There are truly pros and cons about being farmers. A few weeks back I posted about getting our kids their own kittens, after their hard work with shearing the alpacas and spring cleaning the barns. There has to be rewards to balance out those hard working days. Just like there are benefits for hard work, there are also days that are awesome, and days that aren't. An awesome day would be an evening watching the cria gang play chase through the pasture. Then there are the days you face a tragedy. Nature can be incredibly amazing, and nature can be cruel.
Today we saw the cruel side of nature, our newest cria, OHVNA Koko, passed away.
As I've mentioned we've been in the midst of an extremely hot heat wave. It has been hotter than we have ever seen in our area. If this were typical weather or even likely or something to consider, we wouldn't breed to have crias be due this time of year. With temps this high, it's too easy for these newborns to dehydrate. In fact we've been quite concerned about our entire herd throughout this heatwave, it's been hotter than we've ever seen and these animals aren't used to or prepared for these temps.
We did all we do for every cria plus we were hosing her down to keep her temp cool, putting her in front of the fans, and giving her extra electrolytes. We were out there in the pasture constantly keeping an eye on her. Sadly even this wasn't enough. The heat was so oppressive.
While I'm sad that we've lost this beautiful girl, this black girl that I have dreamed of for so long, the harder part for me was that it was our 12 year old daughter who found Koko. I know these are life lessons and this all goes along with why we chose to make farming part of our family's life, but I also know these life lessons can be hard. I'm so proud of all she did to comfort Koko and be there with her until the end.
Rest in peace beautiful Koko, we won't ever forget you!