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.