Rumen8tions - D8 Blog
Monday, June 01 2009
Double 8 Alpaca Ranch is going to be doing a new series of blog entries each week. The blogs will have information about our alpaca farm pre and post birthing protocol for crias and their dams. Today we start the first entry.
We've had a short break in between cria deliveries since Oreo gave birth to Double Stuff on Mother's day. Since then we have had four more boys born on the farm. And as usual with alpacas, each and every birth comes with its own set of challenges and joy.
First up was the aforementioned Double Stuff. Stuff's dam, Oreo has always been a sneaky mom, delivering when no one is around or watching. She normally waits until we go into the house and then runs out to the pasture, delivers the cria and has it up and nursing and walking back to the barn within an hour. But for this Mother's day, she decided to have a cria in public view. She started to show signs of labor at 9:30 AM (frequent visits to dung pile, sitting and rolling slightly onto her hip, looking back towards her backend and getting up & down frequently). This went on for 2 hours. I was a little worried, because Oreo has never been in labor this long. I was starting to worry that it was a torsion, but she wasn't rolling violently, only sitting with a slight roll onto her hip...not a back and forth roll and not a laid-out roll on her entire side. So, our vet asked us to watch her for one more hour and if nothing progresses, she would come out and palpate to investigat the cria position. Sure enough just before the hour was up, we saw the ball.... It was a normal presentation of "nose and toes". She started with just a nose and then two long legs popped out of the sac and out the back end. But this time (Oreo's 5th cria) she had some difficulty clearing the shoulders. The cria hung and drained from mom's backend as is normal, but after a about a 30 minutes of hanging around, we couldn't sit on our hands any longer. Bonnie applied an ever so slight amount of traction at the same time the dam had a contraction, holding the cria above the knee. When we do this, Bonnie does NOT pull on the cria. The object is to just give a little more weight to the cria, while the dam has a contraction so that gravity can do its job. That slight traction was enough for Double Stuff to come sliding out. He was up and nursing within 20 minutes. Total Gestation - 355 days. We believe this birth was different than Oreo's normal deliveries, because this cria was a good 5 lbs bigger than her previous average cria birth weights.
Next up, or should I say out, was Black Jaucque (Jack) out of MKC Belverdere's French Kiss (Frenchy). Jack's delivery was similar to Double Stuff's. A normal delivery. Total Gestation - 344 days.
Third was Double 8 Remembrance (Remy), born on Memorial day. This birth was a slight dystocia which you can read about in the next entry. So far, all of the births this spring have started with the female showing signs of being in labor around 9:00 AM (one female cushed right next to the dung area, all of them were up & down, cushing and standing near the dung area) ....and most of the cria have been born between 11:30 AM - Noon.