Surprise, Surprise, Surprise – DMAR Abrielle is here:
Last Friday Tom and I were on our way to the Kentucky Alpaca Classic Show when my farm sitter, 14 yr old Bronwen Cannon, called me to advise that she had found a cria in the paddock. A cria? No one was due until November but Bronwen says it is Mercedes who gave birth. The cria was kushed next to mom and almost completely dry.
Tom and I were already in Kentucky so to turn around now really wasn’t going to help matters as it would take us 8 hrs to get home. I started to talk Bronwen through the steps. I told her first to get the cria and mom into a stall. That was easier said than done because when Bronwen got close to the cria she got up and began to run away. When Bronwen finally got the cria Mercedes, the mom, was literally biting the back of Bronwen’s head and screaming loudly. I could hear the screams through the phone.
When Bronwen got them into a stall I told her to dip the umbilical cord in the iodine solution. I don’t know how Bronwen did it but she managed to do so even with a crazy Mercedes spitting and screaming at her for touching the cria.
I made a couple of phone calls. The first to my vet to see if she could go to yhe ranch and check things over especially since the cria was a month early according to the sire owner where Mercedes was bred last year and also to give Mercedes a sedative as she was literally bouncing off the walls. She wouldn’t let anyone near the cria and she wouldn’t stand still to let the cria nurse. The second phone call went to Papas Alpaca Farm to see if they could check on things and give Bronwen a hand. Phillip and Angel are great and they said they were jumping in their car and heading on over.
When Papas got to the farm they called me to explain that Bronwen had done everything correctly. She had started to warm up the colostrum, blowed dry the cria some more, and had a cria coat on. Phillip was able to tell me that the cria was female, Mercedes was super swollen in the back, and that she had a little milk but not much. He also mentioned that no placenta was found. This is not unusual as I have two Maremma lgds in the same paddock so I can imagine that they ate it. Well that was another note to tell the vet when she got there. In the meantime, I asked Phillip to give Mercedes banamine and oxytocin as I know her mom has plenty of milk and I believed Mercedes did too and just didn’t drop it yet. Phillip told me that the cria was very active which is an excellent sign and he forwarded to me 3 pictures of the cria he and Angel named Snow White. Ambrielle is actually beige but compared to my “orange” (Georgia red clay) she is a strikingly bright light color. Unfortunately, I couldn’t keep that name as she will be the same orange color eventually and it is funny enough to have my alpacas called cheetos but to think I could keep the name Snow White would be ridiculous.
Christina Dayton-Wall, my vet, made it out around 7pm or so. She said the cria and mom were alert and active. She gave Mercedes some torb, sedative, and was able to check to see if her placenta had passed. It did so, obviously, the dogs had a meal of it. Other than Mercedes being extremely swollen (1st time birthing) she was fine and had calmed down tremendously once she was given the sedative. The cria was able to nurse. However, she did ask Bronwen to come out every two hours to make sure the cria was nursing as Mercedes would seem to walk away quickly after the cria had started. Bronwen agreed and was ready to supplement with a bottle as well if needed. Christina told me the cria was 13 lbs and full term. The ears were errect, her teeth had erupted, and she was a very persistant and smart cria who knew where to go to nurse and even knew to go to all four teats on mom. Thank goodness for that!
Bronwen is the real hero in my story. Luckily she is my neighbor so going to the barn every 2 hrs was accomplished. When I called her the next morning she said she had drank a lot of Dr. Pepper and watched scary movies to keep her up. I’m not sure how the scary movies helped when she had to go in the dark to the barn but, hey, to each their own. She said that Mercedes would throw a fit every time she went into the stall but then the cria would get up and begin to nurse. Basically mom was now allowing the cria to drink and so I told Bronwen for that night she could crash as I believed the cria would be fine alone with mom.
I asked Bronwen to name the cria as she put in all the hard work with her. She decided on the name Ambrielle. I think it fits the cria well. I could not be more proud of Bronwen and all the responsibility she took on Friday night. Bronwen wants to be a vet and this whole ordeal has confirmed in her mind that it is the right choice for her.
Here is Ambrielle at 5 days old:
Side Note: Mercedes was bred to the service sire at High Plains Alpacas in PA. They thought the first breeding took place but when Mercedes was ultrasounded the vet could not find her pregnant. Mercedes was reluctantly rebred and the second ultrasound the vet did confirm that she was pregnant. It is obvious now that her first breeding took place since Ambrielle was full term.
DMAR Ambrielle’s mom is DMAR Mercedes. She is a Xanadu Presidio granddaughter. Her lineage includes Caligula, Hemingway, and Victor. Ambrielle’s sire is Principe Dorato who has 8 champion offspring on the ground to date. I’m hoping Ambrielle will be in that category.
Special thanks to Browen Cannon, Papas Alpaca Farm, and Christina Dayton-Wall DVM for ensuring my cria was safe and well.