It was chilly, damp and overcast this morning. So much fog that we could only see a few hundred feet. I did as I normally do... answered a few emails, made sure my software tools were working properly and that there were no big issues going on. I did a few other day job related things, then went out to complete my farm chores.
Frieda has been uncomfortable for the last several weeks. I gave her an exam last Sunday which confirmed she was still at least several days from delivering. But this morning, she was especially uncomfortable and all of the right things were swollen and elongated in all of the right places.
I sent a text to Hubba telling him that I thought Frieda would deliver either today or tomorrow. He texted me back asking if I ever heard of the little girl who cried "wolf!"? But then cut his errand-running short and came home.
He agreed that she was in labor and a few minutes later we saw the nose and toes starting to poke out.
He collected the dogs while I watched Frieda to make sure everything was progressing and finish cleaning up the corral.
Things were going along just fine, then I saw that the left leg was not fully presented. The cria was stuck!
I made Hubba hold Frieda while I pushed the cria back and got both legs loose. (Yes, my hand was up in there.) We let her continue but then the cria was gasping for air and Frieda was no longer pushing. I intervened again, was able to rotate the cria enough to pull her out.
Frieda was pretty exhausted and not very interested in the cria at first.
As I said, it was a chilly morning and the cria was shivering. So I got a few towels and eventually a hair dryer to dry the little one off and warm her up. It was only when I started the hair dryer that Frieda was concerned about what I was doing and that perhaps that I was doing her job.
So I backed off and let Frieda tend to her new little one.
By this time the sun had burned off the fog and everything was just a little warmer.
The cria is a fighter and got up to her feet rather quickly. It took her a little time to figure out which alpaca was momma and Frieda was not too excited about the whole nursing thing. So again, I got Hubba to hold her, guided the cria to the milk bar and held Frieda's back-end so the cria could drink.
It took a little more time, but the two of them have figured it out now.
Intervention during an alpaca birth is rarely necessary. This was my first time. I am grateful to have been there at the exact right time and grateful to have had Neo-Natal training. It all came back very clearly and I was able to calmly do what I needed to do.
The two of them are doing well now.
All of the dogs have met her, but it will be another day or two until we leave them all together, unsupervised. This is only Wonton and Noodle's second experience with cria and the two of them, especially Noodle, are still a bit rambunctious for me to feel comfortable.
She is out of our grey, Smokey's Bandit at Pastoral Profits, and Alpacamundo's Frieda. She is Frieda's first cria.
We have decided to call her Holly... Alpacamundo's Holly. :-)