Friday, September 07, 2007

To be or not to be... that is the cria question.

Our oldest alpaca, Touch of Gold (aka Gigi) is due to have her cria out of superstud Kilimanjaro on Sept 14th but it is normal for alpacas to deliver 10 days before or after their "official due date". This would be the first alpaca delivery that I have seen in person (although not the first livestock delivery) and am very excited about it. This morning during chores I noticed that Gigi was cushed but slightly on her side. Her peritoneum area was distended and her vulva was dilated about 2cc. She appeared to be in labor as every few minutes she would hum, push and her peritoneum would distend out even more. I called Neil, who was in town running errands, that if he wanted to see the birth he had better get home.

Meanwhile, I moved Gigi into the pen next to where she currently was with the rest of the female alpacas. I didn't really want to separate her from the other females as I feel it is more natural to have "pasture births" but I felt it was in her and her crias best interest to not be with our 8 month old LGDs. This will be their first birth too and they are still young and playful and may hurt the cria without meaning too. Also, birth can be a messy bloody event and all that blood may entice the dogs to do something they would not normally do to a clean dry cria. So, Gigi got moved into her own pen with hay and water.

I spent most of the rest of the day down at the barn watching her and waiting... and nothing else happened! She seemed to have stopped her labor (or what I thought was early labor). I decided she was close enough to her due date that I would just keep her separated from the dogs until she had the cria. Hopefully it will be soon!

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