We interrupt this message...
"Gang of Four' is what this blog post was originally titled.
It went on to read... Four crias - that is!
Yes, with the delivery of Tess's cria on July 5, we are now up to four crias this summer! It's another boy, and a very handsome one! He's a beautiful shade of rich, dark chocolately brown unlike any other color in our herd.
Although Tess delivered when we expected, we still missed it! When we got out to the pasture in the morning, baby was already delivered, partially dry and nursing. So, without further ado... meet 'Morgan of Pronkin' Pastures'.
Caelia is due to deliver next - sometime next week if she goes according to schedule. While we are happy with the boys we have gotten this year, let's hope Caelia brings the boy/girl ratio back into a better balance. I'm sure our little Laycee will be glad for a gal pal, too.
This blog post was interrupted here and saved as a draft.
You see, we were experiencing a very exciting day in the weather department as I was writing this! Thunder and lightening are not very common here, but we were treated to an incredible show Friday!
It began in the wee hours, continued into the morning, and then ended up lasting all day long. The intensity rose and fell, but at one point, the thunder and lightening were so strong that the whole house seemed to feel it. We began to worry about a power outage, so I saved my work and turned off the computer. A power surge could be the kiss of death for this old computer.
So there I left it, and outside we went. Ron to begin daily clean-up chores, and me to get the store open and ready for visitors (even though we didn't really expect any to brave the storm).
No sooner did we get started, when we were 'interrupted'. In the middle of this very exciting thunderstorm, Caelia appeared to be going into labor!
Within a few minutes, we could actually see the baby. If you'd like to see a photo of baby being delivered, click here.
Once we could actually see nose and toes, it was just minutes before baby was on the ground. The whole process - from first signs of labor (above) to actual delivery - was about 30 minutes.
Half an hour later, baby is warm and dry (with the help of towels and a hairdryer).
And shortly after that, she's up and at 'em!
Because she was born during an incredible thunderstorm, we decided a name to that effect would be appropriate. So, this is 'Tova of Pronkin' Pastures'. Tova is said to be the feminine version of Thor - God of Thunder.
It's so much fun to see the little ones grow up together! They are full of energy, curiosity, and mischief.
And that concludes this post! Stay tuned for details and photos as these 5 babies grow up!
And yes, we did end up losing power for several hours, but thankfully, no damage to this old computer.
The new 'normal'...
After what seemed like forever, it finally happened. At 357 days gestation, Maddie finally delivered her cria! 357 days isn't normal for her, but evidently delivering in front of an audience of farm visitors is! Maddie is the only girl in our herd that has ever delivered while we have visitors, and this is the second year in a row that she has done it! Our farm visitors were delighted to witness the birth and to see a newborn alpaca.
As has been typical of Maddie's babies, this little guy didn't waste any time. He was up on his feet within a few minutes, and nursing right away.
Visitors later in the day found it hard to believe that this baby was only hours old!
While we always love to get female crias, we are not unhappy with this handsome little boy. Maddie has already given us 3 beautiful girls, so it was time for a boy, and this one is sired by our herdsire - Camilio's Caramello. We hope this little guy has what it takes to follow in Dad's footsteps.
Since he was born on the 4th of July, we have named him 'Patriot of Pronkin' Pastures'.
Cria birthing season is fun... and laden with anticipation. Right now, we are eagerly waiting the arrival of Maddie's cria, and now Tess is due to deliver, too!
Average gestation for an alpaca in our area is between 340 and 350 days. Note that I qualified that number with the word 'average'. Average is key. Gestational length in alpacas can be quite variable. We have had babies born as early as 317 days, and as late as 359 days - that's quite a range!
Today, Maddie reached 357 days. I wonder if she is going for a Pronkin' Pastures record? I expected Maddie to deliver right around the same time Willow delivered.
In the past Maddie has never gone longer than 342 days. Needless to say, I have been on cria watch for some time now! Each morning, the minute I get out of bed, I pick up my binoculars and focus on the pasture looking for any new additions. Each day, much to my disappointment, Maddie's belly looks bigger and more mis-shapen than the day before. All day long, I make trips back and forth, just checking, until I finally give up in the late afternoon.
Maddie has waited so long that I am now watching Tess for signs of delivery, too! Tess is at day 341 today.
Meanwhile, Forrest and Laycee (the crias that have been born) are thriving. They are both gaining weight steadily and are active and healthy. Farm visitors are smiling and laughing at their cute faces and cria antics.
Keep you fingers crossed for two babies very soon! I'm hoping for a 'two-cria' day!
About the author:
Always an animal lover, alpacas entered my life in 2005.
I enjoy all aspects of life with alpacas - from caring for them, to training them, spinning and knitting their wonderful fiber, photographing them, and even writing about them!