Tuesday, May 27, 2008

On Sunday morning we settled on the deck with bagels and coffee, with a view to the alpacas. I'd been out on morning rounds earlier and nothing was unusual. Now I did a nose count and noticed Disa's absence, so I went to see if she was in the barn. Indeed, she was, and not alone... "There's a cria in here!"

Mike came running. The cria was very wet and cushed (sitting upright, legs tucked under), only minutes old. We toweled it off a bit so it wouldn't chill, set it on a rug to pad the concrete floor, and backed off. I hadn't checked gender yet -- too hard to see on a dark little body in a darkened barn, and I didn't want to be overly intrusive. I quelled my curiosity since my 'need to know' to Disa's celebration of what she had produced, and their need to bond.

The area quickly filled with too many aunties checking out the cria, so we moved mom and baby to a clean grassy area where the sun would help to dry the wet little creature. Finally, I peeked... it's a girl! Overjoyed, we spent the rest of the morning observing, dousing the umbilical cord, doing minimal checks -- is Disa's milk in, is baby really nursing, etc -- and making excited phone calls to folks who had been awaiting the news.

Other than for his own daughter, this is the first time Mike had been present for the birthing process. Even though we missed the actual delivery, the follow-up responsibility was a first for both of us.

She's 16.9 lbs, and our first live girl after 10 boys in a row. Gestation was 11 months 3 weeks. The placenta delivered perfectly, no prolapse (which two of our dams had before, when agisting). What a relief to have such a natural, 'normal' birth! And we're already on cria watch for the next one.

She appears to be dark rose gray, a sort of deep maroon overlaid with taupe. She has a light gray dusting on her rump and across her face and ears, and a streak on her forehead. Her sire, Aussie Rockford, is MSG (medium silver gray), and her dam is out of grays.

We're still mulling over her name...

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