I’m sure you noticed that I never told you the new baby’s name. That was intentional.
Our first two days with the new guy were really tough - we weren’t sure he would make it. And even the next couple of days, though better, still weren’t great. It doesn’t take much for a fragile cria to crash.
In his first few days, our little guy had a good suckle reflex, but showed little more than a passing interest in nursing. This isn’t a good thing for baby or mom, and threw us into a bad pattern. Since the baby wasn’t nursing, Lily’s udder became quite full and she became uncomfortable. Once Lily was uncomfortable, she no longer welcomed his little head tentatively poking around under there.
A little human intervention and some medication got Lily back on track, but our little guy just wasn’t very persistent. Once again, his lack of interest got Lily to the point of being uncomfortable and required more intervention by us. Around and around we went!
By Saturday morning, we were headed down a slippery slope. He had lost nearly a pound since Thursday. We continued to do the best we could to keep Lily comfortable, and supplemented baby just enough to keep his energy up but his tummy looking for more. We walked a fine line between supplementing him with a bottle so that he didn’t get too weak, but not giving him enough to make him full or to expect to get his groceries from another source. We wanted him to keep looking to Mom for that.
I’m not sure what caused the turn around, but when I came out to check on Sunday morning, I was delighted to see our little guy nursing! Evidently something clicked overnight because his weigh-in showed that he had gained about 2 tenths of a pound! This is not a huge amount, but is so much better than losing weight!
He is now gaining each day… From 18.6 pounds at birth, he dipped down to a low of 17.8, and is up to a whopping 20 pounds today! I’m hopeful that he is on the right path now!
Since we think he’ll be around for a while, we’ve given him the name 'Forrest of Pronkin’ Pastures'. And in case you are wondering… that’s Forrest - as in Forrest Gump.
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!