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!