Sunday, September 30, 2007

A new Alpaca arrival!

And here she is! Narya, named after Gandalf's ring, in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Thank you Silfiriel for this beautiful name!

Narya made her appearance on my birthday, which was fabulous. This is too funny, because this is actually the third cria born on my birthday in the 8 years we have been breeding! And they have all been girls too, which is such a blessing. First there was Arwen Undomiel in 2000- who you see as my profile picture. Then there was Rosie Cotton last year, and now Narya!
Cool beans methinks.

So, what now follows is a photo montage of her birth, enjoy!

Her first appearance, the amniotic fluid filled sac, with just a hint of her nose all pink showing. This is when the alpaca owner starts playing the "Guess that color" game! So far, so good, this is what we want to see.
After the sac ruptures, you should see the head present- nose and toes we call it- so far, right on! Trouble starts when you see feet first with no head, or don't see any progression at all after the pushing starts.
This cracked me up. Here she is, nose and toes (and legs) sticking out, and Lady G. is having a snack without a care in the world!! HA!
This is textbook presentation, very, very good. After the cria stayed there for a while, I thought Lady G. would appreciate a little help. The chest cavity of an alpaca cria is actually the largest part of the body to deliver, and sometimes they need just a little gentle traction. Seeing as how this was Lady G.'s first birth, I thought I would help. So I pulled carefully during a big push, and out she came!
Funny how first timers always deliver right by the poo pile, they think they have a big poo to push out! LOL
All crias are wobbly at first, some more than others. They have been so cramped in there that usually they take a day or so to straighten out, sometimes longer. They can have loosey-goosey ligaments, or sometimes contracted tendons from their position in the womb. After about 35 births, I can tell who has trouble beyond the norm, and who doesn't. Narya has some trouble with being a bit down on her pasterns, with her ligaments loose in the front legs, and a little tight in the back. Notice how her back legs aren't straight? All this will straighten (no pun intended) itself out in time, without any manipulation from me. She was a bit dysmature, not in days as she was born at 339 days gestation, so well within normal limits, but her teeth are not erupted and her legs tell me she was perhaps not completely done cooking in the oven. This happens sometimes.
Here she is saying hello to the group. Mom and she were placed in a smaller pen to bond together. You can see Rosie's black head and Elbereth's fawn one hanging over the panels. All the other alpacas are very curious when a new cria is born, and they sometimes make nuisances of themselves, getting in the way of nursing and knocking over the new babe. My llama boy Mithril is their "nanny guardian" and he was very, very sweet with her!
Trying to get the hang ov nursing, and this is where I first got my hunch she might have some trouble. See, she was a bit too wobbly to be able to stay under mom in the correct position and latch on to a teat. Combine that with Lady G. who has a huge udder, and her teats were so engorged Narya couldn't latch on to them. It got freezing here, of course! So we put on a coat for her, but as you can see, she is much smaller than the smallest (warm) coat we had! So we wrapped her in a wool scarf, put the coat over that, and I put a sock on her neck (can't see it in this picture).
She won't give up on nursing though, and that's wonderful! So, in concern that she wouldn't get adequate colostrum from mom in that most crucial 24 hour time period, we supplemented her with cow's colostrum every 2 hours all day and night. Saturday morning Lady G's udder was so engorged, we had to put hot packs on it and massage it for her to relieve some of the pressure. Narya was still too wobbly to latch on, and was getting lethargic, so we started tubing, vs bottle feeding her as she wasn't drinking any more voluntarily, with the colostrum and goats milk to get her jump started. The first 48 hours is so scary. Lady G. is an excellent first time momma, and clicks and nudges her babe into the right position to nurse, then stands like a statue while the baby sucks on and licks everywhere just trying to get it right, but if the cria isn't able to stay in that position, or latch on- she will be in serious trouble.

After a successful day of tube feeding, and a weight gain of 1/4 lb, I believe Narya is out of the woods, and we will continue to supplement her as needed, but mommas udder is starting to soften up, and baby is only getting stronger. Her legs are straightening up nicely, and we expect mom and baby both to be a great team within a few days.
Here she is this morning, without her coat and enjoying the sunshine!
I hope you enjoyed Narya's birthing experience, and now I am breathing a sigh of relief, as I know her first hurdle is over. With a cria who doesn't get mother's colostrum in the first 24 hours, there is always a risk or FTT- Failure to Thrive, which means the cria did not get adequate antibody transfers. This condition can cause the cria to be susceptible to infection and the risk of sudden death goes up dramatically.
With us getting colostrum in her, starting her on antibiotics, and tubing her regularly, she has a good chance to bypass this condition.
I always say 7 days is the clincher. After 7 days of life, I rest easy. So, I will pray, and we will all see Narya next week, healthy and strong!


Casdok said...

Wow,the miricle of life!

Raymond said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Easybreathingfella said...

Hi Rachelle,

Just found your blog through Shrinky's. Really like your work great pictures, hope all goes well for the little gal.

On another subject however, I think your tirade on BBC was fantastic and well justified. I have also taken the prat to task.

He is the sort of pillock(first class full weight idiot) that gives us fella's a bad name.

I look forward to dropping in on you again in the near future.

Very best regards,


Gattina said...

How happy I am just to pop in in the right moment ! Congratulations ! That's also the first time I see a mum eating on the front side while baby is coming out at the back, lol ! I just imagine a woman eating her Spaghettis while giving birth ! The little one looks so cute !

Thanks for your comment on my Cat blog, the header is not painted but it is a picture which I transformed a bit.

Steve Patterson said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...


That is funny that the first one is born near the poo pile. Surprise!

Rachelle said...

sorry everyone, I seem to be getting hit by a spammer who followed me here from "he-who-will-not-be-named"'s site.

To you spammers, you know who you are and you, and your 'founder's' site will be reported today.

Rachelle said...

Dear Casdok,
Hello again :))
Yes, this is the best time of the year, every year!

Rachelle said...

Dear Keith,
Woo-hoo!! I read it, and good for you!
I am glad someone finally took him to task, he was getting very annoying.
I am pretty tolerant, but not at the expense of my friend's. Especially when they are in such a fragile state.

Glad to see you here! Off to visit you now :))

Rachelle said...

Dear Gattina,
Yes! You have perfect timing my dear :))
well, you did a wonderful job with the cat header, it looks like a painting!
Always glad to see you here, and kiss Arthur for me!

Rachelle said...

Dear Chewy,
Yup, that's one, ginormous poo huh?

silfiriel said...

Dare to ask, am I the spammer? 'cause my comment was deleted.

Victorya said...

oh my! such a wonderful story that will hopefully have a happy ending. They are all so sweet looking! I hope she she latcehs on soon.

B.T.Bear (esq.) said...

Oh my!

I must confess, I felt a littol bit kweezy wen I sor the ferst few foto's. My mumma Bear never told us wher we cayme from. Not reelly. Cubs happen wen the mumma Bear's hibernaytin, yu see. She thort Farther Crismoss had brort us.

Enyway, yes, I thort it waz very funny abowt thinkin it waz a big poo an bein neer the poo pile wen she arrived! HAHAHA!

I think she looks very cute. I wish I cud hav seen her wiv a sok on her hed. That must hav been funny.

Give her lots ov Bear hugs from me an the other Bears an a eer rub from Dilly. I think alpacas ar grayte. I've never seen a grumpy alpaca. Or llama.

Thank yu fer sharin this!


Helena said...

I stayed with a friend of mine when she was in labour- 13 hours- and then when she went for a caesarian. After about 7 hours ahe was hungry (as was I!) so we sat there munching cheese scones.

The result of all this, a little girl called Hazel, loves cheesey things.

Do do dooo do do do dooo do (Twilight Zone music)

I love this photo's. OK to put one on my site, with a link back to you???

THanks for making me smile!

Helena said...

(I mean, 7 hours into labour, not 7 hours into the caesarian. The baby was big but not THAT big)

Sandy Kessler said...

I'm so educated thanks to you ,,I love this blog and this baby !!!

singleton said...

OMG! I had no idea they were pregnant for forever! And still no teeth! This is just amazing, it's like watching butterflies be born! Beautiful!
Peace, love my friend, and health for your new little one!

Rachelle said...

Dear Silfiriel,
Heavens no!! You are NOT the spammer, and I didn't delete anything that had your name on it! Nor did I see anything with your name until this one. The two I deleted were definitely NOT you.
You are Narya's godfather, you are NOT a spammer, and are ALWAYS welcome to post here :))

I have posted a comment on a blog occasionally and had it not show up. Try again okay?

Shrink Wrapped Scream said...

Oh my darling Rachelle, how wonderful! Thank you for sharing such a precious arrival with us - isn't she gorgeous? And on your birthday, too! You must be exhausted by now - I'm sending lots of warm thoughts out to both of you special ladies (get some rest, now)..

I'm sorry about the spammers - no good deed goes unpunished, eh? ((hugs))

Victorya said...

I keep coming back to that sweet face, she looks so cuddly! Warm wishes and prayers still being sent from here.

silfiriel said...

phew! I know I am not, I just thought you think I am by some crazy chance. So, Narya Welcome to this beautiful world! and Happy Birthday Rachelle!

p.s. It's not fair you get the best birthday presents :)

Rachelle said...

Dear Victorya,
Well, things are certainly looking up! She has decided she wants to live, and that she like to drink from the syringe or bottle- so no more tubing for now!
Thanks for the visit, and take care of you!

Rachelle said...

Dear Bob,
Well, of course little bears come from Father Christmas! They are too special to deliver any other way.
Only alpacas, llamas, and other animals come this way.
:)) Your mummy is very smart that one!

Sorry to gross you out, sometimes I get grossed out too! LOL
Thanks for the visit, you always make me smile :))

Rachelle said...

Dear Helena,
Forgive me, I'm going into a flashback....
*cue music and apppropriate sound effects*

18 hours of labor, back labor from 1st contraction.... no dilation, c-section, 10 lb 7 ounces later - Codi!
Worth it, but boy- don't want to do THAT again!! LOL

Thanks for the flashback :))
mmmmm.... cheese scones....

Rachelle said...

Dear Singleton,
Yup- 11 1/2 months. Usually their front teeth are all present and accounted for at birth, here it is 4 days later and hers have broken through the gums! :))
Peace-love and clinks right back atcha kiddo!

Rachelle said...

Dear Carol,
Hi there you happy lady you!!
We both have something to celebrate right now, don't we?

Sleep, bah! It's highly over-......zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz....snort
Oops! rated that is.
I'll sleep when I'm dead. LOL

Rachelle said...

Dear Silfiriel,
Okay, now you are starting to sound like me!! LOL!!

Don't worry, if someone has done something to offend me, I will tell them, just ask Shrink! he-he

You my friend, are priceless- and everyone else? Check out his traveler blog, too cool!! The pictures and info are simply splendid.
See you soon!

Rachelle said...

Hi again Victorya :)) Me too.
I just got some new pics I will be putting up soon!

Anonymous said...

About time someone took him down. - Cheers to Keith! Our knight in shining armor. Woo-Hoo! (wink-wink)

Anonymous said...

Oh, I just returned from his site. I see you and Shrinky had words for him also. Cheers to you all!

karoline said...

yayyyyyyy narya!!!!!

wonderful pics and post and i lmao at ma tyin' on the feedbag with baby peepin' out the back..lolol!

thankyou for sharing rachelle! nose nuzzles for narya and mama and heck, you too rachelle!


B.T.Bear (esq.) said...

I just popt bak over fer another look at her. That expreshun maykes me go all tingly. Heheheeeee.

Gattina said...

I love to make headers and as you liked so much mine I did one for you with pictures I found on your blog. But now I have a problem, I don't have your email address so if you want to see what I did, you have to give me yours. To put it on the blog there is no problem with the new blogger system. If you don't like it or if you keep your blog as it is no problem for me, lol !

Gattina said...

That would be my birthday gift !

mrsnesbitt said...

That was just so lovely!
Thanks for sharing such lovely piccies.


Mousie/Paisible said...

that's just computer had a big problem and when it fully recovers what do I see !!!a new little one is born ! your photos are so great dear...thank you so much for sharing must be very moving to watch are mum and daughter now ? and Rachelle sorry I didn't wish you your birthday...i wish you love and peace and sun and many many nice healthy little crias !!! I keep you all in my thoughts, much love from Mousie

dawn said...

Oh my God Rachelle these are amazing pictures and a great post. You have a really nice life now. It must be wonderful watching these babies grow up. Thanks

Catmoves said...

Rachelle, I know I made a comment about this post, but it seems it has never appeared. Have you run your spyware program lately? I use Adaware and it's great.

itisthelittlethings said...

Thank you so much for a wonderful pictoral view of something I wouldn't see in regular life. Wow. Life is amazing, isn't it?

Gattina said...

I sent you a mail with the header, but I don't know if you got it, because of your spam protection, I hope I filled everything in correctly because I had never experienced such a thing, lol !

Shrink Wrapped Scream said...

Psst - you okay?? (hugs)

Anonymous said...