the weather report shows that we have had more rain in the first 8 days of June than we normally have in the whole month, but that didn't keep our Lily from selecting this particularly wet morning to have her baby.
On Thursday morning I let the girls out to the large pasture. They usually go out there and wander and graze and spread themselves out around the pasture. As I was cleaning in the paddock area, out of the corner of my eye, I caught sight of an alpaca running out there. Then saw that the entire female herd was all huddled up, and I knew what the excitement was all about... Lily was delivering her baby!
Delivering the cria in this position is not the normal way it is done. Normally, the dam is standing. But we call Lily 'our drama queen' for good reason - because she really is a drama queen! She is the first girl in the herd to cush, lay down, or scream in protest whenever she is unhappy. If it were any other female in the herd delivering like this, I would have been quite concerned, but knowing Lily, I know this is just 'her'. She is an experienced mom and has always given birth quickly and with no assistance. This time she has delivered an 18 pound boy.
Once the baby was on the ground, and Lily was ready to follow, I brought them up to the barn to dry baby off and take his temperature. Baby's temp read less than 97 degrees - too low for a baby alpaca - and time to get baby warmed up quickly! I dried baby off with a towel, followed by warming with a hair dryer.
Next step, into the 'cria hot tub'! Yes, baby is put into a tub of warm water to help raise it's body temperature. But before entering the tub, baby is put into a heavy duty plastic bag to keep dry.
Thankfully, I called my faithful friend, and she came to our rescue. I could not have managed the 'hot tub' by myself. She kept baby calm and dry, while I brought warm water out to the barn.
He got to feeling pretty good in the hot tub. And what a sweet face!
Just out of the hot tub, he takes his first shaky steps while Lily has a little snack.
While baby was in the hot tub, Lily left the cria care to me, and took care of passing the placenta. She is happy to meet her new baby.
Lily and baby get to know each other.
Later that afternoon, baby takes a break. It's been a very long day!
To be sure he stays warm and dry overnight, we put a coat on baby and tuck him and Lily in for the evening.
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!