The before and after…

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Whilst we managed to give Chris, our visiting vet student, plenty of hands on alpaca experience during his week’s placement; he unfortunately didn’t get to witness a birth. Of course as soon as he had gone they came…

Sunday turned into a bit of a chaotic day. Paul went off on a seven hour trip mobile mating. Leaving me to manage two drive-by matings in the morning, and three early afternoon. All quite managable…after all it is the boys who do the work…and no births were due. Of course it never quite works like that with alpacas. As soon as Paul had left I was certain that Ep Cambridge Sparkle (sire: NWA Ruffo) had gone into labour at 325 days gestation. However, despite obvious labour pains we had no pushing. So it was in the middle of the afternoon matings, we had to call the vet to give a helping hand. We (that being me and our client who had come for matings) could feel the head was wedged in the pelvic area, but neither of us could free it. Fortunately our vet had more success, and pulled out a beautiful female cria. Poor Sparkle was given some Flunixin and antibiotics and a gold star. The plan had been to transfuse the cria with plasma, but with two different vets trying to access a vein and failing, we had to leave it. She did drink from mum okay, but we would have liked to have covered her due to her being premature. However, she has gained weigh well and is looking strong.

We have named her Glitterati Girl. When looking through the photos I realised that I had only taken one of her fleece, and another of her bottom…I was checking to see if she was constipated (she was and had soapy enema). Although she looks white on the photos, she is beige.

Beck Brow Glitterati Girl sired by Beck Brow Explorer. Dam Ep Cambridge Sparkle

Beck Brow Glitterati Girl sired by Beck Brow Explorer. Dam Ep Cambridge Sparkle

Beck Brow Glitterati Girl

Beck Brow Glitterati Girl

Yesterday it was the turn of Ep Cambridge Scarborough. Scarborough came in for her morning feed, and had her head in the trough when I saw that she gave a push. The next I looked, there was a head and two legs out. Ten minutes later and a lovely brown female was born in the barn!

Ep Cambridge Scarborough with her Waradene St Patrick daughter (at 2 hours)

Ep Cambridge Scarborough with her Waradene St Patrick daughter (at 2 hours)

Beck Brow are now at 10 boys and 9 girls, however we have 33 cria on the farm altogether (so far) and the girls are winning overall.

We have dithered for a couple of years…to cria shear or not to cria shear…

Against:

We live ‘up north’ not just up north but in the north west…it rains…alot!

We have some beautiful cria fleeces this year…what are we doing shearing off the best fleece they will ever have?

For:

So many of our cria fleeces are not fit for processing nor showing because the amount of debris they attract

For the show late in the season our cria fleece are usually passed their best.

Having considered the pros and cons, and armed with masses of cria coats just in case, Ben our sheared paid us a visit last night. We sheared our cria over one month of age (13) plus three on farm for matings. It all went very smoothly. The dams and cria were quickly reunited after shearing to avoid any rejections. The maidens were brilliant, on;ly Galaxy got a bit confused for a while but she is an airhead at the best of times (adorable with it)

Some before and after shots…

Three Timbertop Goldmine progeny: Applause, Yoko and On the Money (left to right)

Three Timbertop Goldmine progeny: Applause, Yoko and On the Money (left to right)

SONY DSC

Byker and Match Point

Beck Brow Chocks Away with a Kingwell female (both Timbertop Goldmine) were deemed to young to be shorn.

Beck Brow Chocks Away with a Kingwell female (both Timbertop Goldmine) were deemed to young to be shorn.

The morning after…

Beck Brow Applause (sire: Timbertop Goldmine)

Beck Brow Applause (sire: Timbertop Goldmine)

Beck Brow Bedazzle (sire: Beck Brow Explorer) with Morden Hall Honaria

Beck Brow Bedazzle (sire: Beck Brow Explorer) with Morden Hall Honaria

Beck Brow On The Money (sire: Timbertop Goldmine) Love his colour!

Beck Brow On The Money (sire: Timbertop Goldmine) Love his colour!

Beck Brow Tutu another Goldmine cria was the youngest to get shorn.

Beck Brow Tutu another Goldmine cria was the youngest to get shorn.

Beck Brow Game On and The Jeepster (both sired by Waradene St Patrick)

Beck Brow Game On and The Jeepster (both sired by Waradene St Patrick)

Beck Brow Wasabi (sired by Beck Brow Explorer). We were all impressed by this beige boy when shorn...look at the soft rolling skin on the neck...this boy is dense. Dam Ep Cambridge Courtesse.

Beck Brow Wasabi (sired by Beck Brow Explorer). We were all impressed by this beige boy when shorn…look at the soft rolling skin on the neck…this boy is dense. Dam Ep Cambridge Courtesse.

Our granddaughter Hettie is a real animal lover, and of course it is no surprise that this includes alpacas…

Hettie and Prima Junior

Hettie and Prima Junior

It is amazing how quickly we have added colour into our herd. So far we have had more brown cria born than white. Explorer has only given us one white so far (The Strategist) and three beige (although one may lighten to white). I am still a firm lover of elite white fleece, so looking forward to those still to birth.

Katkin (centre) was one of our foundation females. We no longer breed from her as she develpoed some arthritis a couple of years ago and hasnt a great milk supply post mastitis. However she is good for creche  duties!

Katkin (centre) was one of our foundation females. We no longer breed from her as she develpoed some arthritis a couple of years ago and hasnt a great milk supply post mastitis. However she is good for creche duties!

A full weekend of matings booked again. The boys are working so hard, I think we might need to be on the lookout for some additions to the stud for next year…

Categories: Blog

4 comments

  1. Dave says:

    Lovely photos (of lovely cria) as always Barbara. What proportion of your cria would you say suffer constipation? Our most recent cria, Gala, appeared to be standing prone at the latrine for a long time, on a couple of occasions, but did eventually pass stools, without intervention. What do you use as a ‘measure’ of constipation? I wonder if we should have intervened.

    • Barbara says:

      It isn’t often we have to intervene and I expect this cria would have managed eventually, but it can stop them feeding if they are uncomfortable and this was a premature cria so wanted to ensure all was fine. We do find that if we have had to feed cows colostrum that they often need a little help (partly the colostrum but often these are the crias that are a little weak anyway hence being supplemented)

  2. Judi says:

    Found you! Just need to work out how to get the PC to find you for me now!

    Interesting to see the photos of your crias shorn. Were they sheared standing or stretched? I guess if they’re sheared early enough, only the tangly tips that grab all the debris, will be lost so overall the fleeces will be nicer albeit a slightly shorter staple. After this years shearing, we are seriously considering cria shearing next year, but then it’s not quite as wet and windy over here!

    • Barbara says:

      They were shorn just as the adults, tied on shearing table. They didn’t seem to mind too much. They haven’t shown any signs of being cold, but it is only a small amount of fleece and the clippers were set at a high setting. All good so far!

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