one instinctively knows when something is wrong… Kensmyth, Clay Meadow
A lifetime of farming teaches you how to “know” your livestock. When you are with them 24/7 you understand more than “gut” feelings and often the animals do too. When something is wrong, if you know them it is easy to spot but not often easy to rectify.
This female is a Maiden, very big but was mated by a smaller Stud boy as I knew the line throws humungous cria.
I have put this Blog up here for those who think Alpaca birth in the morning and that it is a 15 minute easy process. Rest assured it is not.
This female started at 4 am and I managed to get the cria out at 4pm the next day. Most would not see the very first signs and it is these that if you miss, you do not know when precisely to intervene.
I know my Alpaca so well that they will often come and birth by me and the birthing kit.
I knew it was not looking good by the length of time to dilate
We have a “CODE RED” call in our house and I summoned Mitchell so that I could have a “feel” to see what was wrong inside.
Unfortunately, the cria inside was literally kneeling in a cushed position with both knees and head trying to come through at the same time.
It is an impossible situation and I want to thank my friend who guided me through on iPhone speakerphone because it requires someone knowledgable at the other end for moral support when the Vet is too far away.
This was my Fathers Day folks…
obviously there is a massive time lapse in these photos and the next are not for the faint hearted…
I had to go in with one hand, obviously well cleansed and lubricated and inch by inch slowly push the head and shoulders back until I could get a second hand in to enable a “hold”. clearly this is high risk as you are pressing on the neck of the already externally breathing cria. it is save one, both or none time in these situations.
With Mitch sterlingly calming the Mum to be of which he has many years experience, I gently managed to ease the cria out – at which point you are hoping that nothing else follows. This is such a serious exercise that if done too quickly you can cause prolapse, the whole womb to come out and no guesses for what happens to the mother in those situations.
I cut the cord, clamped it, dealt with the cria and then it is a waiting game to see how Mum is. Mitchell keeping her calm and cushed for as long as possible. During which time she received antibiotic and pain relief injections from me.
clearly the situation has to be kept calm and is not for those without serious patience and knowledge
the sheer weight of the placenta can bring more out and the mother needs the cria at her head to give her the strength and will to live in these situations
but it does have a happy ending…
keeping the other mums at a distance for several hours until mum is able to be gently walked to the barns after passing the placenta takes time because everyone wants to see the new arrival
when the placenta is passed, unsurprisingly it is not “full” so danger is by no means over
CCTV watching and monitoring all night reveals the passing of the second part of the missing horn
but the next instalment of this particular birthing will cover the CORD on the cria
do not think in these situations that its all done and dusted at this point – back soon!