Saturday, July 10, 2010

OHVNA Chaska

Today we had a cria born:



Birth at 2:49 p.m. on July 10, 2010

The Birth Story

By late morning, Kateri was humming more than is normal for her. By noontime, it was a deep hum, almost a moan. I thought we were looking at stage 1 labor. We had been outside with some fellow alpaca farmers, keeping an eye on her progress. But when they left, we went inside for some lunch. It didn't seem like Kateri was making any progress. We peeked out the window at Kateri, but didn't see anything going on. It was close to 2 p.m. and we needed to decide if we should stay home for a birth, or if we could go do something. When I went out to see Kateri, she was up and down, in and out of the barn, clearly uncomfortable. She would walk around, then lay on her side, then strain by the poop pile. I decided to take some of my fiber out so I could flick fiber while I kept an eye on her. J came out and hosed down all the girls. That seemed to calm Kateri down. We both had chairs out there to watch and wait. It wasn't much later and she was pacing around again. We were getting a little anxious because we've heard that cria born after 3 p.m. usually mean something is wrong. The closer it got to 3 p.m., the more I wondered why she wasn't progressing. Then Kateri went to roll in the sand. She didn't so much roll as just lay on her side. Then I saw what I thought might be her water breaking. Then we saw this (the other animal is Victoria):




It's a nose poking out! And soon, a head too:



We could see the cria is light colored (likely white). We wondered where the legs might be, they are supposed to be coming out too. I ran inside to grab the alpaca field manual. I do know, rule of thumb is that you should see progress within 15 minutes, if not, call a vet. It wasn't that many minutes and we see this:



We were so relieved. This is the right presentation, a head and two legs, both legs out the same amount. We rejoiced!

But, then labor seemed to stall. We watched the clock, and the minutes ticked by. Throughout all of this, Kateri seemed to really be struggling. We decided we had to intervene. With the next contraction, I held Kateri and J helped pull on the cria. In general it's best for labor to happen naturally, and one should never intervene if they don't know what they are doing. You can tear the female, and cause more harm than good. J was just helping to get to the next stage, and making sure to do so with the contractions, to avoid tearing or injuring any of them. Once the cria's chest was passed, we stepped back, and Kateri birthed the rest of the way. It seems the chest (or even the body) of the cria was bigger than is ideal for Kateri to birth. Who knows how she would have done if we weren't there. I'd like to think eventually she'd get it past, but we'll never know.

Here is Kateri smelling her new born:



It's a boy! Kateri gave birth to her first male.

We moved him into the shade, being it was such a hot and sunny day.

Snickers and Rose took a seat nearby to watch, though none of the rest of the herd paid any attention to the event:



Kateri is an experienced and very good mom. She nuzzled her boy, and as he tried to sit on his own:



Not long after sitting up, he was standing and starting to walk. All of this seemed to happen faster than the books say it needs to. After labor taking longer than normal, it was great to see him so alert and active.

While waiting for the placenta to pass, Kateri hung out with her newborn:



After Kateri passed the placenta, then she nudged him to nurse. It took a bit for him to get the hang of it:




During this process, we had time to think about a name for him. We use the theme of Native American names for all of Kateri's offspring. We named him OHVNA Chaska. OHVNA is the monogram for our farm (Oak Haven Alpacas), and Chaska is Native American for "first born son". We thought that quite fitting! We'll call him Chaz for short.

Once he was nursing well, we weighed him. He weighed in at 20.0 pounds! This is the biggest cria Kateri has ever had. Both of the girls she had on our farm were 15 pounders. He has really really really long legs too. He is already as tall as Twilight. While we think he ultimately will be white, he has a brown spot on his side (like his sire) and he has fawn in his top knot and around his neck into his spine. From what I've been told, his sire also had some fawn and beige on him, then once he was shorn, he was white. We expect Chaska will also be white, but he could be beige.

Here is a side view to show his brown spot (near the top of his front leg):




After all this, the rest of the herd realized that a new cria had been born, they all ran to smell and greet him:

1 comment:

Glenton Farm said...

thanks for keeping us posted on Kateri and her new cria. So glad everthing turned out well for you. We are expecting our 1st born cria next March.

Thanks again I enoy your blog - very informative.

Pin It button on image hover