Monday, 9 June 2014

Nina and Rosalind share

Rosalind, a pretty white young female, pregnant for the first time, gave birth to a lovely female cria last week.  Rosalind has already been sold but she was so close to her expected date that she has stayed on the farm until the cria is old enough to travel and she has been re-mated.

All was going really well except that Rosalind objected to staying in the barn even though all the other females welcomed the chance to get out of the torrential rain.  Even if there were other alpacas in with her she tried to get out, so we could not risk shutting her in.  Must have been her hormones, because we have not noticed any unusual behavior before.The poor little cria (yet to be named) spent more time wet than dry for the first few hours of her little life.

As the herd was shorn recently we have been more concerned than usual about them getting a soaking, but it cannot always be avoided.  At the weekend I noticed that Angelina, Nina's cria, now three weeks old, was milk banditing Rosalind, who seemed happy to feed her own cria and Angelina too.  Maybe with the rain the two cria had lost some of their individual scent, and definitely feeding from the wrong Mum would have changed Angelina's smell.

I became more concerned when it became obvious that it was not just a once off and Nina was walking away whenever Angelina tried to suckle.  We took Nina into the barn and I checked her udder.   She seemed to have a little milk but her udder was warmer that it should be and I suspected mastitis so gave her a shot of anti-biotic.

Despite separating the two Mums, Nina still did not seem to want to feed Angelina, so we called the vet this morning.  He gave her some more antibiotic and medication to help her milk flow although he did not rule out mastitis altogether.  We have now split the females so that both Rosalind and Nina have some company but the cria cannot do any swapping!!  After the vet left Mike held Nina whilst I held Angelina so that she would suckle and since then I have seem her feeding her baby in the paddock.

She still has a few doses of medication, but the future is looking better.

No comments: