The last six weeks has flown by and today I find myself at home trying to be positive about all the work I can get done now that both Heylets are at school. There were no tears from Georgia (or Oliver; although he is obviously a bit of a pro now he’s in Year 3!). I am sure both will have smiles on their faces when I collect them in 65 and a half minutes (not that I’m counting!).
There were a number of reasons why it was obvious Tim was away last weekend. Firstly, his toothbrush was replaced by a heap of finger nail clippings – a sure sign that he is leaving Amberley Farm for a few days! Another sign of his absence was the obvious difficult birth which was bound to happen with both him and Martin away together.. I should add, they were joined by the rest of the Cattistock Cricket team (no intimate candle lit dinners!). The children were a great help and we were quite enjoying being true Inca warriors for a while, feeding and checking on the alpacas etc. We still have around 30 alpacas to birth and due to past experience I was keeping my fingers crossed that they would all keep their legs crossed.
I was watching one female in particular who seemed quite uncomfortable and, whilst i’m certainly no expert where the animals are concerned, I feel fairly confident about identifying an impending arrival. I watched her throughout the day and whilst she continued to look uncomfortable she wasn’t pushing and she did sit still, albeit on her side, for fairly long periods. I consulted the expert (after his cricket game of course) and he too thought that she was probably just “getting close” and would probably birth the following morning. With the responsibility on my shoulders, I did decide I would bring her in so that I could check her in the night, just to be on the safe side. The following morning I let her and her two heavily pregnant companions back out to the paddock and kept everything crossed that she would birth normally… haha….. silly me! I kept telling myself that after Inca Gratitude having such a difficult birth earlier that week, surely there couldn’t be another?! More watching from the window, more watching from a few cm’s behind her…please… a nose maybe?? It became clear after a little while that things weren’t really going as I’d hoped so back inside she came and the vet was called. Part of me was expecting the vet to think how inexperienced and silly I was and that she was just taking her time but I didn’t want to take the risk. The vet confirmed that Grazia had a twisted uterus … great … she then reminded me of the first time she ever visited Inca Alpaca; to perform a c-section on a female with a twisted uterus …….Tim was also away on this occasion! There’s a definite pattern forming!! Thankfully Mum was on hand to help (with alpacas, children etc) and the vet was able to call in help from the surgery to try and untwist the uterus, failing this they would perform a c-section. Luckily our vet managed to untwist the torsion and she confirmed that the cervix was opening and the cria was in a good position, hopefully things would progress normally. Guess what?!… they didn’t, in fact Grazia didn’t appear to be pushing at all, despite being in the latter stages of labour. Thankfully Tim had decided to make an early exit from the final cricket match on Monday and it’s a good job he did, it took him and the vet almost an hour just to get the head out and, eventually, after a lot of effort and a couple of bottles of lubricant, a lovely, healthy 9.5kg boy was delivered.
Apologies for the “phone photos”, one day i’ll get round to taking the camera outside to get some half decent snaps!
It always amazes me how resilient alpacas are, the little fella was trying to get up after a few minutes and it wasn’t too much longer before Grazia wobbled over to the feed bucket to try and replenish her energy supply.
All’s well that ends well………now I am hoping I will not find any more nail clippings around the sink, well at least until the birthing season is over anyway!!
P.S. Two very happy children collected from school and one happy Mummy to have them home.