A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

July 2, 2008

The cria workout is almost over

Filed under: alpaca, Alpaca Care, Alpaca Health, Alpacas, camelids, Cria Care, Crias, General — Tags: , — alpacalady @ 6:29 am

Since our first cria of the spring was born we have been undergoing a daily workout, carrying each one to our scales to be weighed.

 

In an ideal world we would have a set of scales in the girls pasture so that we would not have to carry the crias at all and could just gently herd them onto the scales.  But for now the only place we can have our scales is in another barn and so we end up carrying the crias to the scales.

 

When a cria is born we weigh it daily until it reaches 25 lb.  A crias weight gain or loss can tell you a lot about the health of a cria, and can give you an early red flag that the cria might be experiencing a problem.  If the cria’s dam is a maiden the crias weight can also reflect how good of a milk producer the dam is.  For the first day or so we take the dams with the cria to the scales, which is less stressful on both the dam and the cria.  After that we weigh the crias while the dams are still eating their morning ration and are too distracted to notice where their crias are.

 

Once the crias weigh 25 lbs. we go to weighing them every other day, once they reach 30 lbs, we weigh them once a week.  Typically once the crias weigh 30 lbs.  their growth rate slows down a little.  By the time the crias weigh 35 lbs. are arms are getting tired and we then weigh the crias once a month.

 

With eight crias being born this year the task of weighing the crias has been quite a workout.  For the most part the crias are quite relaxed and still as we carry them to the scales, having got used to the process since the day they were born.  Once in a while we will get one who gets a little restless, especially if the other crias are busy playing as the cria being weighed wants to join in.

 

Now nearly all of our crias are over the 30 lb. mark and our daily workout is diminishing, which is a good thing.   It means our crias have all reached healthy weights and it means one less thing to do during morning chores!

 

Rosemary

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