Thursday 11 September 2014

Apple Vale Flamenco arrives.

Yesterday morning, during this warm September spell, Golden Delicious went into labour, and I was able to 'race' home from work to witness/assist in the birth. I arrived to find a little nose-shaped swelling from the rear - Delicious had spent a lot of time rolling, and her waters had broken before Joy 'phoned me - within minutes, a black nose poked through, and then several minutes later, a head appeared, and a mouth gasped as the membranes cleared away. Around ten minutes passed, and the head descended, and occasionally flicked, splaying its ears out, so we knew the cria was lively, showing more neck...but no feet...moments later one foot came out but not the other, and it was immediately apparent we could have a problem. I 'phoned the vet, knowing it would take some time for them to reach us, and Joy donned the gloves and lubed up, we approached Delicious and she was happy for me to hold her - alpacas often know when they need your help - Joy located the front leg, and felt around to find the back leg, just to be sure she had located the correct one. Contractions began squeezing against Joys' arm, and it became apparent that the leg could not be straightened to come out, without pushing the neck and head back, but she was too far out - Delicious had laid down by now, and the change in position allowed Joy to keep the leg pressed close to the body as the cria was delivered - it was a light brown or fawn female, and 11.45, and Apple Vale Flamenco had arrived. (tonight, Joys thighs and knees are aching from the strain!)
 We drew back to allow mother and cria to bond. Delicious continued to sit for a while, and the cria made efforts to sit, succeeding quite quickly - then she started struggling to stand, but the leg which had been kept back would not open, so she lost balance, rolled a few times, and eventually began to shuffle around on her front knees - we decided we couldn't let her carry this on for long, as she wouldn't be able to feed, and she might just get used to it - so we lifted her, and held her steady to eases the lower leg joint into use (a bit like when you've slept in an awkward position, it takes a while). Gradually, she staggered about as the leg began to work. She clearly had lots of energy, as she continued to walk, then run about. We sat for three and a half hours anxiously hoping for the first feed, while she went around and around, sucking mothers fleece, disappearing into her front groin, coming out of the back - we started thawing plasma, made enquiries to try and locate bovine colostrum, and Joy went and bought goats milk - we didn't want to be caught out late in the day. Fifteen minutes after Joy left, her heaad disappeared high up into the udder region, and my heart lifted - she spent at least ten minutes up there. She had two more feeds an hour and a half later. We breathed sighs of relief.
She weighed in at 6.4kg. As a cria, Golden Delicious had to be bottle fed, to supplement her mums supply, after a plasma transfusion, when we realised from IGG tests that she hadn't had much Passive Transfer of Immunity. So, Flamenco is a third generation to be born here, and her sire is EPC Columbus of Patou, now owned by us here, and he's done a great job! She has his'smile', viewed from the side.
The class of 2014: Florina, Flamenco, Fortune & Fiesta


  1. And she is beautiful! A great story very well told, well done to all!

  2. Congratulations...breath out! We have had two actually delivered with legs back this year for the first time. Lots of lube and patience, and with the leg pushed closely in. No tearing of particularly painful deliveries (well that's my opinion!)

  3. Congratulation for this beautiful little baby alpaca. we are delighted for you and wish to come back as soon as possible. My little yarnshop will be open in november and we are happy to offer also alpaca.