Alpaca Births, Cria Coats Can Cause Confusion
Fall brought two beautiful additions to our herd. A new white/fawn male, Augusts Finale a.k.a. Augie, and another beautiful dark brown male, Nero. They were both very healthy and so were their moms.
I learned the hard way not to put a cria coat on the baby right away because Bella had spent the day with Augie smelling like an alpaca, a very good smell. But when the cool evening came, I put a cria coat on him because the weather was supposed to cool down to 43. Big mistake.
Bella thought that bright green nylon critter was something else and decided not to nurse it! Her udder became full and I new I had to do something. I called my good alpaca mentors, and their advice was right on the money.
I put Bella and Auguie in a small stall together, after taking off the cria coat of coarse! They only had each other to stay warm. Then I sweet talked Bella into letting me milk her a little to take the pressure off her udder. Yes, it IS possible to milk an alpaca, she even seemed to appreciate it after she figured out what I was doing. After all, I’ve nursed two babies myself, so I told her I knew exactly how she felt.
Luckily, Augie was still very interested in nursing, even though I’d given him a few ounces of warm goat milk. He kept trying to show her he was her same sweet baby from that afternoon.
I tiptoed outside 3 times that night. I spied on them from behind a tree. I felt like a private detective! I milked Bella a little bit again, but didn’t empty her because I wanted to leave some for Augie.
It worked!!! By morning, they were back to nursing and nuzzling. Thank heaven it was just a long night, not a long nightmare.
Lesson learned, let mother nature work her magic. 43 degrees is not cold to an alpaca!November 18, 2009 12:00 am