, we had torrential rain from lunchtime until about 9pm so the girls and their babies came back into the barn for the night.  With the sun shining this morning though they were soon back out to get some sun on their backs.

Then today was the turn of Angelica, it's actually her third birthday and she chose to share it with her new daughter!  This afternoon she gave birth to a tiny (in comparison to the other cria so far this year) 5.5kg little fawn girl.  This wasn't the colour I was expecting, she was mating to Gianmarco, our very fine white boy.  He seems very good at producing very nice lights and fawns.

She has a bit of a clicky hip so I will get the vet to check her over tomorrow, it doesn't seem to bother her, she is up and about and feeding nicely.

That is now all the births up to date, the next two are due on Wednesday so we will see if they are keeping a diary!!

Friday, 6 June 2014

Shear amazement!

Following on from Wednesday nights late night arrival and late night blog I thought you might like to see a dry photo of Little Miss Irraquoys man, who we decided to call Layton, seeing as he was born late on; he is very nice, very very nice!

Shearing began bang on time at 8am prompt, James Dixon and his fantastic assistant Serena worked none stop and got through all the girls and the various boys we'd bought back from clients to get sheared.  I love having them back home for a few days, it's like having your family back home for the weekend.

Just as James was packing up for the night Amata decided to go into labour, she was well overdue at 360 days so it wasn't a major shock that shearing had set her off.  She is a maiden so things were rather tight.  After a lot of pushing and getting nowhere I applied some lube to see if that helped her get more than a centimeter of nose out.

After another half hour all we had was a pink nose and one foot, so it was time to offer more assistance.  Poor thing had a foot stuck, hence the lack of progress, so with the foot released I thought I'd leave her to get on with things herself.  It's always best not to interfere unless you have to.

It wasn't to be, Amata was making no progress and clearly needed some help.  Despite the cria only being tiny she really was struggling to get it out, so I helped him enter the world and despite having a very sore and slightly torn back and she loves him dearly, even if he did have an inside out ear and was covered in blood!

He's even sweeter now he's dry.

Then yesterday shortly after James had finished shearing part two (all the boys and the weanlings), and just after Phil and Jan had arrived from Castleside Alpacas to pick up Dillon, and just before mum and dad left for home Kimchee decided to fire out her cria in front of an excited audience.  I have never seen a head and legs appear so quick in all the years we'e been breeding alpacas!

She went on to produce a lovely brown girl, our biggest cria of the year so far at 10.5kg.

That only leaves 3 overdue girls now and another 6 over 330 days so plenty of action to come.  Meketaten and Kealani have plenty of milk and huge teats so doubt they will be much longer.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Text book births; not!

With the lovely sunny warm weather the paddling pools have proved popular, so much so Amata doesn't like to think anyone else can use them; here she is pushing poor Lucetta at the back out!  Amata is now on 359 days and showing no signs of wanting to part with her first ever cria.

Nefertiti on the other hand didn't want to wait until her due date and on Monday gave birth to a lovely light brown boy.  

He is just adorable and full of mischief just like his sisters Meketaten and Ankha.  As you an see mum and big sister Ankha are having to chase after him, Meketaten only has a couple of weeks to go before she has her first cria so she had other things on her mind!

On Monday afternoon Midnight Star went into labour, it was quite remarkable, at one point the whole head came out and went back in again.  I'e never seen anything like it, I sent Paul back to the barn for th birthing box as the head was upside, when h got back it had gone!

It did come back out shortly after but with only one leg, the cria was obviously trying to get itself in the right position, the head was still upside down.  With no progress being made I decided I needed to investigate, there was one leg (the one sticking out to the side) was well and truly back, there was no way she would have righted that.

Once I found the leg and got the cria presented right I left her to it and she delivered a lovely light fawn girl.

Tonight, just after 10pm Little Miss Irraquoy decided it would be a good idea to have her rather overdue cria.  She had her first cria, Sandstorm, five years ago in the evening, and as with all her other babies she had him lying down.

He is still wet and currently looking for the milk bar, I'm keeping an eye on the CCTV.  We are shearing tomorrow so at least they were all in the sheds or I'd currently be sat in the field!!

So that's now 7 births and less than half have followed the rules in the text book, so please girls can the rest of you read the books before you go into labour; please!