Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Crias 'Round the Clock

We had two gorgeous crias born on the morning of July 4th, and YES, one is a girl! (The other is true black and gorgeous, so we're happy with him, too). Both crias are sired by our Snowmass Nova's Private Reserve. Thanks to reader suggestions from Facebook and Twitter-@locolindy, we are naming the male Revere and the female is Cherry Bomb.We already knew to anticipate trouble with Cherry Bomb, as her 15-year-old mother, Aymara, had damage to her udder years ago (probably from mastitis), and has only one teat out of four that is able to produce milk. We have managed with her crias in the past by initially milking out Aymara, supplementing the cria through bottle or tube feeding, and having a barren dam, "Nanny" help with providing a little bit of extra milk.Revere, though he looked as strong as could be, just couldn't figure out how to find his very willing mother's milk bar. Fortunately the dam, Na Tay, has easily let us milk her out to feed the cria and couldn't be sweeter about it. Why he just couldn't get it at first we don't know, but it could be due to prenatal stress from the awful heat wave we've had recently. We tube-fed both crias with colostrum and plasma in the first few hours, and both of their IGG's are acceptable, so they've gotten off to a good start.Sounds easy enough, right? Actually to do this correctly we've been feeding them every 3 hours around the clock... not real conducive to sleep. My husband is a saint when it comes to this, and the kids are learning to help as well. You may have heard the Hallelujah Chorus when Revere finally latched on to his dam last evening and won't be requiring supplementation any longer!Cherry Bomb is another story, and we may have a full-time bottle cria on our hands this time. Nanny isn't as interested as in the past, and Aymara isn't doing a lot to encourage her to find the one milk-producing teat. Bummer..... but we'll keep trying! Fortunately, Cherry is a strong and beautiful cria with amazing fleece like her full sister, Rachel Alexandra (blue ribbon winner in her only show so far, seen below). Aymara has produced other outstanding offspring, such as SSF Peruvian Pablo, so hopefully all the trouble is worth it!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Summer Splendor

Despite June's extreme heat, it has been a lovely summer so far with lots of good things happening around the farm. One of the best things is that we've been making lots of time to go trail riding- you can read about one of our recent extreme adventures here. This past week, I was lucky to get to join my friends Marti, MB, and Martha for a lovely day of riding at Taylorsville Lake. It was a great ride except when two of our horses decided that the jet skis on the lake sounded like a swarm of horse flies, and got all loosey-goosey excited for a bit!We had three llama treks this week! First were two women from Lexington, Barbara and Stephanie. They felt like my own old friends, very sweet ladies, and it was cool that our two barn cats decided to join us for the entire hike- ironic since Barbara is a huge cat lover who has rescued over 30 felines herself!Next we had Steve, Lee and Ethan. They were looking for something different to do outdoors to get away from the TV and video games... fancy that, teenagers who like those things?! They discovered that they like llamas, too (or at least they seemed to enjoy them!)
Lastly we had 3 llovely llama lladies (Mary, Helen and Bernice) that came today. They also seemed to really enjoy the farm and animals. They met our newest cria, Mirian's lambs, and these two little alpaca guys, Mousse and Precious (you can read about when they were born here).I love how the llamas are so patient with people of all ages, and they seem to naturally adjust their pace to the speed of whomever is leading them. Llama LLife is GOOD!