"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Monday, 3 March 2014

At long last...

... Miranda gave birth to her cria at 11.00a.m. (what a civilized hour) this morning.

She had been humming strangely all morning, rolling on the ground, then getting up, then cushing, then getting up again, over and over again.  After 3 trips to the midden in quick succession we knew something was about to happen.  At 10.37 she started straining, as though she was at her midden. Initially, she was in her stable, but suddenly she walked out and went to her favourite spot between her and Kris' paddock.

Back legs straddled, neck pointing straight out horizontally, Foothills Michael started appearing, a hoof at a time.  Miranda tried to cush,  and that's when RMan stepped in...

Then we heard Michael's gasps - he's breathing... :)

A bit of assistance in helping Michael fully emerge, and it was all over within 20 minutes.
So - with no further ado, may I introduce to you all, Foothills Michael, a healthy 8.0kg bouncing, brown baby cria.
Foothills Michael in all
his cuteness
We have named him Foothills Michael in honour of our grandson, who sent me a text out of the blue this morning asking if the cria was born yet.  We have decided to keep the M-prefix so that we can identify the lineage in the future, in order to keep the bloodline clean.

I'm not going to say much now, just enjoy the pics :)
Just as he was born
Miranda checking that everything's OK with her
new son

"Hello there, my little one.  Glad to finally meet
you after all these months" :)

It's warmer for him in the stable

Michael's first steps

"Oh, wow - it's big out here.  Mum, look, oh look..."

So much to see...

Within 65 minutes of being born, Michael had
already found the midden and proceeded to
empty his bladder.

How adorable is this picture :)
 Michael coming to meet and greet his midwife
while Miranda keeps a careful eye on him.
If he wanders near Kris, Miranda immediately
runs up and steers Michael away / spits at Kris

"Mum, do you mind if I have a little rest?"

"Ah, yes - food!"
(colostrum actually, but it is vitally important
for the cria in the first 36 hours of life)
With all the heat we've had recently, Miranda chose to give birth to her son on an drizzly, overcast day when the temperature was 17oC.  Not the warmest. Shame, the little cria was shivering madly, so we boiled the kettle and wrapped towels round it, to use them to warm him up.

Within 5 minutes of being born, the cria was already attempting to stand, succeeding at that when he was 15 minutes old.

He battled to find the teats - even with RMan's "guidance" - only having his first drink at 2 hours old.  But, now he's an old pro at that already.

It is amazing.  Within 65 minutes of being born, the cria was emptying his bladder at the midden (how's that for instinct?!) and an hour and a half after being born he was already romping round the paddock.  Miranda passed her afterbirth (which must be burnt or well buried so as not to attract predators) and she's toddling round like nothing has happened.

A treat consisting of a helping of freshly grated carrot mixed with a portion of maintenance meal was scoffed down in an instant :)
You would not believe how utterly soft
and cuddly his fur is.  As long as we
crouch down both Miranda and Michael
are happy to walk up to us.
Miranda was amazing.

Me, I was a complete waste of space.  Utterly useless.

RMan, bless him, was the midwife and paediatrition.

I have discovered that when it comes to humans in distress I have no problem, and RMan falls apart. But, animals - nada! I'm a shaking bundle of panic...

A right pair of Mutt and Jeff we are LOL  And very, very happy and excited Mutt and Jeff :)

If I knew how to upload to Youtube, I'd be able to show you Foothills Michael's first foray in the paddock.  No promises, I will try...


Vicki said...

Oh, I am so happy for you!! Glad that all went well. Such a beautiful baby. Congratulations!!

Dani said...

Vicki - Thank you. You've no idea how relieved I am. I had been reading up on cria births on a number of alpaca blogs, and some of them had horror stories. They caused my imagination to run riot...! I understand why they wrote those posts, and I'd rather be forewarned, but I do have a very fertile imagination.

Moonwaves said...

Congratulations. What lovely pictures. So glad everything went well. That's really lifted my heart to see this today. :)

Quinn said...

Congratulations to all! What a cutie. And I really wish I could pat him...I know how soft a cria's coat is :)

1st Man said...

Those are some amazing photos!!! How exciting for you. I've been kind of nervous myself from afar, ha. It's times like this where we see how wonderful and amazing nature is.

How long does Michael have to stay away from Kris? Is it for his safety or is it just Miranda being protective?

Tami said...

Yeah! What a sweetie! Glad it all went down without a hitch.

Dani said...

Moonwaves - Thank you.

He is a special one, isn't he. Apart from being the first baby farm animal that we have welcomed into our lives / onto our farm / assisted with the birth of ;)

Very special :)

Dani said...

Quinn - Thanks. Oh, so very, very soft - I wish I could bottle it LOL

Dani said...

1st Man - Very nervous - I was at least. RMan - took it in his stride ;)

Yes, they have to be kept separate for a couple of months - males have been known to hurt cria. And Miranda knows that...

Dani said...

Tami - Me too. He's completely adorable - RMan and I are besotted... ;)

Mum said...

I'm so glad that everything turned out so well. Wow.
Love from Mum

Dani said...

Mum - Thanks - so are we :)

Harry Flashman said...

I am relieved to hear that all went well with the new arrival. I've been following the saga since you started writing about the new acquisitions to your homestead.

Beautiful little animal.

Dani said...

Harry - All went well with RMan:s assistance :)

Foothills Michael is stunning :)

Donald Gill said...

that's great Dani. Welcome to the world little Michael....

Dani said...

Donald - LOL welcome to ny blog :D

Welcome indeed to the little guy - just too sweet. Wish you could see him...

dreamer said...

Well done Miranda!, he is gorgeous :)
Really happy that everything went well for the birth and you now have a new addition to your farm family. Animals are so amazing how they know just what to do by instinct from the minute they are born. Thanks for sharing the photo's with us. I will be on alpaca duties again this weekend which I am looking forward to after not seeing them for about a month. They are such lovely creatures to be around.Enjoy the cria xx

Dani said...

dreamer - Ditto - and she is a wonderful mother. And she is being very generous allowing us free contact with him, as long as she is nearby. Otherwise, if he is out of sight, and she is aware that we are with him, she comes rushing round the corner to check on us LOL

dreamer, I am blown away by the visible signs of instinct that Michael has shown - searching for the teat, heading for the midden, "mouthing" some hay because he watches his mum doing so (but he's not chewing and swallowing - yet), humming in reply to Miranda's hums and clicks, and frolicking around on his still unsteady legs - too hysterical. But,also very moving, for it is almost as though he is celebrating being born, if you know what I mean? :)

Leigh said...

What wonderful news! Very happy that all went so well. Michael is so cute! You definitely sound like alpaca pros now. :)

Dani said...

Leigh - Thank you - we're very happy too :) Alpaca pro's - not quite, but certainly more "experienced" now LOL

MsBelinda said...

What wonderful news that the cria was finally born.

My respects to Rman for being such a good midwife and to you as well for documenting this event. I do not know the first thing about video uploading but bet you get it figured out in no time, so you can share it with your readers.


Dani said...

MsBelinda - RMan was a complete Star!!

Viewing the video I made on RMan's phone made me realise that I need to re-shoot the footage - to prevent viewers getting sea sick LOL

The next time I will keep my hands steadier LOL