Sunday, May 11, 2008

More Cria Pictures

This morning Lightening is up and is now running around. He seems to be getting enough to eat and stayed warm enough. We weighed him today and he was 21.1 pounds, which is a loss of 1/2 a pound but that's ok this first day. Hopefully from here on out he'll start gaining.

One thing we have noticed is that the other alpacas seem to sniff him and stand near him. I had to chase Kateri away from him yesterday because she kept knocking him down (not on purpose, she would sniff him, but he was so unsteady on his feet this would tip him over). What surprised me is that Sancha was right there, she was grazing on grass but was right near him, yet she did not get mad at Kateri. It must be a part of their herding instinct for the other alpacas to watch him as the mom eats. It bothered me, but it was not bothering Sancha at all. After trying to chase Kateri off with no success (and it made Sancha uneasy when I did that) we decided to just let them do as they do (Sancha will get after Kateri if Sancha feels she's doing somthing wrong). Sancha does seem to be an attentive mom.

The kids are very excited about the new baby. We let the kids touch him today. We all thought his fiber feels like cotton balls - it is so soft! We have been careful not to have people touch him too much due to concerns of Beserk male syndrome. If I haven't already explained this I'll give a quick explanation. This happens when a male has too much human contact and starts to think of himself as a human rather than an alpaca. As a cria it's fine, but when he hit puberty an alpaca with the beserk syndrome will start to see humans as rivals and then becomes agressive to humans. We do not want this. So we are making sure most of his contact comes from his mom and that he knows he's an alpaca.

Lightening was born in the pasture but we moved him to the barn because he was shivering (he was wet from birth and it was a bit windy). This is him in the barn with mom, Sancha, and Victoria looking in on him:

Inside the barn J rubbed Lightening with towels, then used a blow dryer to dry and warm him. We let Sancha by him the entire time. I was suprised that Sancha let us so close to him and let us help with him. I think with the birth that's what scared me the most, I could see he was coming out a bit wrong, yet she let me walk right up to her and touch him in the middle of labor. Sancha NEVER lets us near her (she's a spitter).

During this entire time he was breathing very loud and labored. We knew this was not normal because the birth manual said you should not be able to hear the cria breathe unless you put your ear up to their face. I did call the vet to consult because we were concerned about an obstruction in his windpipe. He also was shivering quite bad, and was not sitting or trying to stand. It felt like a long time but likely it wasn't as long as it felt. Once dried and warmer his breathing slowed down. Likely he had something stuck, maybe part of the membrane, in his windpipe.

He had a really hard time standing the first day, in fact usually one of us had to get him on his feet. Once on his feet he could walk:

The kids did not end up watching the birth. They were there when we first found her in labor, but when J started to reposition the cria and pull they went inside with grandma. We were not sure how the cria was doing given the bad presentation and the fact he was breathing so poorly. They came out shortly after the birth. Emma has always been the most interested in the alpacas, but Zack was excited to see the baby too.

Emma is in red watching the babe and mom:

By the time we went home to bed Lightening was able to get himself up to stand and walk, and he had started nursing. With the cria coat on and with his mom by his side we felt he would be ok all night. Seems he was as today he's even stronger.

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