Cria Development

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Once a new-born cria “hits the ground” there are stages of development you can expect.

A new-born cria should have “cushed” by the time it is 30 minutes old, and be on its feet within an hour,  feeding very quickly after that. A cria that has not fed by the time it is 4 hours old, is in serious trouble, and should be offered, at the very least, a bottle of milk formula. A cria that is slow to cush and stand may be weak or cold. Giving plasma is the best solution, and keeping the cria warm vital.

It is a wise precaution to weigh your cria every day for the first 2 weeks of life. This will help you determine that your cria is healthy and getting sufficient nutrition. A new born cria may lose up to 100gm in the 1st day of life, but should put on around 150 -250gm a day after that. If it is losing or merely maintaining weight, you must take immediate action to determine the cause, and fix it.

We give our cria .25ml AD&E at 2 weeks of aged to help protect against rickets – we consider this to be particularly important for black cria.

Healthy cria are active and curious. Within a couple of days of being born, your cria will be running and jumping, and playing with other cria. A quiet or inactive cria may not be getting sufficient nourishment, or may have an infection. You should monitor weight and temperature, and if in doubt, call your vet.

Most cria start to nibble grass within the first 2 weeks of life, some starting as young as 2 days. At a similar age they may also start to taste chaff and alpaca nuts (if you are feeding their mother), and they will also nibble on hay. The amount they eat gradually increases, and by the time they are three months of age, they can physically survive without milk – although they will continue to suckle for many months after this!

Most cria will play at twilight, pronking and racing around their paddock (field), but such games can occur at any time of day. Young males will start neck wrestling and jumping on other cria by the time they are a month old. Cria are delightful creatures and a joy to watch!