Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spit Lip

I don't know if it was the warmer weather or the pregnancy hormones, because the other morning when I came out to feed the girls their morning grain, I could tell there had been a spit fight between Victoria and Kateri. Here is Kateri with her spit lip:



We find most of our alpacas can't (or won't) eat grain when they have spit lip. I suspect it may burn, being that spit lip is from stomach acid that has been brought up. More often they either don't eat anything until the spit lip has cleared, or they munch on hay. I think the hay helps sooth the burning. Victoria would be the exception this. She'll eat grain, spit lip and all:



It's actually our other two pregnant girls who are due pretty soon. Sancha has just over a month to go, and Maddie about six weeks to her due date. Sancha, being an experienced mom, is really starting to show. Look at her belly:



As the cria grows, that indentation behind her ribs grows. Sancha typically goes to about day 355 and has a 20+ pound cria.

Maddie is a maiden so we have no idea what her typical is. While due a week after Sancha, Maddie could easily deliever before Sancha. Typical due dates for alpacas are between 330 and 350 days. Sancha tends to go long. Maddie easily could be one who delivers earlier. Maddie is hardly showing her pregnancy:



Though from this angle you can see the baby bump:



With Sancha I have been able to see a lot of cria movement. I sometimes will stand there and watch her for a bit. The cria is most likely to move after they eat. I've seen some movement in Maddie, but it's harder to tell on her compared to Sancha.

1 comment:

Noah and Jillian Schwander said...

Our pregnant girls have been super grumpy and confrontational with one another lately too. I think some of them are getting uncomfortable. As for the spitting and the spit lip, I heard that it is an evolutionary response for all camelids. Camelids primarily breath through their noses. The reason alpacas spit at one another, especially during food time is to try and get spit on/in the other alpacas nostrils, which covers their airways, and forces them to breath through their mouth (hence the mouth hanging open). When they are forced to breath through their mouth instead of their nose, they are unable to eat because they wouldn't be able to breath, which leaves more food for the spitter to gobble up. Makes sense to me. Either way, I always feel sorry for the ones walking around with sad faces and spit lip when everyone else is eating.

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