Thursday, 2 October 2008

A weighty matter.

This week Sue and I have been injecting for Britain, ok we only have a small herd and people with hundreds of alpacas will no doubt scoff, but for us we have been doing a lot.

Firstly, on Monday we gave all this years cria (apart from Reggie) their first Blue Tongue vaccination. Very happy to report no apparent side effects.

Today we gave all the adults their lambivac injections and whilst doing that did our routine fortnightly health check. We also gave my favourite alpaca in the whole wide world another huge Nuflor injection. Poor old Lily I feel sure she will start to leak soon.

Whilst updating the records afterwards it struck me that only some of our girls lose condition whilst lactating. In fact looking at our records more closely was quite interesting. Albeit in a James May looking into the engine space of a vintage Rolls type way.

Bannock and Lily, our two lactating black girls, have lost condition quite quickly since giving birth. So has Dee our fawn girl. Both Bannock and Dee have never been fat and quickly regained condition last year once weaning started. Several of the other girls have noticeably lost weight since giving birth.

Priscilla on the other hand has been a consistent 3 and a half on the lardy scale since we got her three years ago. Her condition just doesn't waver and she is at present feeding her third Patou cria, Jonah.

Why is this? Does Priscilla eat like a hungry hippo when she is lactating? Jonah is an absolute whopper. From a birth weight of 10 kilos he passed the 22kg mark when he was just 6 weeks old!

Priscilla must be producing vast quantities of milk for him yet she remains at the same weight.
Priscilla with Jonah, aged 8 weeks. Look at the size of him, he dwarfs his fellow cria and yet is such a sweetie. We do love him, the big gullah! (that's for the benefit of any australian readers)

I suppose it's the same as people. Some are fat and some are thin. Some people eat massive amounts and never get beyond 'rake' status and I am rather rotund and yet I eat like a sparrow.

However, just in case I get invited to a readers house for any sort of meal I must point out that in the interests of being polite I like to eat large portions at other peoples houses. Please don't forget is important.
I'll also need some wine before during and afterwards and then some whisky.


lynn said...

I have every sympathy with you i am much the same as you i eat like a sparrow and am rotund... i also have the same good manners and accept hospitality by the plateful, heaven help the host that has us both at the same table............

Gerry said...

Hey Mark - if you come round to ours you can breathe the whisky in. No need to get the drinking apparatus involved! (erm if that sounds a bit odd I should say we live smack bang in between three distilleries!)

Lucy said...

Hi Mark

I think it depends on the individual. Animals and humans can lose condition and body fat just thru being pregnant, so that at the end of the process they are getting thin - and then they must make milk and that requires some extra calories. I guess if you are human you know that and can eat extra, but maybe some alpacas feel less inclined? I certainly eat a lot when breastfeeding whereas normally I would just become fat! I think it is the combined preg + lactation that has the overall effect. Some animals probably take longer to bounce back from the demands of the growing foetus. Maybe oats would be a good thing for any thinner pacas as they are a galactogogue (milk helping substance)?