Thursday, August 5, 2010

Ashton Stones Peruvian Alpacula

Today, we had the third black boy cria born on our farm in 3 weeks. So far, we have had 5 cria born and 4 of them have been boys. Obviously someone did not get the memo that I ordered all grey girls, because we have only got one so far. We still have two pacas due on the farm in the next few weeks, so we will see what we get. Anyway. I went out to the barn this morning to check on the pregnant girls before I left for work. Silver Sox is normally laying in the barn most of the time these days in front of the fan. This morning, she was laying in the catch pen by herself with her back legs out to the side....which they normally do late in pregnancy. I think it is more comfortable for their big bellies. I noticed that her back end was more open and puffy than it had been in the last week. Her ligaments seem to have been stretched out for the last week in her back end making it more open and puffy, but today it was more pronounced. Also, her back end seemed to be pulsating and I noticed that her belly looked like it was getting tight with contractions. I ran back to the house and told Noah to keep a really close eye on Sox because I thought she was in labor. I went to work and called in several times to check in and Noah said she just looked normal, so I figured I must have been wrong. Then at 3:30pm, when I was on my way to Oceana County for work, Noah called and said that he had been in the house for an hour and a half and came back out and Sox had already had the cria and the placenta and the baby was standing up trying to nurse. I was pretty upset as I would have gone home to watch the birth earlier if I would have known. My office is only a few minutes from our farm and my schedule is luckily very flexible. I have seen lots of alpaca births, but it is one of my favorite parts of being an alpaca farmer. I wait almost 12 months to see these little ones arrive and I hate to miss it, especially when I am around and could have seen it. Apparently, mine and Noah's definitions of "watch her really closely" differ. Sometimes I wonder if I just am more observant and have better intuition about these things because I am a woman. Oh well. In the end, all that really matters is that we have a healthy dam and cria.

Like I said, the cria is a true black little boy. He weighed 19 lbs at birth and is pretty tall. He makes the little 16 lbs cria born yesterday look like a shrimp. He is strong and nursing well. He is already running around and trying to interact with the other cria. I am trying to let Noah name most of the cria this year, since I have done it the last several years. I believe he has decided to name this little one Ashton Stones Peruvian Alpacula. I have high hopes for this little guy since he is out of Accoyo Mavericks Smoke n' Mirrors and his grandsire is Accoyo Maverick! This little guys fiber looks crimpier and more dense than the two other black boys on our farm. We will probably be taking him on the show circuit next year to see how he does. His full brother who is also black did well in the show rings last year. If he ends up being herdsire quality, he will have a great chance of throwing greys some day since both of his parents are tuxedo greys. We will see what the future holds for this little guy.

The birth appears to have gone really well, which I am thankful for. Sox has had trouble maintaining pregnancies in the past, so I am happy that this one worked out. She has now had 2 grey cria and 2 black cria to date. She has always been bred to grey, so we have decided to try breeding her to a fawn male who has a grey sire in a few weeks. I am hoping we will get a rose grey out of this combination next year.

Here are some pictures of the new little guy. I am thinking we will probably have to call him Al for short.
He is always sticking his tongue out licking his lips. He reminds me of a little dragon! With all the black cria running around, the mom's are having a difficult time figuring out which one is theirs!

Ashton Stones Peruvian Alpacula

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