Posts Tagged ‘cria’

Shelter from the storm

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

The recent bitterly cold weather and gale force winds saw us move our ‘girls’ to the back of our farm to paddocks with plenty of tree shelter.  The newly weaned cria and their ‘aunties’ (who were awarded the babysitting job)  in the adjoining paddock were pleased to see them all,  and probably hoped it was a permanent arrangement,  but today with clear skies and only a  little wind,  we have moved the adults away again as the paddock they were in is small and quickly runs out of grazing.  However they had plenty of hay to eat while they were there and they were able to eat it under the trees where it remained dry despite the squally weather.    

A Mountain at The Alpaca Place?!

Saturday, May 28th, 2011

When we excavated our new soakholes recently, we took the opportunity to create an artificial hill for our cria to play on. Those of you who are familiar with The Alpaca Place will know our farm is completely flat, so a hill creates interest and activity for our alpaca. They love it! The picture shows our beautiful grey cria, Sterling Silver showing off that he has pushed everyone else off!

Abandoned Cria

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

On the 10th March, we discovered a new born cria in our maternity paddock with no mother in attendance. None of the 5 “pregnant” girls showed any interest or signs of recently having given birth, and we were left trying to figure out who “mum” was. The most important thing was to get some food into the cria, so we gave her a bottle of milk – she was ravenous, but a lovely strong cria.

We managed to narrow potential “mothers” down to two, with a strong leaning towards Caprice as mother. We had the vet verify for us the next morning that Caprice was indeed Sparkles mother. Over the next couple of days, Caprice showed a mild interest in Sparkles, who tagged along behind her, but we continued to bottle feed her as Caprice refused to do so.

However, on Monday, Sparkles lost energy and her breathing became laboured. Suspecting pneumonia, I called the vet who confirmed my suspicions, and gave Sparkles an anti-biotic. She has slowly recovered, but her lack of energy has meant she has stopped following Caprice, who has correspondingly taken even less interest in her. So it looks like Sparkles will continue to be bottlefed.

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.


Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Officially, the first day of Spring! Which was heralded, overnight, with torrential rain – in a winter characterised by high rainfall, this was the heaviest of the lot. However, along with the dawn, came sunshine, and it has been a beautiful day, even if wet underfoot.

Some of our girls have found the weather conditions very trying, particularly those with cria at foot. We discovered a local farm supplies retailer who was selling bright blue calf covers made out of heavy duty vinyl – and the medium siz one fit our average size adult alpaca very well ! These are designed to slip over the head and are secured by a soft elastic strap around the haunches – so they don’t interfere with feeding cria. After a few minutes intial panic, our girls settled into wearing the cover, which by keeping out the wind and rain, helped them keep warm, too. Some of our younger cria got to wear the small size calf cover, we have found them a great boon.