A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

May 26, 2008

Lack of Sleep Delays Light Bulb Coming On

Bjorn\'s BoyOur bottle feeding of our cria continues, although I suspect that before too long nature will take it’s course and our services will no longer be needed by our little female cria.  Yesterday she started refusing bottles at times having already nursed from her dam; we have now extended the period between her bottles with the hope that she will go to nurse from her dam more and the bottle less.


Saturday found us shearing alpacas again and we managed to get most of them done but there are still enough left that we need to plan another whole day of shearing.  The fleece pile is rapidly growing and one of our next tasks will be to decide which fleece goes to which co-op or producer.   Not just yet though, as by Saturday evening it was about all Ric and I could do to stay awake during dinner!


No more of the girls have had their crias yet, although Rebecca had us going for a little while during Saturday’s shearing.  It turned out to be a false alarm and most likely the cria was in uncomfortable position and has now righted itself.


Our cria with the weak knees is showing improvement (that’s his picture at the beginning of this blog entry(.  On our veterinarians advice he has been confined to a small pen with his dam to restrict his movement and prevent him from stretching his tendons in the wrong direction.  He is able to nurse from his dam and has been gaining weight steadily.  Our veterinarian had us start him on regular doses of vitamin’s A, D and E which we administer in a specially made good flavored paste, however the other day it suddenly dawned on me that we really had not been thinking straight.  There was our veterinarian having us administer vitamins A, D and E and there were we keeping our boy and his dam Bjorn in a pen inside the shelter in the shade.  Surely we should be taking advantage of those sunny New Mexico days by allowing our cria to sit out in the sunshine and absorb his vitamins naturally as well as through the paste!  It took a while for that light bulb to come on, but we’ll use the excuse of lack of sleep!  So now we have taken to moving Bjorn and her boy to an outside pen in the sunshine at least for a couple of hours a day and it seems that we are seeing even better improvement since we have been doing that, although that might be completely coincidental.



October 30, 2007

Update on Chai

Chai and KanikaYesterday we heard back from our vet on the results of Chai’s bloodwork.  Our vet is a sole practitioner and sometimes his work schedule means that he doesn’t get to call us as quickly as he would like to.  Most definitely if there is something urgent or life threatening he will call us immediately, but on routine matters we sometimes have to call his office rather than wait for him to call us.  I knew from talking to the vet’s secretary earlier in the week that following his appointment at our farm our vet had then gone on to deal with a whole day of emergency calls and that therefore his workload was heavy right now.  When working with your vet it is important to get to know him or her so that you understand what you can expect of them and what they expect of you.  With good understanding and communication between vet and owner a good relationship will develop over time.

On dear Chai our vet said that she appears to have some form of bacterial infection.  Her white blood cell count is a little high and her neutrophils are on the high side too.  The rest of her blood panel does not look bad and there is no indication as to where the infection may be. 

Late pregnancy can often make dams more susceptible to infection, their bodies are trying to cope with growing a cria and preparing to produce milk for that cria and the stress on a dam’s body at that time is great.  Certainly Chai has been doing better since she gave birth to Kanika, but she must still be fighting the infection.

Our vet has suggested that we put Chai on a ten day course of antibiotics, the antibiotic he has prescribed should not have any adverse affect on Chai’s milk and therefore should be safe for little Kanika, however our vet was careful to check that Chai had not yet been bred back as antibiotics in the early stages of pregnancy can have an effect on the developing cria.

Once the course of antibiotics has been completed we will then run another set of blood work on Chai to make sure her body is responding.  Hopefully it will do so and we will have her back to good health really soon.

As a foot note on little Zeus I have to report that he had a better weight gain yesterday so maybe the vitamins are working – we’ll just have to wait a little longer to see!


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