Monday, August 10, 2009

Am I psychic?

Just as I predicted, Snowflake had a brown baby girl in the 320's day range, before Cinderella had her cria. So far, I have been correct on sex and color of 3 of our 5 cria....Appalachia, Riphaeus, and our newest cria. Pretty good so far. Yesterday morning, I went out to the barn to feed the girls grain. I noticed that Snowflake was humming a lot and standing by Smokey (she is normally as far from Smokey as she can get). It was a very muggy, humid, and hot day, and we had severe thunderstorms the night before leaving everything a soggy mess. I thought that she may just be uncomfortable being so far along in her pregnancy and having to deal with the weather. I went to the house and told Noah that Snowflake was humming a lot. When we went out to the barn 3 hours later to do our herd health day, Noah noticed Snowflake humming a lot, standing over the poo pile, pacing, and rolling more than normal. He decided to head in and get the cameras as this is how Snowy acted last summer when she was in labor with Jolly Roger. I spent the afternoon watching her go through contractions every few minutes. She prefers to lay down and roll a lot when having contractions. I sprayed her belly and armpits off with the hose between contractions to help with the heat. We cleaned up the barn and poo piles, but decided to wait on toenails and shots until Snowflake had her cria, so we didn't stress her out by chasing everyone else around. Noah went in for lunch and I called him at 2:00pm to let him know I thought the cria would start emerging soon. Sure enough, as soon as he came out, the nose started protruding with the sac around it.

While the first stage of Snowflakes labor progressed slowly over at least five or six hours, the second stage of her labor went amazingly quickly. It was probably the fastest alpaca birth I have seen to date. Last year with Jolly Roger, it was 30 or 40 minutes before she actually pushed the whole cria out. This year, the cria was on the ground 3 minutes after the nose protruded. Almost immediately after the nose and sac emerged, the sac broke and the cria's head and then feet and then legs popped right out. Below, Auntie Apple checks out her niece.

Obviously, at this point, we could see that the cria looked like a solid shade of brown. I was saying a mantra over and over again...."Please be a girl....Please be a girl...." The cria emerged very quickly and only got to hang for about a minute, coughing and hiccuping, before it hit the ground.
Once she hit the ground, everyone crowded around to check out the newest member of the herd. We had to lock the two maidens, Apple and Onyx, out in another pasture, because they would not leave the new baby alone. The experienced moms gave Snowflake and the new cria space after they got a good look. At this point I was so excited and told Noah to see if it was a boy or a girl. I was so nervous as he was looking. He looked and said it was a girl. I starting jumping up and down laughing I was so excited! I kept asking him "are you sure...are you sure!"

I was just so overjoyed that my prediction was right and we got a girl!!! She was born at 327 days which is a little early. She did weigh 15.8 lbs at birth though. She was not quiet as strong as her half brother d'Artagnan who was born two weeks ago. It took her 40 minutes to stand up where he was standing in 5 minutes and running in 15. She was pretty shaky on her legs all night and lost her balance sending her flying to the ground often. Once she was standing, she found the milk machine pretty quickly though and was even sporting a milk moustache.

Snowflake is a wonderful mother and stands statue-still to let the cria nurse. She has plenty of milk for her new baby. The placenta also emerged about two hours later without any complications.
Meanwhile, d'Artagnan was trying his hardest to get grumpy Riphaeus to play with him. Riphaeus was of course spitting at d'Artagnan, but he didn't seem to mind. Neither of them seemed to take much interest in the new baby. I had to add these pictures because they were so cute!
We are so excited to have a healthy baby girl! She looks like she has a combination of colors in her fleece, so it may take some time to officially announce her color. She definitely has a mixture of medium brown, dark brown, and bay black. Her legs, nose, forehead, and ears really look bay black while her neck and blanket look more medium to dark brown. We locked Snowflake and the new cria in a stall together in the barn last night because we had another blast of severe thunder, lightning and poring rain. The new cria is pretty uncoordinated and we didn't want to leave her outside in case Snowflake couldn't get her into the barn with the rest of the girls. She survived the night and seems even stronger this morning. We are still working on a name for this little one. I thought we could stick with a pirate theme since we named her first cria Jolly Roger. I also have thoughts of naming her something that has to do with the wicked storms we had surrounding her birth. But since I named the last few cria, it is Noah's turn to pick out a name. We will let you know as soon as he does. Now hopefully the rest of my prediction will come true and Cinderella will deliver a grey girl!

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