A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

May 14, 2008

Surprise – In more ways than one!



Queen and her New Cria


Well did we get a surprise yesterday, Queen had her cria early and we were not even home!


We left mid morning to go and shear alpacas for Jan and Corky Green of Muleshoe, Texas.  Knowing that we had several girls due and overdue we checked everyone thoroughly in the morning.  There were three girls who were slightly puffy under their tails and none of the pregnant girls was showing a well developed udder.  In maiden alpacas it is not unusual for them not to show many signs of imminent birth, but usually with your more experienced dams there are signs that birthing is not far away.


Having checked the girls thoroughly we watched their behavior for a while.  All of them were eating heartily and none of them were acting uncomfortably.


I was not entirely happy about leaving the girls for the day, but Jan and Corky were short of help with their shearing and after they had spent all of Sunday helping us with our shearing I hated to leave them in the lurch.  So I called Bob and Regina Dart of Llano Soleado Alpacas, our Clovis alpaca neighbors, and asked if they could check on our girls during the day just in case something happened.

 Head Shot of Queen\'s New Cria

Well happen it did!  When Bob came to check on the girls at 1:30 pm he discovered that Queen had delivered her cria, a beautiful medium brown boy out of our Color Champion Herdsire Windrush Jennifer’s Zindel.  Bob says the cria was still wet when he found him so he could not have been born long.  Both the cria and Queen were doing well and Bob stepped into alpaca delivery mode and very kindly made sure that Queen passed her placenta, the cria was nursing well and dipped the crias naval in iodine.  He then put Queen and the cria in a pen with some hay and water to allow them time to bond.


As soon as Bob called me to give me the news I could tell from the chuckle in his voice that something had happened, his words were “Queen fooled you” and fool us she did!


Just before leaving we had seen Queen on the poop pile.  She only visited it once and she was not at all puffy in her tail area.  We watched as she waddled off to a different area of the pasture, she didn’t lie down, but rather stopped and looked over her shoulder at us as if to say “What do you two want”.   (Bob thinks she was actually telling us to hurry up and leave so she could have her cria in peace!)


Queen is an independent alpaca and out of all of the girls she is the one who I would expect to want to wait until we are out of the way before giving birth.  She is an experienced dam and I was with her last year when she gave birth and then she gave definite signals that she was in labor.  With that pregnancy she was two weeks overdue, with this one she was early.




Thankfully all went well with Queens labor and we have a lovely 20.1 lb boy to watch as he gallops around the pasture.  As huge as Queen was prior to giving birth I am glad she delivered a little early as if her cria had been much bigger I wonder if it would have been a difficulty birth.  Thankfully too we have such good alpaca neighbors and friends in Bob and Regina who were able to come out and check on the girls for us – and who knew what to do when they found a new cria to deal with.  Thank you Bob and Regina!


So today we are scheduled to do some more shearing for Valerie Smith in Plainview, Texas, but after yesterday’s experience with Queen I am afraid Ric will be going to Plainview on his own and I will be staying home to watch pregnant alpacas who will no doubt decide that as I have stayed home none of them will give birth!



1 Comment »

  1. Congratulations Queen. I can’t help thinking she is wearing a very ‘regal’ expression on her face as she stands over her beautiful new charge. May all the birthings go as smoothly as this one. You’ll have to watch from the lounge – maybe you can fool the alpacas into thinking you’ve gone out for the day and induce the birthing process.
    I look forward to reading of the other new arrivals imminently.
    Love Linda x

    Comment by Linda Pottinger — May 14, 2008 @ 8:18 pm

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