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!
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.