Friday, August 27, 2010
I had been watching Solei, a first time pregnant alpaca all day. I knew that today was the day. She had been making frequent trips to the dung pile, her vulva was elongated and open, and she had been bagged up for a few days now. Of course, it was 96 degrees this afternoon. I went out every hour or two all day, and decided at 2:30 pm to hose the alpacas down in the afternoon heat. Just their underbellies, neck and legs, that is their cooling mechanism. I was expecting her to deliver before 1pm, that is what the usual alpaca does. In the Andes where they are from, it gets 70 degrees every day, but it also drops to 28 degrees every night. Generations of alpacas give birth there all before 1pm, to assure survival of the fittest. They have to be born early in the day, so they can warm up, run around and get full of colostrum before it gets cold at night. If they are born later in the day, their survival is at jeopardy. They say that if you have a birth later in the day here, that it could be a dystocia or problem birth.
Well when I went out at 4:30 for feeding, there was Solei, kushed,(that is what they call lying down in camelids) with half of a babies head sticking out, with no toes, and baby gasping to breathe. A sign of a normal birth is to see "nose and toes". So I told Dennis, that I would need to go in and check her. I got my bucket of warm water, with soap and betadine, and cleaned her up. I keep on hand gloves that go up to my shoulders, so donned those, I reached around the head, the baby gasping all the time, and could feel the feet, but she had a shoulder lock, where the shoulders are locked at the pelvis. An easy fix, you ease one foot out at a time, past the pelvic, I then rotated the baby a little sideways to facilitate easier delivery for her. She carried this pregnancy for 348 days.
I got one of my wishes, it is all white, but it is another boy. Will be nice in a fiber herd, as both Solei and Prize, who is the daddy have great fleece. the youngster was up on its feet within 10 minutes, and shortly thereafter, running around. Has nursed, and the mom passed the placenta. Solei is going to be a good mom as she has been humming to the baby and also clucking. That is their bonding. The clucking sounds like when you cluck your tongue to get a horse to giddy-up.
Ah the life out on the farm. I told Dennis that she is going to be a sore girl, tomorrow.
Pictures of the new arrival.
Auntie checking out the baby.