Has been a sad week here on the farm. We have always been lucky to have mostly easy births with our girls, and had never lost any babies.
With alpaca pregnancies lasting a year it’s a long wait to see the results of your breeding decisions. Then in the last weeks there is a lot of time monitoring for labor. Alpacas are stoic animals so most signs are subtle. It helps to know individual routines, but they can still trick you. It is lots of fun though to watch the babies move around inside and wonder what they will be. They can come in any color, and you never know what you’ll get. Then are they boys or girls?
So that’s what’s been going on the last 2 months, watching routines, bellies and bottoms for changes. This week though we’ve been reminded that there are never any guarantees. GiGi had a hard labor and we found that we had our first breech baby. She had her little back legs folded under her and there was no way she was going to fit that way. I tried to reposition her, and was able to get her out, but she didn’t make it. She was a pretty black girl, just what we wanted. Luckily mom is doing fine, other than mourning for her baby.
That was on Sunday. On Monday Cammie was in labor and I was hoping for an easy birth. Unfortunately her baby was 25 pounds and although he was coming the right way, I had to free his elbows before he could fit out. He was huge! I was immediately worried when his head came out and I saw no signs of life. Usually once the head is out they are moving and start breathing. I just couldn’t believe- another loss! He was a pretty boy with fawn and white locks. Again luckily mom is fine.
This is why I always try to be there when they have their babies. 95% of the time everything is normal, but you never know when something will go wrong. Although we lost the babies, both moms were saved. The up side is I’ve learned some things, that will hopefully help next time there is a difficult birth, and there are still 2 healthy babies running, playing and growing. Lily and Antigua are due next week and are looking good. So hoping the bad streak is gone and we have 2 good births, and healthy moms and babies.