Yesterday, we learned another valuable lesson about alpaca behavior from our unruly yet lovable herd – they can be sneaky about births. Reminiscent of the recent hype of April, the giraffe, defying the odds by quickly and quietly dropping her adorable baby boy when (everyone) and no one expected it, our beautiful Cocoa presented us with a perfect little boy yesterday morning.
I fed the herd yesterday morning before heading to work. Everyone ate and nothing seemed different or unusual. Jim Bob had a day off from work and took a morning nap. Talking on the phone after he awoke, Jim Bob was looking out the window when he said, “There’s a baby out there!”
Indeed, Cocoa delivered a new package a few minutes before Jim Bob looked outside. Baby was still wet with afterbirth and momma was a bit stunned with the large thing she expelled by the dung pile. After many attempts, baby eventually got her footing and stood unsteadily on four legs. Hungry from such exertion, he feebly stumbled towards a swollen udder. Momma didn’t get it at first. Slowly and with a little help, baby and momma figured out the logistics of feeding. Thankfully this time around, momma and baby are doing great.
In hindsight, the signs of impending birth were there. Cocoa sought more feed than usual. We saw her rolling from side to side for weeks prior apparently getting baby positioned for delivery. Her belly looked a bit large hanging down but her confirmation seemed normal and her sides didn’t bulge.
Jim Bob and I are slowly gaining experience and knowledge of these remarkable creatures. Yet the more we figure out, the more we must learn to keep our alpacas at Webb Acres happy and healthy. It is a formidable challenge with exhilarating achievements.