Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Some Things Are Not Meant To Be

Noisette finally had her cria this morning, a white female. I missed this one too; she had it in the 20 minutes it took me to feed the cats and the chickens. I’d checked her when I’d read the rain gauge and she was with the others, milling around one of the dung heaps. When I checked again she was by the hayrack with the others but it was immediately obvious that all was not well.

The alpacas were humming to each other and I could see a light patch on the straw where she was standing. The cria had been stillborn. It took me a while to get over the shock and after checking Noisette was alright, I left them for about half an hour while I went over to see Ann and tell here I wouldn’t be helping with the wood today. It was her turn to be without electricity and as she only has a digital telephone her ‘phone was not working.

Having come back, I fed the alpacas their food granules and removed the cria. It was obvious that the cria was a bit on the small side. The placenta/afterbirth was about a quarter the size of those that the other two alpacas delivered. I also noticed a small growth/sac of liquid at the base of the spine just above the tail.

I’ve kept an eye on Noisette all day and she seems fine. That’s one thing about the half to three quarters of an hour it takes to muck out the field each day, you get time to watch the animals and they get used to you being there and watching. I now have to consider whether I breed from her again.

The reason she was due to give birth at this time of year rather than back in the summer along with the others was that she miscarried another female cria at 8 months, back in the UK with the breeder I bought her from. She has had one successful birth, Chestnut who’s a lovely male alpaca, but is this second problem something to do with her, or is it linked to the worm problem or even the worm treatment they had. Not answers I’m going to get from the vets over here, as they have no knowledge of alpacas but something I have to decide for myself.

I’m not planning on mating the alpacas again before July, since that should result in births around June 2009. My plans may be thrown out by Chestnut who has to remain in with the females at the moment as he has no companion and I can’t move him away on his own. That will have to wait until I can separate Ashan from his mum around March or April.

A couple of weather pictures to finish with, the first was taken about midday. We were scheduled to have rain this afternoon but it skirted past.

Then this evening as I locked up the chickens I turned round to this lovely post sunset sky.


Stew said...

Nature's not gentle is she ...
I know pigeons aren't on the same level as alpacas, but often young my young birds lay a couple of sterile clutches before they get into the swing of things.

Also - you work too hard!!
I'd advise replacing the pump, and then servicing/repairing the original and keeping it as a spare.
More expensive, but a more reliable/quicker solution.

dND said...

Thanks Stew,

After a good nights sleep and think, I've decided to put this one down to all the trauma of the worms and I will breed from her again but as I said that shouldn't be until the summer and by then I hope any effects from the worm infestation should have gone.

As for work too hard - I looked at your posting time :-D

I'd had a similar thought about the pump too, it would get water back to the house straight away. I've had to turn the heating off because there isn't enough water in the radiators (but that's another story in its self) and the pump if repairable could be used for any rainwater system I put in.

VP said...

Hi dnd - I love your site and will be stopping by from time to time...

Thanks for your comment on my site - it's always great to see a fresh face!