Wednesday, 24 April 2013

The waiting game

Birthing season for me is both the most enjoyable part of being an alpaca breeder but also the most stressful part of being an alpaca breeder. Its the culmination of a long drawn out procedure which starts with a discussion and a lot of thought about which male to use. Then there is the putting that part into practice, releasing the chosen orgle monster onto the female. The spit-offs, the rematings, more spit-offs, pregnancy scanning, fattening up for winter and then............the long wait.

The long wait is not too bad, it is what we know we have to do. We know there will be a long wait. The problem for me is that we don't know when that long wait is going to end. I know it will end, I keep telling myself that it will end, there will be a birth, maybe it's a control thing, I have no control over that aspect of the whole procedure. I mean yesterday was a glorious warm sunny day. Did we have a birth? No of course we didn't, we need some rain and a cold wind here, that's what normally gets them popping out!

There are five large rotund females in the birthing paddock, four of them are hugely influential figures in the Patou herd, four old hands, four excellent mothers, four females who have done the business for us in the past. The race is on to see who will be first. The fifth lumpster is a first timer, Rosa.

Allow me to introduce them (Please excuse the old photographs).
Firstly we have Bannock, 343 days into her pregnancy, one of our originals and mother to my favourite alpaca in the whole wide world, Lily. Bannock is also mother to Rafiki, another favourite here. Bannock is carrying a Qjori cria for the first time. Bannock does produce for us so we are very keen to see what she will drop this year.

Next is Bobby, resident giver of the green. Bobby is 330 days in and an 'early birther' she is a very stressy hair strigger spit monster and another of our originals. A Mateus daughter, Bobby has produced some crackers for us in the past, Ruby-May, Poppy, Penny and Sabrina have all been lovely females. Bobby is also pregnant to Qjori for the first time.

Then there is Fifi. Absolutely gorgeous and a real favourite. Fifi is also 343 days in and has produced two lovely boys for us so she owes us a female this year. Fifi is the heaviest framed female that we have and she is also pregnant to Qjori for the first time. Very excited about this birth, very.

Another of or big hitters, Poppy. Poppy has been baking for 341 days and is the mother of Roger Resilient who is off to Ireland this week. Poppy is pregnant to Qjori for the second time. Last year she produced Thor (God of Thunder) from a Qjori mating and he looks very promising. This year's birth will be interesting.

Finally the last of the first batch of birthers is Rosa. Rosa is a first time mother and is the fattest alpaca we have. We have tried slimming her down but she just stays fat on grass alone. What can you do? She is 338 days into her pregnancy and if we are to get a problem it will probably be her, having said that she is a big framed girl so she should be ok. She is a Columbus girl and this will be the first Columbus/Qjori cross we have had so we are very interested to see what result we get.

Right must get back to my window, there's watching to be done.


Unknown said...

Ready and waiting here too...the joys of alpaca breeding!!!

Bev said...

Nerve wracking! Hope they all pop out easily and land safely..

Rosemary said...

The lack of control gets me as well - not as if you can give them a nice hot curry or a bumpy ride in a landrover to speed them on their way!

Apple Vale Alpacas said...

I'm glad you have a 'fatty' too.