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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The joys of motherhood

Charisma surprised us with a most un-alpaca-like late afternoon birth on Monday. A tiny fawn boy only 5kilos but full of beans. It was her first,and whilst very loving and attentive would not allow him to feed. No way. The more he persisted the angrier she got to the point of stamping and kicking him. Then was overcome with remorse and made a big fuss of him.
It was clear she needed a lesson in motherhood, so as the night was drawing in we took them into the barn and penned them in together and prepared ourselves for another all night vigil.
Coffee and Cornish Pasties al-fresco again as we monitored the proceedings.
It's a frustrating situation. Not wishing to intervene and stress the Mum making her less likely to allow him to suckle but at the same time knowing you have this time frame in which he has to get the colostrum intake.
As we approached midnight she had allowed him a couple of short sessions but he was getting tired of trying and was resting for longer periods. We decided to make sure and transfer some milk ourselves.
After a gentle but firm talking to, to our surprise she stood perfectly still and allowed me to milk her,and feed it to the cria.
Happier in the knowledge he had taken at least some colostrum we called it a night. By the morning he was feeding normally and everything was hunky-dory.
We put them back with the herd and I spent the day poo picking so I could keep an eye on him.
Apart from getting stuck in the fence all seemed well.
They are back in the barn tonight because it's actually rained ALL day today. Yes rained,loads of it. Hooray!Our first decent downpour in months, great news for the grass. Not so good for a little-un to be out in all night.

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