Monday, July 18, 2011


We've been on cria watch for Victoria for a few weeks now. She was huge with her pregnancy, and given she typically delivers between day 340 and 355, we expected this baby sometime last week or this week. As it was, she delivered on day 348, as would be typical for her.

Like much of the country, we are in the midst of a heat wave. Yesterday was the first of the really hot days, and overnight, the humidity set in. When we got up this morning it was 73* and 98% humidity, and that was first thing in the morning (7 a.m.). Knowing we have worse weather coming, I set out this morning on a short run. I figured this will be my only chance this week to run outside (when it's 90+ degrees and still just as humid, I'll run on the treadmill in our basement). I hadn't decided if I would run 3 or 4 miles until I hit a part of my course that goes through the woods and the deer flies were eating me alive. I decided 3 miles was enough for such a day and headed home. Once home, J was just about to head out and feed the alpacas. He got the grain out for them while I started filling hay buckets.

It just so happened when I stepped out in the pasture that I looked into the poop pile and noticed blood. By the time J walked over to me, the blood disappeared into the ground, which just goes to show if you don't happen to see it happen, you would miss this sign. We noticed it was Victoria who had just peed, so we watched her. I could see continued liquid dripping out of her, after some more observation, it was clear her bag of waters had ruptured - we are having a baby today!!!

After feeding time, J set up a chair in the pasture and knew he wasn't going anywhere until that cria was born. I on the other hand had to shower (given I had gone for that run) and I had to get Emma to her acting class. When I got home, J was camped out in the backyard, watching Victoria progress.

I couldn't help but notice the behavior of the rest of the herd. They all were calm, laying around eating hay, but far away from Victoria:

Victoria was all alone, clearly in labor:

At one point Kateri (Victoria's oldest friend, they are our two original alpacas) came over to check on Victoria. She sniffed her back end, then walked back to where the rest of the herd was hanging out.

Here is the one picture I'll post of the birth (for those who prefer not to see too much, I won't post more graphic ones):

It was as if the second he was born, the entire herd knew, and turned to look at him:

(you can see our chairs in that picture, like true alpaca farmers we watched from our pasture chairs)

J went over to check the newborn cria out. It's a boy, and while during the birth we wondered if it might be black, he's a very dark brown, just like his dam. He reminds me a lot of his older half-sister, Shelby (who was born on our farm in 2008).

By the time J checked out the baby, the rest of the herd came to sniff and welcome him (they almost seem like a mob):

I will say that this entire pregnancy seemed a bit odd. Victoria was huge with this cria, and seemed to carry it strange. In addition, there were times she either seemed to be in pre-term labor, or was very uncomfortable (to the point she would lay on her side and grunt). Several times we were quite concerned about her. While the baby was born fine (no delivery problems), and seems to be completely healthy, the placenta has some oddities. We are thankful for a healthy and strong cria after all that.

Here is our newest herd member:

He tries to follow his mom around (here you can really tell how he's the same color as her):


Louellen Lawson said...

How adorable.

Ertman-Trowbridge Family said...

Congratulations!!! Another boy! That is so cool that you got to watch the delivery this time. And I am very thankful mom and baby are doing fine.

Pin It button on image hover