Thursday, October 23, 2008

The blob is a .... placenta!

The question on the last post was answered correctly by country-chicken. The previous post's final picture isn't very romantic or appealing, but is one of the realities of having baby alpacas (crias) born at your farm. Without going into a lot of technical detail here, the final stage of labor post-delivery is the expulsion of the afterbirth (placenta). Here's a series of photos showing a female in labor (starting above with another curious cria observing and smelling that something is different). The dam is trying to isolate herself, and has been up and down and sometimes on her side for a while. This stage can last for up to a few hours.

Here, in active delivery, the cria's head and legs are out:

Below, within about 15-60 minutes the placenta is being expelled. I find that by the time the placenta has arrived, the cria is standing and ready to nurse- mother nature seems to have good timing, as the dam is sometimes crampy and restless until this final stage but then is ready to stand calmly for the cria to find her milk.

The other crias are happy for a new playmate!

These photos were taken several years ago when Betty Jane had a cria (I wish our grass were this green right now!). I like it when the dams can deliver in the field on clean grass, like in these photos. Rarely is assistance needed, though we closely monitor those due and now have cameras hooked to the internet for monitoring the dams when we can't be right at the barn. I hope to have some video on here soon of a birth... stay tuned and feel free to pipe up on the comments with questions any time.


countrychicken said...

I am so excited about winning your contest. Thanks so much for having it. All those years of having cows and horses paid off on this one.
For some reason my E mail would not go through, so I am sending my address to you through the mail at your home address. Just wanted to say I read your blog regularly, very interesting. Thanks again!!

AlpacaLindy said...

You are so welcome, and thanks for your kind comments! I will be working on a new batch of felted soaps next week, and will send you one after that! Congratulations.