Something new every day must be a good thing. I must believe this and embrace my new found knowledge on a daily basis.
Regular readers may know that we have been through the mill a bit this year with the birthing and so today when the torrential rain was driving in at a 45 degree angle, all day, surely we were due for some action.
Or a new learning experience which is what I now call these 'episodes'.
So at ten o'clock I braved the rain again to check on the girls. Penny politely pooped in front of me then hurled herself to the floor and rolled, and it wasn't in a 'look at me I'm having fun' type of way. No it was in a 'Hang on a minute me old china something isn't quite right here and it is causing me some discomfort' type of way. Penny has been baking a Qjori cria for 340 days.
I observed, I've done a lot of that recently. She rolled again. I returned home and conferred with Mrs S. We then both observed. Time to investigate we both agreed.
If we had to pick one female alpaca who we didn't want to have to examine internally it would be Patou Penelope. Penny was born into the 'Hair-trigger spit monster family' and after studying her family's behaviour she decided that she should and could take it up a level. She did, in grand style and ever since she has been the most spitty alpaca in the herd. She also kicks like a mule, sometimes at nothing at all, she does it just for fun. She also is the loudest screecher. We don't have a decibel meter here in Patouland but I might get one. I am sure she is breaking some sort of legislation when she is on full throttle. In short, Penny, who has a fabulous fleece by the way, is a bit of a pig to deal with.
Now luckily with my big mits I am excused internal examinations. Sue being a midwife has teeny tiny touchy feely hands and is much better suited. Sue will tell you that internally examining a human and an alpaca are a long way apart on the similarity stakes. Apparently in humans Sue either feels the top of a big head or a bum. In alpacas there are legs and necks everywhere. Well ok, only one neck but it is very different.
Anyway suitably lubed up Sue 'went in'. Immediately she declared 'It feels like a torsion'. Seconds later I was on to the vet. We haven't had one of these before, we needed help. The lovely Louise was soon on her way.
Fortunately, yesterday we had put up our 4 x 8 metre marquee in readiness for shearing. We are supposed to be shearing on Sunday. The weather forecast looks set for driving rain all day. Shearing, schmearing, more chance of me growing a third arm!
Anyway Louise arrived and agreed with Sue's assessment, we had a twisted uterus or a uterine torsion as I have since learned.
We untwisted it. Yes, we put Penny down and stretched her out using my shearing ropes, placed a wide plank across her abdomen and untwisted her. It was amazing! Louise 'went In' and declared that the twist was out and that she could feel a head. No feet, but a head. We retreated for coffee and when we returned the feet had joined the head in the birthing canal. Should we wait or get it out? We chose to wait. We wanted Penny to do it herself.
At 4pm Penny gave birth naturally on her own. Another smashing brown Qjori boy.
He weighed in at 9.58kg, a big 'un, but he was up on his feet in ten minutes and he had his first feed inside 15 minutes.
NOW WHY CAN'T THEY ALL DO THAT?????
Here he is with Mrs S looking fabulous in an orange ski jacket (we had both soaked several jackets during the day!)
The jury is still out on the name. When I checked him at 8pm he was charging around in the shed. He is going to be fine. I am sure a name will be forthcoming in the morning.