A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

August 26, 2008

Taking Baby Steps

 

We are once again trying Dream with a lesser amount of milk during the day.  The last week or so while she has drunk her bottles without a problem there have been several times when she has either not seemed too hungry or drunk less milk from each bottle.

 

Yesterday we fed Dream in the morning along with the other crias and did not offer her a morning bottle.   She didn’t come and seek me out looking for it and she didn’t seem ravenously hungry when I gave her a bottle in the evening.  So it seems as if it is time to wean Dream off at least one of her two daily bottles. 

 

Dream is now just over three months old and is eating hay well plus a little bit of pellet supplement and calf manna.  She is a sturdy cria, full of energy and certainly not thin.  It is amazing to think that in the space of three months we have gone from feeding her every few hours to now only giving her one 10 oz bottle a day.  We were very lucky that Dream took well to the bottle and did not fight over it like many alpaca crias do and of course Dream still has her dam Rosie who she nurses from and the occasional drink of milk from our guard llamas.  Food is not in short supply where Dream is concerned!

 

It is interesting to watch the progress of the crias, they go so quickly from nursing from their dams every hour or so, to starting to try out the hay and then making sure that they get their fill of the hay before going to nurse and then play.  One of our neighbors dropped by the other night to watch the crias play and was most disappointed to find them with their heads immersed in the hay racks.  I explained to our neighbor that play starts later these days once the crias are feeling full, often that is after dark when all you can do hear is the whisper of their feet as they fly across the pasture.

 

People often talk about baby steps, meaning small steps, but with crias I am not sure those baby steps are so small.  In a few short months they go from birth, to first steps, to playing, to eating and the visits to their dams for nursing while still there, become less frequent.  Just a few months more and we will be thinking about starting to wean them and wondering how time has yet again passed by so swiftly.

 

Rosemary

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