Sunday, June 7, 2009

Saturday Surprise!

Well, we were going about your average Saturday...when I saw my husband Jay in a fast canter up from the girls barn...with that look that says "we've got a baby!" There is nothing like the excitement of a cria birth on the farm!

We have been looking at each other for the past few weeks and saying NO Way is Lacey going to make it TWO months! But I had double checked my records and checked the gestation tables and yes....that was the calculated date...but I knew Sat. when I saw him running up (in a controlled way) from the barn that we had a baby...and when I met him half way I called out...Lacey had her baby didn't she? The answer was yes! Any alpaca breeder will tell you that we alpaca breeders know our due dates! We plan, we calculate... select or herdsires, we check... we chart and we re-check. In looking back over my records the only thing we can figure is that last season she went down, bred and we calculated based on the last breeding...when in actuality an earlier breeding took? This makes you wonder...was she just in the mood? Enough of that, we could be here all night discussing the breeding habits of male and female alpacas, their breeding habits etc...!

Well I am sure you are curious at this point...the cria and mom were fine, healthy, up and enjoying HER Saturday! Yes she is a beautiful white female weighing in at 16.5 lbs. Not bad and the best waiting, no butt watching and pre-delivery stress. Alpaca breeders will actually drive themselves crazy watching the expectant mother...for days, hours, minutes, and even seconds. Literally staring at the alpaca's butt, it is as if if we watch hard enough... a tiny head will peek out from under the tail and say "Hi, I'm here". Of course everyone wants to be around for the birth of the cria's on the farm in the event they really DO need our help:-) ON this day we were blessed.

All kidding aside it is the first unobserved birth where I have found the mother with slightly bloodied teats. I think she may have actually nipped at her own teats to "unplug" her teats as we alpaca farmers deem necessary :-) A quick clean up with a sterile wash and all is normal. The two are fine...and did it all by themselves. Imagine that. This Saturday had a happy ending. It was after all "D Day" and in honor of D Day and our surprise we have named her ATFA's Normandy "Mandy" for short.

(We will let you know if someone on the farm just can't live with "Mandy")