Saturday, January 3, 2009

Libra, the Cria

Libra's barn name has become Junior. He just won't grow like a normal cria. His birth weight was 13.6 pounds on September 19th, the day this picture was taken. Even though he was full term, that is very small, at least for our farm. I would guess that our babies average 20 pounds. He was eager to nurse, but his mom, Sonata just wasn't making much milk. I'll spare you lots of details, but we (Beth & I) ended up taking both of them to Michigan State. They couldn't tell us much.
I tried desperately to get Jr. to nurse from a bottle but he was getting just enough from Sonata that he would just fight me. He started eating grass and hay almost immediately after birth.
Two weeks ago we had our good vet, Russ, draw blood from him but all the info that we could use was that his immune system is practically nill. Iron, thyroid, everything else is ok.

Russ did his research and got this recipe from a fellow vet who works for Alpaca Jacks, a really big Suri farm.
Grind up:
1 cup alfalfa pellets
1 cup alpaca pellets (Paca Nutrition)
jar baby carrots
2 cups yogurt
1 cup Glucerna (a diabetic form of Ensure)

Doesn't it look yummy?
At the beginning I had to force it down, but now he's slurping and sucking away. The syringe that I'm using is an old, washed out Vitamin container that holds 3 ounces. I use another syringe to load it up and then warm the whole thing in hot water, and feed him 4 times a day.

Here's a picture from this morning of Jr. chewing. He had just finished having a milk snack from his mom so you can see his little foamy milk mouth. He's 3 1/2 months and now weighs 24.3 pounds. He was gaining 1/2 pound a week, but last week gained 1 1/2 pounds. EEEHAW!


Crazy Lady with purple fingers said...

I am so glad to hear you found something to help him, I am going to have to write down the recipe, a few years ago we had a beautiful cria who just would not thrive and the vets could not find anything wrong and we ended up losing him. we have not had a problem since but any baby that is on the small side we give them goat colostrum I keep frozen in the freezer as soon as they are born, our goat colostrum has saved many a cria. What a great start to the new year!!

Sunrise Lodge Fiber Studio said...

He is so cute!!! I'm so glad to hear that he is doing so well! Bless your heart for being such a wonderful care taker;)

Brittany Noel said...

Oh my goodness, poor Sonata and Junior! I feel extra attached to Sonata, since I have her fur! Haha :) I'm glad you found something that works and that Junior is gaining weight!

critter Lover said...

Thank you Maple for your persistence and dedication to feeding Jr. 4 times daily!!!!!! For all of you who look at his pictures and think he is cute, I can tell you he is the SWEETEST, LITTLE thing I've ever seen. Picking him up is like carrying a tiny fawn and with all the handling he is very comfortable being cuddled and pet. I am pulling so strong for this little guy to make it! He is really something special!! And so are YOU, Maple! Keep the porridge coming!


Aimee said...

Hi Granny! What a cool blog! I'm going to follow it. I'm not a fiber person but my daughter is, and I do have alpacas. Those crias are incredibly adorable. And I thought baby goats were the cutest animals on the planet.

Michele / akkasha said...

I am glad Junior is gaining weight! That is great news.

I am triply glad to hear you weren't crushed in the avalanche! It is scary how much that amount of snow can do. I am glad you were clear of the pile!