A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

October 8, 2007

Pregnant and Uncomfortable

Our alpaca Chai is showing signs that her pregnancy is taking its toll on her.  Throughout the day she cushes a lot and she is delighted that the fall out from the big bale in the large shelter provides her with a cushioned area where she can cush and eat at the same time.

It’s not unusual for the alpaca girls to slow down and take things a little easier in the final stages of pregnancy.  I must admit though that I am a little surprise that Chai is sitting around as much as she is as she is not as big as she usually is by this stage of pregnancy.  It has been warmer than usual the past couple of days and that may be taking it’s toll on Chai, the next couple of days though are supposed to be cooler so we will get an opportunity to watch Chai in cooler conditions and better gauge her behavior.

Chai does usually act a little differently toward the end of her pregnancy, whereas she is usually one of the first to get into the pens to eat when she is heavily pregnant Chai seems to think that going into a pen is not a wise idea.  The past two days Chai has refused to go into her normal pen for morning and evening feed, it’s not that she doesn’t want to eat, once we catch her she eats her food with gusto, but she definitely gets wary of the pens.  Perhaps she feels that if she is in a pen and goes into labor she will not be able to move about as she would like to, or that us two-leggeds (humans) will bother her too much while she is giving birth.

Chai is only 14 days away from her due date if we base that date on 345 days post breeding, and as Chai usually has her crias around the 345th day of pregnancy she will probably go a little longer before having her cria.

The other night when I checked on the girls Chai’s cria was being very lively, kicking poor Chai hard – no wonder she is feeling a little sore.

We will be keeping a really close eye on Chai until she has her cria, checking her udder daily to see if it is getting enlarged, checking under her tail to see if she has any puffiness in that area and watching for signs that she is in labor (sitting on one hip, frequent unproductive trips to the poop pile, rolling on each side).   When the time comes for Chai to have her cria I know that she is a girl who prefers me to keep a little distance, so I will respect that fact and watch her from a distance that is far enough away for her to feel relaxed yet close enough to step in if she should need assistance.  In the meantime though I will watch and wait and look forward to the day when Chai’s cria makes its entry into the world.

Rosemary

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