13 months - and still no cria!
Disrespectful Llama
Late-Day Babies
Toenails

After witnessing a normal birth with the cria up and feeding in half an hour, mother and baby were left alone to bond. However, returning later to check the placenta had been expelled, we were confronted by a dam with a partly retained placenta ... the rest flapping and dangling around her legs ... spinning in circles. Not surprisingly, she was distressed.

As we approached she expelled the remaining placenta ... but the experience had frightened her considerably, and she totally rejected her baby. Her behaviour was such we thought she may injure it if they were left together.

After two days with no improvement, we called Kay Patterson, a US breeder with 25 years experience in llama-breeding. She advised to force the mother to feed her cria.

Easier said than done, we thought as the cria was in danger of being kicked in the head. Still, we placed the dam in the llama chute with both belly bands around her. The wary cria didn't want to go under this violent machine but a little persuasion and some restraint to mum's kicking-leg and the cria finally began to drink.

We repeated the procedure two hourly and that night, as with the two previous nights, we locked them in adjoining pens so the cria was safe, yet nearby.

Next morning mum was less agitated, so without belly bands, we successfully fed the cria. Afterwards, she was less aggressive so we left them together and observed. With less human intervention each time she allowed her cria to drink, although we still supervised all feeds for the next 6 days.

Exactly one week after forcing the dam to feed her cria, they were back in the paddock with the other llamas, our errant mum as protective of her baby as any other mother.

Admittedly, it had been a hectic week but it sure beat 4 months of bottle feeding.

13 months - and still no cria!
Disrespectful Llama
Late-Day Babies
Toenails

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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