Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Baby Fever

I am really getting anxious for some newborn cria on our farm. Spring is in the air and that means baby time! Everywhere I look I am reminded of new life. Every day I drive to work, I notice more and more little black calves dotting the field at our neighbors farm. When I stopped at Subway in town for lunch today, the sheep farm behind Subway was filled will little black and white lambs running around. Even one of our Indian Runner ducks is sitting on a nest she made behind a bush in our front yard (although I do not think she is sitting on the eggs consistently enough for them to actually hatch). I have been watching Bellesa like crazy lately, much to her dismay. I don't think she likes me constantly staring at her. I keep telling Noah that we need to get binoculars so I can spy at the pregnant mommas from a distance. When I took an average of Bellesa's 8 gestational periods, it averages out to 335 days which is exactly one week away. Our next girl who is due is Lady and she is scheduled to birth in about a month. Both Bellesa and Lady, along with our other pregnant girls, seem really grumpy and ornery lately. The have been very confrontational with one another and spit fights are happening often. In addition to Lady and Bellesa's bellies get really big, they have been laying around a lot more than normal. Instead of laying with their back legs tucked underneath them, they lay with them either out to the side or in a strange position where their legs fold and stick out at a strange angle behind them. It is difficult to describe, but I think they do it because their bellies are getting so big and it is uncomfortable for them to lay normally. Every morning, I am so anxious to run out to the barn to check on the pregnant ladies and can't wait for the cria to begin arriving. I hope I get to see at least a few of the births this year. Noah has been lucky and has witnessed all but one of the births on our farm since we began in 2006. I am hoping that since we have had such a warm and nice spring, that it would put them a little ahead of schedule. We will see.

In addition to being on constant cria watch, I am trying to figure out who we are going to re-breed everyone to this year for 2011 cria. I have at least 5 huacayas and possibly 1 suri who will be ready to breed this year. I plan to use Smokey and Greyt this year, but would like to get some other outside breedings as well to keep some diversity in our herd. I have been actively searching alpacanation.com and openherd.com for the girls next dates. I have a few leads so far, but nothing set in stone yet. I put so much time and thought into deciding who we will breed each alpaca to. We try to find males that compliment our females and have strong positive characteristics, especially if our female is weak in a certain area like fiber or conformation. I am also always attracted to greys, so am always on the look out for a stellar grey male. So many decisions. It is amazing to me that I have to wait a whole year to see the outcome of any breedings, which is one of the reasons I am so excited for this years cria! Stay tuned for cria pictures!

11 comments:

cara said...

I am watching our girls too, they are grumpy for sure. I don't really expect any of our cria until after shearing. I have heard that a long cold winter means later, smaller cria. But we had a fairly mild winter. I'm predicting big, early cria. We'll see.

Noah and Jillian Schwander said...

I hope earlier crias! I am really getty antsy for some babies!

Anonymous said...

Only one more day until belissa's (sorry I may not have the correct spelling)cria is due! You must be anxious! :)

Noah and Jillian Schwander said...

I am extremely anxious! I thought for sure she was going into labor this morning as she was kused in the field isolated from the rest of the herd and did not come in for her morning grain. No baby yet! I am hopeful that it will decide to come out and meet us tomorrow!

Anonymous said...

Post when she does have her little cria! :D I hope all goes well, best wishes !

Noah and Jillian Schwander said...

Thanks so much! Still waiting! I will post as soon as the little one arrives. I hope to catch the birth on camera!

Anonymous said...

:) Any names in mind yet?

Noah and Jillian Schwander said...

We are thinking something like "Macusani's Grand Finale" as this will be her sire Macusani's last cria born. He is almost 20 years old now and retired from breeding. Let me know if you have any name suggestions!

Anonymous said...

Oh that is very unique! I will try and think of some! I will comment back soon!

Anonymous said...

I already have a name that I think could be a cool name for an alpaca.

The first : Another word for "finale" Is "Crowning Glory".

Just a thought. :)

Noah and Jillian Schwander said...

I like that! Thanks for sharing!