I should start by saying that I am not ordinarily a blogger… I don’t have the humour of the Mighty Patou Chief, or her husband(!!), I don’t have the variety of animals to blog about like Amiryck and I generally can’t see why anyone would be interested in the mundane, day to day drivel that happens here at Amberley Farm. BUT… yes obviously there had to be a but, for some reason, I felt compelled to write about our ups and downs over the last few days. A decision you, probably my only reader, may regret when you realise that you have wasted precious minutes of your day reading this rubbish rather than enjoying some much awaited sunshine!
So, being half term this week, Oliver, Georgia and I decided to accompany Tim to the Bath and West Show on Thursday. As I’m sure you’re all aware, I do not show the Alpacas, it’s not really my bag but also it saves on divorce fees when our alpaca loses due to me not quite holding the lead correctly or my little finger being 3mm out of place…you get the idea! Karen, chief Inca Show Guru, seems happy to help and does a cracking job, so, I was there only to enjoy the show with the children, which we most certainly did. We were very pleased with the results but that’s not what this blog is about so I’ll continue …
During the morning we had heard from Martin, that one of our females had given birth to a lovely little black girl…fantastic. Martin had been concerned about how floppy the cria was and when she hadn’t got up to feed after several hours he gave her some colostrum. When I got back from the show I was pleased that she drank from the bottle and she stood for a few minutes with only minimal support, we all assumed she just needed a little extra TLC until she was stronger. The mum, a maiden, was a little less than enthusiastic to be milked, Tim and Roger (from Concepts of Peru who was staying with us) described it slightly differently! Unfortunately over the following 24-36 hours she became more and more weak and had to be tube fed every 2-3 hours, something I cannot bring myself to do (I know, I’m rubbish at this animal lark!). Thankfully Tim was able to leave Martin to handle things at the show on Friday (he too did a marvellous job and more winnings were had) so that Tim could come back and take charge..he is the expert after all! The mum had lost interest in the cria and with the deterioration we had seen we started to prepare the children (and ourselves) that the cria would probably not make it. Obviously when you farm livestock, the inevitable does happen on occasions, Tim is far more experienced and far more expert in dealing with these situations so luckily I am often able to detach myself from the not so nice side of farming. Generally we choose to leave cria in the barn with the mum if they are unwell however in the circumstances we felt it right to bring her in the house so we could monitor her and give her the round the clock care she needed; not much chance of staying detached this time! We had both come to the conclusion that maybe she had heart issues, which was confirmed by the vet who could hear noisy heart valves. So last night, Tim slept in the lounge with the cria again, feeding her, by tube, every 2-3 hours, she could still barely hold her head up. None of us wanted to give up hope but we all prepared ourselves for the worst, hoping that it would somehow not feel as bad if it did happen.
This morning was full of surprises.. Firstly, Oliver didn’t get up until after 7am… A rarity, especially on a non school day! Secondly, the sun was shining, really shining, again a rarity at the moment. Thirdly and most importantly, the cria seemed to have decided that life in the Hey house might just be worth a try… She is much more alert, sits for long periods with her head up and has drank from the bottle; a far cry from the limp, lifeless state she was in yesterday. Of course we realise she is still not out of the woods but we are thrilled with her progress today.
We have decided to call her Imogen (Immy) and are all keeping our fingers crossed that she continues to improve.