A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

June 10, 2009

Why Are We Waiting, Why Are We Waiting!

Queen and her ever growing bump

Queen and her ever growing bump

I think that is the song our overdue pregnant females must be singing.  The girls are more than ready to have their crias but the crias just aren’t coming yet.

Queen (pictured here) is huge.  You can see to the right of the picture how one of the crias limbs is poking out from her side.  It is amazing to me that the cria still has room to move, but move it does.  Last night after evening chores we could see the cria moving just under the base of Queen’s tail, we see this movement often in late term pregnancy alpacas but in Queen it was particularly pronounced.  I am just amazed that the cria does not just fall out as close as it is to Queen’s tail.  Queen doesn’t seem perturbed by her crias movement, far from it; she spends most of her day eating (while I spend my time watching her thinking that the more she eats the bigger that cria will be – ouch!).

Rosie too is quite large and obviously ready to be relieved of carrying her cria.  Rosie spends most of her time cushed in the shade or stretched out in the warmth of the sun and does not move around too much during the day.

Shiimsa has a nice sized bump and spends her day waddling and mooching around.  She often has her ears back these days and I think her cria’s activity dictates how Shiimsa’s ears will be positioned at any given time.

Chai, Ivanna, TeQueely and Willow have not reached their due dates yet, but we can see that their crias too are growing by leaps and bounds.  If Queen, Rosie and Shiimsa are anything to go by then Chai, Ivanna, TeQueely and Willow will all go past their due dates before delivering their crias and they too will be singing “why are we waiting” although of course alpacas can’t really sing, they can only hum!


September 10, 2008

Doing The Cria Dance!

 With Mags and Song receiving bottles of milk three times a day, there are plenty of opportunities to keep an eye on our late term pregnancy girls.  Cinnamon, Clarissa, Carina and Keeva are all due in October or November. 


In theory Cinnamon should be the first to deliver, followed by Keeva and Carina (who were bred on the same day) and then Clarissa who is due in early November.  I say in theory as any alpaca breeder will tell you that the girls have their crias when they feel like it and not to our schedule or planned due dates!


I noticed a couple of days ago that Cinnamon has some udder development which is about right for her stage of pregnancy.  She is a maiden alpaca and so we need to be prepared for her having her cria a little early or a little late.  I also noticed though that Keeva has udder development, in fact she has much more of a developed udder with full teats and wax caps on her teats, but on paper her due date is October 20.


Keeva’s last cria (which was also her first) was born right around his due date, it may be as she has previously delivered a cria her udder will develop a little while out from her due date.  Some experienced dams do develop their udder early, but Keeva is about six weeks from her due date and the signs I am seeing make me suspicious.


Yesterday afternoon, as I fed Mags and Song I noticed Keeva sitting not far away.  As I watched her I could see the form of her cria pushing against the skin under her tail, doing what we sometimes refer to as the cria dance.  It is not unusual to see that type of movement in a late term dam, but usually it is in the last couple of the weeks of pregnancy.  Eventually Keeva tired of the cria’s movements and stood up.  She stretched and as she did so her tail lifted showing a very swollen vulva.  I watched her again as she waddled off and visited a poop pile, thinking that the swelling might change as she walked or after she had pooped, but it didn’t. 


So Keeva is now under close observation.  She did breed more than once so it is possible that the first breeding did take, or it may be for some reason she is going to deliver early.  Only time will tell, in the meantime while the cria is doing his or her dance inside Keeva, the crias actions are making me do a cria dance all of my own, as I glance out of the window to the girls pasture checking on Keeva every time I pass, and wander out to the pasture if Keeva appears to be cushed in what to me looks like a funny position.  I still get the feeling that Fall cria season could be earlier than we expect!



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