Thursday, June 17, 2010

My scare

After I picked Zack up from Lego Camp, I went home for lunch. When I arrived home, I went to check on Maddie. She's on day 370 of her pregnancy, that cria just has to be born soon.

I arrived in our backyard to see many of the yearling girls sunning themselves. I looked over at the pregnant girl pasture area and see most of the moms, Sancha and little Copper, Kateri, and Victoria, but no Maddie. Maybe she's in the barn having that baby! I run over to the barn, no Maddie. I scan the entire fenced in area and see no Maddie. Where could she be? I finally find her, laying on the hillside sunning herself. She was laying very still. I ran over to her calling her name, in fear she was struggling with a birth. Nope. She heard me and jumped up. She was just sunning herself, no need for alarm.

She then went way out into the pasture area to graze:

ok, even I can't see her way back in the pasture, try this one:

It's still hard to see her in the shadows of the trees. She's way back there, all by herself.

While for some alpacas this might indicate impending birth, it's not usual for an alpaca to separate from the herd when ready to go into labor, for Maddie, this is not unusual. She has always been one to go out and graze on her own. She's the most loner of an alpaca I've ever seen. So it means nothing.

I do have to say if orneriness is a sign of impending birth, then Kateri is going to have her cria very soon. She has been a very crabby lady the last couple of days. I've caught her in several spit fights just in the last two days. She is one crabby mom. She also is getting very big:

Last year Kateri delivered on day 338! I had forgotten it was that early on. While that is well within normal delivery dates, we do think Pocahontas was a bit premature. Her ears were bent for several weeks after her birth (they were soft and not fully firm) and her teeth were not erupted like our other crias have been. Kateri is a very doting mother and cared for her very well, so no harm done. We think Kateri ran out of room, being that Po was the exact same weight as Tehya at her birth (she was born on day 342, Kateri's first was born on day 360, she keeps getting earlier and earlier). Day 335 for this pregnancy will be on June 25th. I would not be surprised if she has that cria next weekend. She could have this one before Maddie gives up hers!

I never thought I'd see the day Victoria looked this pregnant:

It might not be very impressive in a picture, but trust me, her belly is hanging lower than I've ever seen for her. I remember the day Victoria gave birth to Shelby (her second cria). That morning we were at the barn, checked Victoria over and left the barn thinking "I hope she's pregnant". She did not look it at all. Though keep in mind, Shelby was only the 2nd cria born on our farm, so we were newbies. Still, Victoria did not show, and had no signs of impending birth. We were pretty sure Kateri was going to have her cria that day. She was humming at lot, and her back end was very loose. What a surprise when Victoria had Shelby first! J found Shelby in the poop pile, so we all ran to the barn. Then when Victoria was delivering the after birth, Kateri had Tehya. What a day for those two! The funny part is they both have Goldsmith as their sire, so I call them "the twins". Victoria has delivered on day 355 (her first), day 347, and day 354. So day 350 as her due date is right on, she delivers a bit before or after that. She's due July 23 and I expect she'll make it to that or nearly to it.

I spoke in a previous post about possibly inducing Maddie. We've read some on doing this. In my previous post I linked to a forum discussion on the pros and cons of inducing. We consulted our vet, and I have to say we are very lucky to have a vet who is wonderful and very knowledgeable on alpacas. Many alpaca farmers can't find a good vet. We are very lucky. Our vet reports that the information she has learned in reading and training, is that inducing is not recommended. She said studies indicate an increased risk of prolapse uterus, and tears, to the point some times the female can never have another cria. It's not worth that risk. Our vet was willing to do a c-section, but we declined that. We are seeing movement, so I do not think Maddie or the cria's health is at risk at this point. Though I do worry the longer this pregnancy goes.

1 comment:

Allison said...

I hope Maddie and your other mom's have their crias safely and soon! Sounds like a stressful and anxious time.

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