Ok, so saying in my last blog that nobody was looking remotely like having a baby was tempting fate. It had to happen and it did!
My most favourite alpaca in the whole wide world, Lily, popped out a beautiful black female yesterday lunchtime. Sired by the magnificent Lillyfield Jack of Spades of Inca.
Sue and I both thought she was up to something first thing in the morning and once Sue went to work I armed myself with binoculars and a bucket of coffee and watched and waited. After two hours of mooching around sniffing the ground, rolling, flaking out in the sun and looking ready to go Lily rejoined the herd and they went into the shed to get out of the sun.
I watched some cricket, checking on Lily every 15 minutes or so. Nothing happening, so at midday I nipped out to the butcher, I'd only be gone for 45 minutes. I think you can guess what I found on my return. She must have been watching me!
When I got back she had just given birth to a beautiful black girl, weighing in at a respectable 9.1kg. She was very strong and was up and running within 30 minutes but could she find the milk? No people, she couldn't find the milk.
Sue returned from work at 2pm and we watched her together, she tried to suckle from everyone and everything apart from where she should be suckling.
We don't like to intervene unless we have to and we wanted to give her every chance to find the right place herself so we watched and waited. She was strong, she was running around, it should only be a matter of time.
I then had to pick up Angus and take him for his tennis lesson in Salisbury (Oh Daahhhling your backhand is sublime - look he's seven, he wants to try every sport going so no comments about the tennis lesson).
Anyway when I got back, the little monkey, now 4 and a half hours old, had still not had her first drink. Time for intervention.
Sue had got Lily and cria into the shed before I got home, cut down the space, stop her running around, concentrate the mind, that was the plan. We watched and waited, we both had our knees sucked, the walls got sucked, most of Lily got sucked she just couldn't find the teats. We tried holding Lily and fixing her on ourselves but Lily kept lying down. After half an hour Sue went off to get a bottle, we would milk Lily if we couldn't get her on.
Whilst Sue was away Lily and I had a little calm chat. We've been through a lot together, me and my Lil, Sue says that Lily and I have a bond. She says Lily trusts me. I think she does. It's a love thing.
Anyway we had a chat and I gently pushed the little one in the right area and held her there. Lily turned and looked at me, our noses only a few inches apart, we stayed motionless as the cria nuzzled around. We looked at each other, she knew what was supposed to be happening, we waited and after a few minutes the little sucky thing found the things she was supposed to be sucking. The glorious sound of a cria suckling. She had a good feed and that was that.
Then she got licked clean by Lily.
We have named her Patou Runa, which is a name with origins both in Scandinavia and from the Quechua people of South America. According to wikepedia there is a Japanese pornstar called Runa but we'll try to forget that!