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Monday, September 30, 2013

Angel

Angel and her mom, Arianna

Angel and her mom, Arianna

Our youngest alpaca, Angel, was born on August 13th to our older dam, Arianna. A little history...Arianna came to us from an auction and is close to 14 years old. We do not know if she has ever had crias before, but suspected that she did. We registered her, but I had not really wanted to breed her. Then last summer decided to see if she would take to a breeding, in order to preserve her bloodlines.

Anyway, Angel was only a little over 13 lbs when she was born, which is small for our farm. We always weigh our newborns everyday for a couple of weeks to make sure they are gaining weight like they should. Well, after a few days, I realized that she was not gaining any weight or very little weight. I observed her nursing with Mom, but didn't seem to be nursing very long. Because of Mom's age, I decided that she was probably not producing enough milk for Angel.

So we began supplementing with a bottle. Since, Angel was still trying to nurse, we were hoping that maybe Mom's milk would come in later and we didn't want to interfere with the Mom & baby bond. We began by feeding Angel 4 times a day, and she reluctantly drank 2 to 3 ounces at a time. At weigh-ins she was gaining between 6 to 8 ounces per day. It has been a struggle, but she has been steadily gaining weight and is now up to 27+ lbs!

However, we weren't the only ones helping Arianna feed her baby... Her aunties Star and Lady, who have crias of their own have been letting Angel nurse. Star actually pushes Angel towards the 'milk bar' and has her cria, Comet nurse on the other side. Comet does not take kindly to sharing his Mom, and sometimes tries to push Angel away or nips at her ears! She is persistent though! I am sure that she will do well, now. It just goes to show that weighing your newborn alpaca cria daily does really matter!
Auntie Star and Comet

Auntie Star and Comet