We are pleased to announce that the 6th cria of the season arrived today! That's all I'll tell you about it for now... I won't tell you it's gender or the name of the momma!
Instead, we decided to conduct a little contest! It's just for fun and there is no science to it. Just GUESS... Which mom delivered AND What is the gender of the baby. Is the new mom 'Lilah or Lily'? AND Is the baby a boy or girl? For the person that posts the closest guess, I'll mail you a 2015 Pronkin' Pastures photo calendar.
Here are some details to help you guess ....
Is the new mom 'Lilah or Lily'? AND is the baby a 'boy or girl' ? The first person to guess correctly will receive a 2015 Pronkin' Pastures photo calendar. To enter a guess just 'leave a reply' (below) and post your guess in the comment box. Do it before Sept 1 to be eligible to win. We will post all the details on the birth and new arrival on Sept 1st! Good luck!
UPDATE: Thank you to all that played along! Unfortunately, we didn't get a correct guess. Our new mom is Lilah, and it's a girl! Since we didn't have a winner in this contest and Lily is due to deliver next, we'll send a calendar to whomever got the gender correct - so Lisa and Ann Marie if it's a girl, Judi if it's a boy. Stay tuned!
It's always fun when farm visitors come back for a second or third time. Sometimes the gap between visits is a day or a week, and sometimes it's much longer - but most of the time returning visitors will remember one or two animals that were special in some way.
Two years ago, Forrest worked his way into many hearts so I thought I'd give an update on him.
As many of you will recall, Forrest was a preemie. We fought a tough fight with him his first couple of weeks. While he wasn't strictly bottle fed, there was a lot of hands-on with him. He grew into a very friendly and inquisitive boy, but then we became worried that he may be turning a little 'too friendly' which can sometimes be a problem with male alpacas. His forward nature was incredibly endearing at 20 pounds, but it would not be so cute at 200 pounds! Sadly, we began limiting interaction with him so as not to encourage inappropriate behavior.
For more photos and info on Forrest's birth and precarious start, scroll down to previous blog posts from June 2012.
At 2 years of age, Forrest has comfortably settled into the 'Big Boy' pasture. He does not get nearly the amount of interaction with guests, but we are proud to report that he has matured into a very nice, well-mannered and properly socialized boy. He still loves attention and to get a neck rub every now and again, but he is not so inclined to lean on, or rub up against, people. Because he still loves to interact, I have decided to begin clicker training with him. He is a perfect candidate! You can expect to see a little more of Forrest in the future. For now, here he is at 2 years of age...
This has been a fun summer for us because we have had so many babies born this year. Never before have we had so many in a single summer! They are a joy to watch as they grow up and their personalities become apparent. We delight in their antics!
We have 5 crias right now, but are anxiously awaiting the arrival of 2 more.
Lilah is due any day now, and Lily is due at early Sept.
Ok, I'm going to try it again! I love blogging about what's going on here at Pronkin' Pastures, but have such a hard time finding the time to do it. Everyone wants to know about the babies, though, so I'll jump right in and get you up to speed on this year's arrivals...
The babies started arriving on June 4 when our lovely young Daphne delivered her first cria - a handsome light fawn male that we have named Beau (French meaning handsome).
Our first cria of the season was quite a challenge. Daphne delivered a little earlier in the season, but later in the day, than we expected. On her 339th day of gestation, I had been checking on her up until just before 2:00 in the afternoon. Typical gestational length is usually around 345 days, so 339 days is not too far out of the park. But deliveries late in the day are uncommon, so when at 2 pm, Daphne was showing no signs of imminent delivery, I quit checking on her for the day. Much to my surprise, when I went out to the pasture at almost 4:00, Daphne was in the process of delivering her placenta. The baby was laying in the shade - cold and apparently lifeless. I picked him up expecting the worst, but was treated to a lift of the head and opening of the eye, so I rushed him to the barn where I worked frantically warming and drying the little guy. His body temperature was critically low, but with perseverance and, I think, a bit of luck, we were able to bring him around.
It was touch-and-go for the first week or so with this little guy, but our efforts have paid off. As of today, Beau is healthy, active, and growing! He has a very easy-going disposition, and many visitors have had the pleasure of getting their hands into his wonderfully soft fiber!
Just as the worry of caring for little Beau started to subside, our sweet Willow thrilled us with the delivery of a richly colored dark brown cria on June 21st. It too, is a boy, but we were delighted to see the dark color that Willow was able to produce.
Willow is a no-drama, no-fuss, kind of girl. No big story to tell about this delivery - just the arrival of an exceptionally nice young male. He is all we had hoped for when we bred Willow to Ryder! We are hopeful that he has what it takes to earn a spot in our herdsire line-up when he matures.
He is officially named Lucas, but we call him 'Luc'.
Next up? Milo! Arriving on July 3, and also without incident. Maddie is an experienced mom and true to form, delivered her baby and and cares for him like a pro! At first glance Milo looks quite a bit like Luc, but once you get to know them, they are very different. Luc is calm and mild mannered; Milo is the troublemaker of the group. He is forever pestering, poking, or jumping on someone out there. He loves to run and jump, and is quite entertaining with his antics!
At this point, while we are loving the quality of these crias, we are getting a bit disappointed in the boy/girl ratio.
Then along comes a ladybug... Yes, a ladybug!
On a warm and sunny Saturday morning 2 weeks ago, our first set of farm visitors for the day arrived. I took them into the paddock area to get closer to the girls and babies. While we were talking, I looked off to the side and noticed that Sweet Mariska had separated herself from the herd and was showing signs of discomfort. I excused myself to check on her, and yes, it looked like labor was starting. I returned to the group of visitors and explained to them that births are usually fairly quick and uneventful, and that we could just stay where we were and watch from a distance.
As I was talking to them, a ladybug landed on my shoulder. One of the visitors pointed it out, and I tried to gently flick it off. The ladybug was going nowhere, though; it seemed quite content to stay on my shirt. Another person in the group suggested that I leave it where it was and said that ladybugs signify good luck - maybe this was a sign that we would finally get the girl we so wanted. As it turned out, we did! Shortly after that, Sweet Mariska presented to us (in front of a crowd of visitors) a beautiful fawn colored baby girl! One of our visitors suggested LadyBug as a name. We like it and think it suits her perfectly. So LadyBug it is!
We had a day of non-stop visitors, and all were delighted to see the newborn alpaca. The video clip below was taken by one of our visitors as LadyBug attempts her first steps!
Sweet Mariska and Laurel were bred the on same day last summer, so it was our hope that these two girls would deliver around the same time, but that was just not to be. While Mariska delivered at 344 days gestation, Laurel needed a bit longer...
We waited on pins and needles for Laurel's cria, and finally on Aug 11 (at 360 days gestation), Laurel's baby finally made it's appearance. A robust and active little boy. Meet Alladin of Pronkin' Pastures...
We have had a fun and busy summer with these 5 crias, but we're still not quite done. Both Lilah and Lily have babies on the way, so we still have a chance to work on that boy/girl ratio and hope for at least one 'gal-pal' for LadyBug. Stay tuned...
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!