A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

September 13, 2007

Surprise – I’m early!

Filed under: alpaca, Alpaca Care, Alpaca Health, Alpaca Reproduction, Alpacas, camelids, Crias, General — alpacalady @ 7:16 am

Carissima On Her First DayWell what a day yesterday was!  When I first got up the herd were all out nibbling at hay and looking good.  When I looked out a little later I could see one of our girls Carina sitting rolled onto one hip, but Carina was in the last trimester of her pregnancy and it is not unusual for her to be like that.  A short while later I was carrying the trash out of the house when I noticed Carina again, only this time she really caught my attention as she was delivering a cria!

Carina’s cria was not due until October 5, so I was worried when I saw her in labor so early.  The other thing that was worrying me was that the bulge that was coming out of Carina was red, not an opaque white or straw color which is the color of the amniotic sac.  The trash got abandoned on the front door step (the barn cats were quite grateful for that!) and I ran over to Carina.  When I got closer to her I could see that she had the crias head presented but that the amniotic sac was red in color and veined.  It turned out what I was seeing was not just the amniotic sac but was the placenta that had somehow become stretched over the crias head.  I have not seen this happen before but knew that if I managed to break open the amniotic sac the cria would start to come a little easier.  In order to get to the amniotic sac to break it I ended up having to break the placenta wall.  Not at all ideal but once that was done the cria started to make more progress.

The rest of the birthing was uneventful and at 10 a.m. Carina delivered her cria – a little white girl!  The crias breathing was a little labored at first but settled down once I had suctioned her nose with a bulb suction.

The typical alpaca pregnancy lasts 345 days, so at 324 days gestation our new little girl is definitely premature.  She does show some signs of being premature, she is very down on her pasterns and still had membrane attached to her lips and her rear when she was born.  Fortunately the crias lungs seem to be well developed and she is very strong and lively.

Carina took a while to deliver the placenta, we gave her some Oxytocin to help her along, but it was a couple of hours before the placenta finally dropped.  Thankfully apart from where I broke it the placenta appeared intact.

We will be keeping a close eye on our new little one, crias are somewhat vulnerable and premature crias even more so, but she appears strong that will stand her in good stead.

Amazingly Ric and I have come up with a name for Carina’s cria.  Typically it takes us several days (or sometimes longer) to settle on a name, but this time one sprang to mind and we intend calling her Windrush Carissima.  With Carissima’s birth our fall cria season has officially started – and what a great way to start!

Rosemary

1 Comment »

  1. Carissima looks divine – a lovely name for a pretty girl. I can’t believe I missed out on a birthing by just one day – I’m devastated – it would have been a magical experience. Maybe next time I will be in luck! I hope the little lady goes along well – a new mate for White Blast maybe?

    Comment by Linda Pottinger — September 13, 2007 @ 7:23 pm


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