This is Michael. I have once again taken over the blog to explain what REALLY happened around our first cria birth, and how I saved the cria, the momma and the world in general.
There is a reason that men traditionally were placed in the waiting room and left to stew until the baby was born. I am that reason.
After Lynne had raced off to deal with the birth of Magic I busied myself feeding and tending the pacas at our ranch. Suddenly I receive a call. It is time for me to spring into action and bring all my expertise to bear. Reina and Magic need to be brought to our place. Ok, not a huge deal until you consider there is no stall for them. Within a half hour with the creative use of plywood, cattle gates, zip ties and baling twine the problem was solved!
I get the trailer hooked up with lights working, however the brakes were not. But to paraphrase a great movie quote… we dont need brakes where we are going!
I’m on a roll!
Now I’m on the road obeying several traffic laws but ignoring the important ones. An hour and half later I pull up to Alpacas of Indian Points and leap from the Hummer in full Mighty Mouse (Here I Come to Save the Daaaay) mode. That is when I see the baby. Any chance of being able to help immediately vanishes.
I’m thinking: Oh my god she is tiny and cute and helpless and Reina is huge and how the hell will they make it an hour and a half to Butler in the back of a trailer she can ride on my lap but Reina will freak out and I think I read that if you take a cria from its mom at this point she may not take it back and then we would have to bottle feed it and we have no goats milk or supplement and she is so small and where is anyone who knows anything and besides I saw a video online of a guy that had a deer in his car that wasnt dead and it woke up and kicked him and he had to call a bambalance and alpacas are like deer and she is so small….. and cute. Oh crap!
I say: Hey Lynne, whats up?
I go out to the pasture and see Magic (at this point named baby) and she is sunning herself happily, or from my perspective so weak she is unable to move and obviously in need of saving. Reina is humming and clicking either being a nurturing mother or begging me to rescue her baby. I wasn’t sure which. We scoop her up and put a leash on Reina and lead her to the trailer. NO WAY can this little thing ride in a horse stall all the way home, but if I can do one thing it is improvise, so with Liz’s help I line the stall with show mats (Liz is there? When did she get there?) and place the baby in her impromptu cria crib and we are off.
Driving home I am certain that every corner turns the trailer into a giant pachinko machine and the baby one of those little silver balls bouncing off every razor sharp edge inside. Should I stop and check on them? If I stop that will add 10 minutes to the trip, so I shouldn’t stop, baby needs to nurse, but I should check on them, but if something is wrong what am I going to do, I should get them home. So I soldier on at 75 mph cringing at every bump.
Home, finally, and to my relief Lynne pulls in right behind me. We open the trailer door. I am certain the inside of the trailer will look like a scene from Watership Down… (that one is for you Mo) with blood and fur everywhere. But there is Reina cushed and humming and baby is laying on her side in the other stall. OH HELL! BABY IS LAYING ON HER SIDE! Don’t alpacas always cush? They aren’t supposed to lay on their side right?. Save the baby! So I leap into the trailer once again in full superhero mode and reach down to scoop up baby. She opens her eyes and looks up at me with what I am sure is a “wtf?” expression on her face. Reina’s hums change from soothing to something resembling… dumbass… and she stands ready to move.
After a bit of completely unnecessary fussing on our parts we decide to just leave them be in their spiffy new stall, and baby walks up to Reina and begins nursing. Really? After all that the right thing to do was to just let nature take its course? That is something I never would have thought of.
The next day we let them out into the paddock and baby.. now named Magic… bounds off on her spindly little legs (that are in no way designed to support her) across the treacherous terrain that is filled with pitfalls and hidden traps and all I can think is…
Where is the waiting room?