Friday, April 12, 2013
As the chilly mornings give way to the crisp fresh spring mornings my excitement starts to build for what is to come!
This birthing season we have 2 mommas expecting instead of 6. Why is that exciting you ask? Because these babies are special, as they are out of first time daddy's! The mothers are both proven with successful, problem free births and each has fantastic coloring. What will arrive is a mystery! We tried a breeding method that a good friend recommended to try to get girl crias. She suggested breeding on the 21st day from birthing. So far her farms record is 100% girls if bred on that interval. I can't wait!!!
Also coming up soon is the 2013 GWAS Alpaca show. We are re-showing our first farm born boy Saint Brendan who did awesome in the ring before and that was with his fleece felted up quite a bit from our experiment with jackets to keep the fleeces clean for shearing day. BIG mistake that was! We ecpect great things for him with his amazing fleece this year.
On the list to show also is the 6 newborns we had in 2012. Smoky the stunning Medium Rose Grey, Sonny the crazy crimp fawn, Apocalyptic the black beauty, Cupcake the brilliantly bright white, Sheila the ever to fine black and Kai the teddy bear brown beauty! Each of these met our show quality measures and we are thrilled to see how they do.
All animals showing will be up for sale at the show, since we now have our foundation herd established. Lower price if purchased before they win their ribbons. :)
Great things to come!
Monday, June 4, 2012
What a day today was! It was challenging, exciting and rewarding all in one.
Iris and her baby boy
It all began the previous night when my family and I observed our alpaca girl Tiffany looking loose in the vulva area. I went online and asked advice from my amazing alpaca friends. They gave a lot of helpful suggestions on what to keep an eye out for. Tiffany was only at 336 days gestation and being a maiden that was a bit early. Usually maiden alpacas (never had a baby before) go around 345-355+ days.
I had a strange vibe as we headed into the night but Tiffany was eating and seemed to be normal. Still with the feeling I had I checked in on her every hour thru out the night. She remained the same all thru the night.
My morning started off the usual way with me heading out at 6:30 to take care of farm chores. I checked on the girls (we have 3 with the same due date) and all seemed good. Chores completed and all the animals content with breakfast I headed inside to get the kiddos breakfast and set for the day.
Around 9:30 we headed outside to due the halter training with the kiddos alpacas that they will be doing performance with at the Fall Fest Show in November at The Ranch in Loveland, CO. I was helping my 6 year old son Keegan with his boy Jumpin Jack and I had a strange sensation come about me. So I looked over to the girls pasture at Iris, who is our proven momma and usually delivers at 355 days, and I discovered she had a nose peeking out of her. I told the kids to take the leads off their alpacas and just let them graze in their pasture and to head over to the girls side. We rushed over and watched from a distance.
The kids were in awe as Iris pushed the cria out a little further. It shook it's head side to side while halfway in momma. The kids laughed. This melted my heart, as I cherish the moments when my children enjoy lifes moments. We also had some local farmers looking on from the fields. They ahd actually stopped what they were doing to take in this awesome sight! I love seeing others be able to love these alpacas miracles.
Within 15 minutes the little one was out in the world. Iris had done a text book delivery! She tended to her baby and then approximately 15 minutes later she pace the placenta (which fed the baby while in mommy). My kids were amazed at the ease that Iris did this and my son in a concerned voice said, "Mom, is Iris hurting?" I let him know she was doing wonderful and everything was going to be fine.
To give Iris and baby a little bit of bonding time we moved the other girls into their paddock area. After 30 minutes I decided to move Iris and her new fawn boy into the paddock area as well. Baby had another plan though. He ran in the opposite direction that Iris was leading him. In order to move them in I had to swoop up baby, and fast since Iris is a good protective mommy, and make a dash for the gate that my daughter, Hope, was bravely holding open and also keeping the other girls in.
While in the process of getting the baby I hear my son yell, "Mom, Mom there's another baby!!!! A black one!"
Talk about an adrenaline rush! Now I realized I had to hurry in with Iris's baby and make sure everything was ok with Tiffany and her baby.
My son was quietly observing Tiffany and her newborn. I could tell he was so excited to be the one to see this baby born. I think he and the little black girl will always have a special bond! He assisted in drying the little one off and she even lifted her head and nuzzled him with her nose.
Everything didn't go text book perfect with Tiffany and her baby though. Tiffany had been a bottle fed baby and my fears had come true that she, like her mom, didn't have her milk come in enough. Plus, the baby girl was a little premature and didn't has the suckling strength yet.
I couldn't ask for help from my alpaca friends and assist the baby so I asked Hope to hop online to my Paca This friends and ask what to do. She got right on it! Within seconds I had an out ouring of help! :)
It was suggested to give a Enemma to the baby to help her pass her merconium. I gave the enemma and low and behold she shot out her stool! This seemed to help her want to nurse, however Tiffany wasn't giving out milk.
Instinct kicked in and luckily Tiffany and I had a good relationship and she let me get the wax tips off her nipples. There was milk! But was it enough?
Baby girl wasn't getting enough milk, so I had a crash course on milking an alpaca! Imagine that, me milking an alpaca. It definitely gives me a new found appreciation for the people that personally milk the dairy cows!
My husband had arrived home just in time! He helped steady Tiffany and Hope held the bowl as I milked.
Oops, I misfired right into Hope. I expected disgust but instead I heard a chuckle. I looked over nad she was grinning. "Tastes kinda plain. " She laughed. We all laughed!
Success! We acquired enough milk which had the vital colostrum in it to help the girls immune system. :)
We milked Tiffany a few more times as well as giving her a warm press to help sooth her nipples and help more milk come in. Iris also helped out by donating milk. She has plenty!
The evening came about and I came to realize that I was whooped and starving to shaking point. But this did not matter. I was feeling so blessed for the day. My kids had been real troopers and helped make the day a cherished event!
Thank you to my children, my husband and all my Facebook alpaca friends for helping this day be great.
Tiffany and her baby girl