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!