A lot can happen in a short period. Trust your instincts. Mind your peripheral vision.
I was preparing to head into town this morning, getting into the ute, when I looked up and saw Tessa on the ridge, about 100 meters away. My instincts immediately said something was up. It is not unusual for heavily pregnant females to “act funny” in their last month or so. They groan. They stand in strange postures. They lie down- often in weird positions. They get that “this enormous parasite inside me is squishing my organs and kicking my bladder” look. In this case there was just something different about Tessa, so I went up and checked. Sure enough, she was in labour.
So I call Maggie, as her oldest daughter Maria (age 10) wants to grow up and be a vet, and this is a great time to see something “agricultural” and learn lots.
I go back up to check on Tessa, and while I am staring at her, Evita walks by, with a head sticking out! Seems she is in labour, too!
The two gave birth 10 minutes apart. Though Evita had a head start, Tessa managed to get her baby on the ground first. Maggie and kids arrived a few minutes later- so the kids got to see freshly born alpaca, see a placenta drop, and generally learn lots about newborns. (And they loved it, as far as I can tell.)
Two girls! In ten minutes! Woot!
And I think Tessa’s new cria, Raavi, is probably the cutest cria we have ever had. Her little white boots, they slay me.
But that’s not all. It has been a busy couple of weeks. On Friday the 11th, Sugar (one of Bruce’s animals) dropped a lovely white boy, with the temporary name of “Saccharine”.
Then on Sunday the 13th , Cindy went into labour just as we were finishing up the matings and preparing to shear. It was very endearing, she wanted us there for the birth. She followed us around, and if we both tried to leave, she would hummmm most insistently! She gave birth to a lovely little light fawn girl! A Pinocchio cria of our own!
Then on Wednesday the 16th Boo gave us a brown girl! (Another Fred cria this time.) I ended up having to help pull the little girl out, as Boo didn’t seem to be trying that hard, and the labour had gone on long enough. After losing Yale 18 months ago, I decided to take no chances and began feeding little Marlett plenty of colostrum. In the days that followed, I switched her over to milk, and continue to provide plenty of supplemental nutrition. This will be Boo’s last cria, it’s off to the retirement paddock for her.
And finally, this evening we delivered 3 pet boys to a couple up the coast! Pointer is off to a new life, along with Kusunagi and Ridill. While the place is smaller (only about an acre of paddock for the ‘paca), I hope that the new owners will get in the habit of taking them walkies around the neighborhood. I expect everyone, human and camelid, would find that entertaining!