Monday, June 4, 2012

Pregnant bellies

When our girls get closer and closer (or past) their due date, we can waste many hours and days watching those cria move inside their bellies.  Everything they do we wonder - is she going into labor now?  While typically cria are born between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. (and so far everyone born on our farm has followed this) there are times cria are born at other times.  Any time is fair game.  The worst scenario would be if we are not around and a dam is struggling in labor.  So better that we spend our days gazing at their bellies than not be available at all.

Sancha and Latte were both bred on the same day last year, and both hit day 350 in their pregnancy on Sunday (what we consider their due date).  Within the alpaca community different dates are used as the due date.  I've heard of using 11 months gestation, 11.5 months gestation, 335 days gestation, 345 days gestation and 350 days gestation.  We've used 350 days because we have found since we began our farm that most of our dams give birth very close to that day.  Sancha has had 4 cria on our farm on days:  355, 353, 350 and 354.   Being she hit day 350 on Sunday, I think this week is it!   Latte has not yet had a cria on our farm, so we don't have a good history on her typical due dates.  I was sort of hoping she was a before day 350 kind of girl, but no.

Sancha is 14 years old and has had many cria.   And, each cria born on our farm was at least 20 pounds (when typical alpaca cria are 15-20 pounds).  Latte is 5 years old, and this is only her second baby. We have noticed that Sancha shows her pregnancy much more than Latte.

Side by side comparison:



I feel so bad for Sancha, those cria legs and body parts stick out her side in all sorts of uncomfortable bumps (as a person who had two 9+ pound babies I can relate to carrying a large baby, but I cannot imagine carrying 20 pounds with 4 legs!)

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