Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Challenges of a Baby Alpaca

Meiske was born on October 12th during the Butterfly Lab.

My husband was home and took these photos with his cell phone.

You have to know my husband... He is from Hawaii and I call him my "Waikiki Boy". He is not a farmer. He likes big cities.

He was horrified when he looked out the window and saw Meiske half-in, half-out of her mother, Kate. Kate was casually eating and rolling around during the birthing process and my husband was panicking wondering what to do. I was coaching him on the phone with the aid of Jon Lucas a father who was helping me with the lab. Jon is a pediatric cardiologist and offered us some valuable advice.

After many hours, my husband got fed up and went out there and pulled Meiske out. Kate would have nothing to do with her baby (cria in alpaca language). In fact, she tried to stomp on her own baby and spit her with green slimy spit. When I got home from work I mixed up some colostrum and started bottle feeding. We brought her into the bathroom and gave her a bath. Fortunately for us, Meiske had a hearty appetite and drank from the bottle right from the beginning. After a day of colostrum we switched to goat's milk and now she is getting cow's milk. She is going through over half a gallon of milk per day!! Here is a picture of Meiske with her mother Kate, and Eve, another alpaca who is an excellent mother. Alpacas are very curious and everyone came by to see the newest member of the tribe. Hopefully, we can wean Meiske by February after four months of bottle feeding. She loves her bottle!In case you're wondering, Meiske means little girl in Dutch. My husband and I are empty-nesters now so Meiske has taken a prominent role in helping us adjust with no children. :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ewwww Fresh-born Alpacas look really gross... (wish I wasn't eating when I saw this post)