The other evening I was walking out to move the alpacas out into their pastures, (these days it is too hot for the alpacas to be in the fields during the day so we pasture them at night) and I noticed Poquita was breathing very hard. I moved another group of animals and kept an eye on her because I thought she might be in labor.
As it came time to move her group, she went to the poop pile and pushed. She cried and something was trying to come out. “Oh my,” I said. “You are trying to have a baby! Let’s you and me stay up here at the barn while your friends go out into the fields. And we will have a baby.” I was on the phone with a friend while all of this was going on, talking on my headset. She got a big kick out of the whole thing.
I was concerned when I returned from taking out all of the other alpacas in Poquita’s group to the field because all I was seeing was a huge red bulbous thing coming out of Poquita. Also, she is older and she was tired. I feared that she had been in labor for hours and that she didn’t have much energy left to deliver the cria. I remembered having to help pull her cria from last year, Rachel Alexandra because she had been rather large. This time she was a week early and I was concerned about placenta previa where the placenta separates. This is a dangerous condition that often results in the loss of the cria.
Nervously, I popped the sack. (Do not try this at home. I’m not sure if I was supposed to do this…cuz I’m not a vet..But I’m not sure what ELSE I would have done…) And I found baby – Yay! Snorting and gasping…there were feet and a head in there obviously trying hard to get out. Mom must not have had the energy to push them out so I knew I had to pull and quickly. I did. I tried to get Poquita to get up and give me some gravity. Nothing doing.
She seemed to think that I was here to save the day and that she was finished. Like she was saying , “Finally someone else is here to get this baby out!”
Ladies, can anyone relate here?… I just had a flashback to some of my own deliveries. OK, maybe it’s just me…
The baby was easy to pull out. Thank goodness! Out within minutes. Then the dear little thing was scooching around trying to get up. It pooped within minutes! I couldn’t believe that. If it had been as big as last year’s horse-sized cria, Rachel Alexandra (almost 23 lbs.) I’d have needed the jaws of life to get that baby out, but this one was only 16 lbs. a good size but easy for Poquita to deliver. Whew!
I felt like a nitwit.
I first looked and determined that this cria was a boy. For the first few hours I was calling it a boy. Then I saw her going to the bathroom and I realized I had either made a mistake or there was something really wrong here. Uh, yeah, I had made a mistake. A rush to judgment. This cria was a GIRL! You would think after 11 years I could tell the difference…but I guess sometimes, in all the excitement, with all the children, and the phone calls, and the chaos, I totally GOOF!
In the above picture Poquita is helping her cria learn to nurse. She is making a clucking noise at the cria. This is a noise to communicate with her and tell her where to come to nurse. She also nudges the cria to the right spot.
Last week my Daddy took me to LuLu’s for lunch. For those of you not familiar with this wonderful restaurant, it is a Gulf Coast tradition, owned and operated by Jimmy Buffet’s sister (they call her Sista). It’s on an intercoastal waterway in Gulf Shores, AL. It has a beach and a fun atmosphere. Just having a margarita and some fried green tomatoes for lunch and dipping my toes in the sand make me feel like I’m on vacation even when I’m not.
I think I’ll name this little cria Sista Quita. It kinda goes with her sister’s name, Princess Quita too. Luv it.
Thank you, sweet readers, for letting me share my new baby with you!