A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

November 8, 2008

The Case of the Missing Meconium

Filed under: alpaca, Alpaca Care, Alpaca Health, Alpacas, camelids, Cria Care, Crias, General — Tags: , , — alpacalady @ 6:56 am

Nazca Sitting Pretty

Nazca Sitting Pretty


After a cria is born, one of the things we watch out for is the passing of the meconium.  Meconium is usually thick and tarry, sometimes dark and sometimes greenish in color.  It is made up of cells from the crias intestines and secretions, mucus and swallowed amniotic fluid.


Sometimes the meconium will be passed within hours of birth, other times it takes a little longer, but it is important that it is passed or else there can be problems with the cria.  A cria who has not passed its meconium can become lethargic and uncomfortable. 


When we do not see a cria pass it’s meconium then we keep a close eye on that cria and if there is any doubt that the meconium has passed we will give the cria an enema.  But sometimes crias manage to pass meconium without you seeing or finding it and such was the case with Kimmie’s cria Nazca.


Nazca was a nicely vigourous cria when he was born; he gained weight on his first day and showed a good curiosity in things around him.  Not having seen Nazca pass his meconium or even attempt to pass anything I kept a close eye on him to make sure he was not having any problems passing the meconium.  I also checked the poop piles and pastures for evidence of meconium.  Newborn crias often don’t go to the poop piles for their first week or so of life and tend to go just where the urge takes them!


By the end of Nazca’s second day I still had not seen any evidence of him having passed his meconium.  I had taken to checking under his tail, as often there will be a little evidence there that something has passed, but Nazca was as clean as a whistle!


At the end of Nazca’s second day he was joining in with the evening cria races and could hardly be considered uncomfortable.  He was galloping full speed with the other crias, not something that is undertaken by a cria with a stomachache!


To this day despite my best efforts I still have not seen Nazca poop or pee.  The little guy must be doing so as he is nearly a week old and would most definitely be in distress by now if he were unable to pass anything.  But Nazca’s behavior and steady weight gain tell me that things must be working just fine.   So I will just accept that sometime shortly after birth Nazca managed to pass his meconium and that all is well and then I will enjoy watching him zip around the pasture with the other crias.  Life as a cria is good!





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