Friday 22 April 2011

Our first cria of 2011

As ever life had been hectic here, even more so than normal the last couple of days, it has also been an emotional roller coaster.

Sadly last week we lost my nanna, so as you can imagine it has been a hard few days.  It was all planned, I was heading back to Nottingham on Wednesday afternoon ready for the funeral on Thursday.

As anyone with animals will know it is like a military operation when you have to leave the place when it is approaching birthing times.  Alan was on standby as was Carol, they knew brown ones were due first and had been briefed.  Paul was unfortunately working away (typical).

Then on Tuesday afternoon Lualeni decided to sunbathe and show me a huge bag of milk and teats that resembled that of a milking cow.  There was nothing much there on Sunday because I had a good inspection all the girls, so she bagged up very quickly.

As is always the case I was up early and out to check the sheep on the way to the alpacas, all was well there and Ebony was still no closer to lambing.  On the approach to the alpaca field I could just tell something was going on by the way the girls were acting.  I jumped out the car and ran up the channel and could see that Lualeni had given birth.

She didn't look like she'd been born for long but she was very flat and rasping a lot.  Lualeni was only 332 days which for us and particularly a maiden is early.  It was soon obviously that intervention was going to be required, to be perfectly honest I didn't think it was going to survive.

I ended up having to tube feed her colostrum, she had some kick start and was still not looking any better.  After a couple of hours I gave her some more colostrum which this time seemed to give her a bit of life.  I tried helping her to her feet but she had no strength and her legs didn't look like they were going to work at all.

I'd rung Carol to come over with some hot water so I could warm up more colostrum and I'd left her on watch whilst I nipped back to get more colostrum from the freezer.

By late afternoon the cria had managed to get up on her back legs and walk a few paces at a time on her front knees but not stand to feed.  Lualeni was also started to loose interest and get bored and wouldn't stand still long enough for the baby to get steady and try to feed.

I penned her in just inside the channel in the hope that the nice lush grass would occupy her and keep her still whilst I tried to get the baby latched on.  Holding Lualeni still seemed to help and baby managed to feed a couple of times.  Slighter happier I left them penned in together and headed home at 9.30pm.

I needed to be back in Nottingham for 7.30am on Thursday morning so with Alan and Carol fully briefed I headed home to get my things together and have a couple of hours sleep before I returned to the field then drove down to Nottingham. 

Thankfully at 3am when I checked Lualeni was happily stood feeding her baby so the bottle I had with me was not required; great news.  So I headed down south feeling happier about the cria but still dreaded the day ahead.

Alan and Julian did the first check and all was well, shortly followed by Carol who kindly send me a text to say she was redundant as Lualeni was doing a fantastic job on her own.  Phew!

I am pleased to report that mum and baby are doing fine today and have returned to the field with the rest of the herd.  Baby is down on her pasterns and had slightly floppy ears not to mention legs that she isn't always sure what to do with but things are looking much better now. 

There is a photo taken this morning on our Twitter account showing her heading off for a little explore if you want to see.


Rosemary said...

Very sorry to hear about your nanna - best wishes to you and your family.

Thank goodness the cria is doing well, must have been a very worrying time.

Apple Vale Alpacas said...

Pleased to hear the week has developed with some good news going into the weekend, after what must have been a draining week.

Patou Alpacas said...

Nice one Debbie, congratulations!

Unknown said...

Sorry to hear about the loss of your Nana Debbie.

Glad you have been able to leave assured that all is well with mum and cria.

A Mini Beginning said...

So cute! Now I want one!! Sorry for your loss.

Shirley said...

A week of mixed emotions for you Debbie - sorry for your loss but great to see the new life in the cria. Take care. Shirley & Robbie

Judi said...

It's always sad to lose someone but you still have your memories.

Well done getting organised to actually get away, alpacas like to surprise us but looks as though the cria is ok...Don't think you it a male or female?

Zanzibah Alpacas said...

Thinking of you at this very sad time...and a very hectic time ! Lovely to read that mother and baby are doing well after their unexpected early arrival......what a fantastic job you were there, dedication can make all the difference at such early stages....Take care...Jayne

Debbie, Barnacre Alpacas said...

Thanks for all your comments, it's a girl Judi, Lualeni is following in the family tradition. Her mum had three girls on the trot and her sister Oonagh has had two so far.