Thursday, October 9, 2008

Alpaca Training and Cria Update - Astra & Libra

Today is a beautiful, sun shiny, autumn day in midMichigan. The main reason that I haven't posted in a while is because caring for little Libra (above in his GoBlue U. of Michigan coat) has been quite time consuming. Remember, Sonata, his mom has hardly any milk. For a couple of days, I was able to supplement him with a bottle, and then he just started to absolutely refuse it. I couldn't get any down him. So at the advice/help of Beth and Doc Russ, we decided to mix up a gruel. I ground up adult alpaca pellets in my blender and added some Ensure left over from Smitty's ordeal. I suck this gruel up in to a 2 ounce syringe and pretty much force feed it in to his mouth.
Libra does nibble on grass and hay and is frequently under mom trying to nurse the little milk that she has. He is 3 weeks old and has gained 3 pounds, for a total of 15.2 pounds.
The little white guy next to Libra is Astra, who was named by Marianne here on my blog. He is three days older than Libra. See why I'm so worried?????

Beth came over to give Oppie (Golden Opportunity) a halter/lead lesson. This little yearling is the hardest ever to train to lead. Even though you can see Oppie's resistance by the way she is leaning away from Beth, she is doing super. She is up right and actually walking. It's more normal for her to throw her self down and freeze. We lift her up and try another step. Beth is training her to follow along with a gentle tug, tug on the rope. We are out in the field with the other alpacas to give the little girl some confidence. I truly admire Beth. She is quite determined that Oppie will become a happy, confident, obedient alpaca.


Michele / akkasha said...

I hope Libra is able to take in more of the gruel and catch up with Astra's size! Good luck with him.

Crazy Lady with purple fingers said...

I was so worried when you were not posting, it is so time consuming taking care of the babies. I had a similar problem with a llama mother with very little milk. it is such a big decision whether to separate the baby from the mother and not have a problem with them taking the bottle or leave the baby with the mother so he/she grows up knowing he/she is a llama/alpaca instead of a human. If you leave them with their mother and she has some milk most of them will not drink from the bottle. What I did with my babies....and there were a few, is I tubed them every feeding, specially if it was a male because if you tube them they do not bond to you like they do if you bottle feed. It is so time consuming and tie's you down when you become their mother but it is so worth it when they grow up to a healthy animal.

Marie said...

It must be so stressful. I hope Libra is able to gain some more substantial weight soon. Good luck!

Nicole said...

What's with the U of M coat? I can't believe MSU didn't hook you us - not like you don't have ties there!! :-)

chris vtknitboy said...

omg! they are so frickin' cute i could scream!!!

Zuleika said...

Alpacas are just so darn cute! I'm so glad things are going well with them. I can only imagine how busy you must be.