Here I sit in my office. It's killing me this morning as I look outside and see blue sky, green grass, yellow daffodils, and trees budding, finally! It has been a long winter. I must get outside. Working out of my home, owning my own business, wow, is quite a challenge. I try to be disciplined, but the fresh air is calling me.
I think I'll go out and take some pictures . . .
With Spring comes birthing season and we are very close to the arrival of our first two babies, alpacas that is, called crias. Champa and Trepeta are the first two mamas to deliver. Their due dates are April 17th and April 18th so we are very, very close!
This is Champa in her younger days. From Chile with a birth date of January 1, 1994, she is 16 years old and the oldest alpaca on our farm.
She is turning a bit gray after that many years and nine babies, that we know of. This list includes Mr. Champion, Chauncey, Cacao Chapaco, Devonshire Cream, Cream Dee'la Cream, Rae of Light, Cinnabar, Discovery, and Unlimited Joy. She is the matriarch of our herd.
Trepeta is a younger girl, in the prime of her production years. Her heritage is Peru and she comes from some famous bloodlines. She is one pretty girl!
This picture is before she was shorn that very first time.
She has had one baby, a female whose name is Ditto, because she looks just like her mom!
Both Champa and Trepeta have slowed down in the last few weeks, spend more time laying around, tend to separate from the herd, and are a little irritable when another alpaca gets in their space. I've seen some rolling going on as they help to get those babies in position to deliver them.
I have lots of windows in my kitchen and I have a great view of the pasture right behind the house. That is where I keep our "maternity ward", the moms with new babies and those getting ready to have babies. I can watch from a distance so as not to make them nervous.
Most times the birth of a new cria happens just the way it is supposed to. I often think I need to be there to help but sometimes too much human intervention causes more problems than it helps.
It is a miracle to me each time that all falls into place, and most times it does happen just the way it is supposed to. Just like our own lives . . .
Moms usually give birth standing, once the head and front legs are out mom takes a break, baby hangs there a short while which allows fluid to drain from the lungs.
Gently the baby slides to the ground. I do like to slide a blanket under baby before she hits the ground, probably not necessary, no one does it in the wild, but I feel better. . .
She squirms around and must figure out how to get to her feet to find something to eat, in order to survive.
Within an hour a new cria is on her feet, has met mom . . .
After eleven plus months of waiting, it is still exciting to anticipate the birth of new babies. Witnessing the birth is a privilege.