Archive for January, 2011

Jan Update

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

After several weeks of hot, dry weather, it looked like we were headed for a drought. But this weekend, a long weekend for the Wellington region, it has rained non-stop. A great drought breaker, and desperatley needed. We moved our youngest cria Pandora and Bracken (see our New Years Day update), plus Gidget (born 10 January) into the paddock that contains our hayshed, which they gratefully moved into to shelter from the rain. While this rain is great, in the lead up to the facial eczema season it poses some risks in the future weeks.

If you live in an FE prone area, be extra vigilant!

New Years Day

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

Cria - BrackenWe had two dramas leading up to News Years day. On 30th December, Lily gave birth to a strong, bouncing baby boy. Everything appeared to be well, and as we had to go out for the afternoon, we left him in the care of a cria “minder”. However, it was an extremely hot day, and Lily kept him in the full sun all day, and although our “minder” shifted him into the shade a couple of times, he quickly followed Lily back to the sun, and it would appear he was not feeding either, with the result by the time we returned late afternoon, he was suffering from heat stroke, and was going downhill fast. We tried to give him bottled milk, but he was too weak to suck, it was clear he would die. Fortunately, we had some plasma in our freezer, so we thawed it out, and Liz and I administered this to him. It didn’t have the fast result we often see with plasma infusions, but by the next morning he was suckling from a bottle, and by the end of the day feeding off his mum. Phew!


Then on December 31, I noticed Panache was starting to become a little restless, and at 2:30pm she had passed a bag of Cria - Pandorafluid. As we have known of cria drowning in intact water sacs we caught, and in the course of doing so, her waters broke naturally, so we kept her in the raceway so we could watch the progress of her parturition. By 4:20pm, she had made not much progress at all, and as it was getting late in the day (remember the golden rule: late deliveries almost always mean a problem birth), I called our vet, who suggested we wait a further hour before calling the duty vet (this was New Years Eve, remember). During that hour, Panache started strong contractions, without any apparent progress, so yes, another vet call was in order. It took the duty vet 45 nail biting minutes to arrive, but just as well we called for help, as an internal examination determined the cria was in a breech position, with hocks first. There was no way this cria could be born! Our experienced vet manipulated the cria into a rear feet position (instead of hocks), and eased our little female cria out. Now named Pandora, she is doing well, as is her mother. In ten years of breeding, this was our first breech birth – alpacas really do normally have trouble free births, however, without intervention, we sould have lost both mother and daughter. (Ask about attending one of our birthing seminars so you recognise the signs of normal and abnormal births. These seminars are free to our customers, but non-customers can also attend on payment of a fee.