The beginning of September brought about kindergarten, changing leaves, and three new alpacas.
The first birth was Rocket, a male cria born on September 5th out of Kiera. We were not expecting him to be born yet and he was already up and walking by the time we noticed him in the field. He is a little spitfire – tearing around the field and harassing all of the adult alpacas. He’s also a very big boy!
On September 6th I noticed Sharon in labor and we headed out in time to watch the entire birth. While in the field it was obvious that Kwinna was in labor as well.
Dany was born first, a female cria, out of Sharon and sired by Bolero. She is a really lovely rose grey with a big white blaze. She has a curious nature and the bossiest mom ever. She’s named after a friend, whose wedding we were missing that day.
Kwinna had a longer labor, but finally delivered a small female cria, Fire Ball. Kwinna was not producing enough milk which led to us supplementing with bottle-feeding. She was the smallest of the crias and passed away in early October, likely due to failure to thrive.
Mid-September (9/16) brought us a fourth cria, Little Amy. Our daughter had been asking to name every cria “Little Amy” and Amy helped us out by giving birth to a female with her exact coloring. Unfortunately Little Amy was born with a facial nerve paralysis affecting the left side of her head. She couldn’t close the left eye, raise her left ear, and the whole left side of her face had a sort of twist to it. The vet felt the nerve paralysis was due to either an infection or tumor/ulcer in the brain. Unfortunately Little Amy passed away after about a week of life.
On September 23rd, our only white alpaca, Pearl, gave birth to a stillborn cria. The cria was white and neither the Mr. or I remembered to check the gender before burying it. Pearl had a long labor and we ended up calling the vet out because she did not seem to be making any progress. She, of course, gave one great big push and popped everything out as soon as the vet approached.
(October note: After a string of bad luck, our last pregnant alpaca gave birth to a healthy and feisty female cria. More on that on another post.)
On the same day of Little Amy’s birth we also picked up our new-to-us tractor. I’m not sure what we’re calling her yet. Little Orange? Little Bess? Little Something-or-other. She’s a 1983 Kubota B7100 HST and she came with a box scraper as well.
The goats have been very, very naughty as goats are wont to be. Because of the drought and the exceedingly high fire danger we have been trying to limit the use of the portable electric fences until it starts raining again. Unfortunately, goats being goats, they have been climbing and pushing on the non-electric metal fencing. So, they spent some time in their stalls before we setup a new pen (aka goat jail) in our front yard. The problem with goats in the front yard is that they like to look in the windows and “meh” whenever they see you. Especially when you throw them crabapples before going inside and they want more.
(October note: It started raining and the goats have been enjoyed going back to work as brush eaters).
The chickens were released from coop arrest after one of the pullets led us to a clutch of 6 eggs in the blackberries. Egg counts plummeted again and the chickens now stay in the coop until midday. Our brown egg girls are very good about laying in the coop, but our white egg girls are very naughty.
(October note: White egg girls continue to be naughty and hide their eggs. On coop arrest again.)