13 months - and still no cria!
Dam Rejects Cria
Disrespectful Llama
Toenails

It's late afternoon and your pregnant llama's labour begins. Problem - will the newborn get that all-important first dose of colostrum from mum during the night?

One of the great things about llamas is their habit of birthing early in the day ... an altogether commendable and convenient practice. Under these circumstances, there is sufficient daylight in which to observe whether the new cria has suckled successfully and received those all-important anti-bodies provided by the dam's colostrum.

And there's no greater satisfaction than seeing milky lips on a 4 or 5 hour old bub.

Usually, we've found if the expectant mum hasn't commenced labour by midday, it's fairly safe to assume the birth is on hold 'til tomorrow.

However ... as always, it's the exception which proves the rule, so sooner or later most llama owners will face that time when the 'early-in-the-day' birth pattern is broken.

Luckily, Anita and I have experienced only a handful of late-day births at Llovely Banks, but when they have occurred, it's usually because something is not quite right ... and some extra care has been needed for mum or bub.

As always remember ...if in doubt, call your vet!

Finally the cria arrives, normal checks of dam and cria are completed and everything appears to be in order. The only question remaining is will the cria receive those vital anti-bodies in its first 24 hours. This is the awkward part.

If, like me, you're up early each morning for your day-time job, you don't view with enthusiasm, the two-hourly trudge outdoors during the night, to see whether (s)he has milky lips and a full tummy. But you don't want anything to go wrong either.

To avoid the night-long trudge, Anita and I have a standard rule ... any cria born less than 2 hours before dark, or during the night, automatically gets a dose of plasma or colostum whether it needs it or not.

The reasoning - it's not going to do him/her any harm, and we can go to bed secure in the knowledge the cria has some anti-bodies and fluid in its system. That solves the problem for the first night.

Most of us have access to frozen colostrum or plasma, both of which contain anti-bodies, whether it be from the veterinarian, another breeder, or stored in the freezer in case of just such an emergency. And for a normal, healthy cria it's good 'Band-Aid' therapy.

However, it is not suitable for those times when the bub is premature or has some other health problem. On those occasions, there is no easy option. Full nursing care is essential ... so call the vet and set the alarm for those two hourly checks!

13 months - and still no cria!
Dam Rejects Cria
Disrespectful Llama
Toenails

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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