Monday, May 4, 2009

Will this cria ever arrive?

351 days and counting....

We have been on cria watch for Lady for weeks and still no cria. She is 351 days bred today. She had her last cria at 350 days in the fall, so we are thinking it should be any day now. We started cria watch about a month ago as our last alpaca had her cria at 335 days and we wanted to be prepared. Next year, I will be sure to push Lady's cria watch date back as she seems to be consistent in waiting 11 1/2 + months.

Every morning I get up early and go out the the barn to watch for labor signs. Lady does not seem to appreciate me taking such an interest in her every movement. She tends to glare at me with her ears back when she catches me watching her. Her belly is hanging down very low. Her sides are sunk in near her hips. Her udder bag is swelled and there are waxy tips on her teats. She is slower to get up and lay down. Also, the cria is moving a lot. A few months ago I would sit for an hour trying to see the cria move. Now, you can see it move just about every time you look at her belly. I think it is fully cooked and ready to enter the world. Noah and I have been watching for abnormal behavior from Lady. Last time she was in labor, she hummed a lot, rolled, rubbed up against the fence, and changed positions a lot. Her back end was swollen and open. She also laid next to our herdsire's gate, which she never does. So we have diligently been watching for any of these signs. Every thing that Lady does is now be analyzed and scrutinized in case it is a sign of labor. For example, this morning she was laying with her head in the barn and her rump outside the barn. Usually she lays with her rump in the barn and her head through the door. I think I have become a little too obsessed and every thing she does is now a sign of impending birth. : ) Cria watch is very exciting, but can drive you a little (or maybe a lot) crazy when you are very anxious to see the new baby. I often have dreams about crias being born and what sex and color they will be.

Stay tuned to see what Lady has...

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