Finally it happened, at 11:10 on November 10th (now how’s that for coincidence being born at 11:10 on 11/10) Theresa’s cria was born – and after five boys in a row Theresa had a girl!
Theresa was bred on November 15, 2008 so by my calculation she had a gestation of 360 days – phew!
We suspected that Theresa was finally thinking of having her cria when she started acting differently late in the day on Monday. We noticed Theresa was standing a lot, not eating as much as usual and when she did cush it was very slowly. By 8 p.m. Theresa had started to hum which was a bit concerning as it was an indication that labor was getting closer and we didn’t want a cria born during the night. Apart from the humming though Theresa seemed otherwise comfortable. I monitored her until 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday and as she still seemed comfortable at that time I made tracks for bed.
Of course you never really sleep that well when you are wondering if one of your alpaca girls is outside in the throes of labor, by 5:15 a.m. I was up to check on Theresa and could see that she was still cushed comfortably. Theresa ate well at feeding time, although the humming was still continuing, but after feeding she isolated herself from the herd and then I was certain her cria was on its way.
By 8:50 a.m. Theresa was starting to push. I have known Theresa for many years and have seen her give birth several times. I know that with Theresa labor does not progress quickly and just when you start to think you should call the vet she gives a huge push and out pops her cria. Theresa’s labor progressed as I expected and by 11:05 a.m. I could just see the tip of the crias nose. Next came Theresa’s usual huge contraction and at 11:10 a.m. her cria was born.
By the time the cria arrived the other alpaca girls had gathered round to check out the new arrival, much to Theresa’s annoyance, so as soon as Theresa was rested and up I took her and her cria and put them in a catch pen to bond.
For Theresa there had been a long gap between crias, following the birth of her last cria she had developed a uterine infection which took a long while to clear up. Once the uterine infection was gone Theresa was bred again but sadly lost her cria at 90 days gestation when the crias umbilical cord became wrapped around the crias neck. We have not had that happen before, it was an unfortunate accident but there was nothing we could have done to prevent it and nothing we could do about it. Theresa was bred again (after we had allowed her body to recover from the loss of her cria) and this time all went well. Theresa had a good pregnancy, even though it was another long one.
So now Theresa finally has a daughter and what a good looking girl she is. Her fleece is very curly and soft and like her mother she loves to eat (or in her case nurse). Theresa’s cria wasted no time in getting to her feet and having a nurse as soon as she was able and Theresa was more than happy for her to do so.
Our congratulations go to Theresa’s owners Troy and Mary Ogilvie of Timber Lodge Alpacas. Troy and Mary were very patient during the process of getting Theresa bred again, through all that happened their only concern was that Theresa be healthy and given all that was needed to help her have a good pregnancy. Troy and Mary’s patience paid off and now they have been rewarded with a beautiful female cria. I am sure Troy and Mary will love her when they get to see her, and knowing them I am betting that will be soon!