Sunday, August 18, 2013

The New Alpacas at Hum Sweet Hum Cria: BFF's

BFF's Bad to the Bone's Johnny Be Good (left) and Q'inti's Lady Marmalade (right)

The last couple weeks on the farm have been rocky ones.  I wrote about the challenges of farm life in one of my recent blogs.  One of those challenging days happened when my dam, Q'inti that I co-own with Aragon Alpacas, didn't look herself.  Her eyes and body language indicated she didn't feel well.  She had a week old cria at her side.  I weighed the baby and she hadn't gained but a few ounces in days.  I had been busy with a new cria that wasn't doing well and had passed away that morning and I hadn't been as diligent about weighing the other two babies as I would have normally.  There was no time for mourning the loss of the one cria because I had to be focused on figuring out what was going on with Q'inti.  Ann, the co-owner of Q'inti, and I loaded up mom and baby in her van and ran her up to our vet in Corvallis about an hour away.  We took blood tests and fecal to see if we could figure out what was wrong.  We went ahead and gave her an antibiotic and brought them home for monitoring.

The baby was hungry so I pulled out a bottle to supplement.  I noticed she was under mom constantly nursing but mom wasn't making enough milk.  The baby was hungry and drank down a couple of ounces and then went to mom again.  I started Q'inti on the homeopathy Pyrogen I use when my animals stop eating well.  It is so critical to get these alpacas and ruminants to eat.  I gave Q'inti lots of choices of things to eat, alfalfa pellets, regular pellets, fruit from my trees and blackberry leaves plus her standard hay.  I made them nice and easily accessible.  I closed them up in the barn area and opened up an empty pasture for the rest of the gang to stay in while Q'inti got better. 

The two babies had been playing so nicely together and they missed each other terribly.  They could see each other from the their respective gates but I couldn't let them together.  Until I had Q'inti back on track, they had to be isolated.  Q'inti didn't like being cooped up either, but I knew she didn't feel well because she didn't stress as much as she normally would being away from the herd.  I bottle fed the baby a few times more and after about the 4th dose of Pyrogen, Q'inti began eating better and her milk came back in.  Between the Banamine for pain relief, antibiotics and homeopathy, they did the trick.  I also did my energy work on her to try and clear whatever it was that got her down.  The baby gained a pound after all the treatments given!  Whew!  Her blood tests showed some levels off but not the numbers weren't too out of norm.  We caught it early enough before it got serious.  Two days in the barn area and Q'inti and baby were eager to join back with the herd.  I was waiting for one more test result to get back before letting them go out.  It is such a balancing act of keeping animals in by themselves when they aren't a 100% and keeping them with the herd.  They feel better with their units and don't stress as much but if they need added care, I can't catch them in the big field. 

As soon as I got the results back that she was ok, I opened the gates and Q'inti didn't have to be coaxed out.  She and her baby, Marmalade trotted out to join the herd.  I watched to see how Johnny Be Good would react to seeing his long lost friend, Marmalade.  He was already out with his momma and the herd.  He didn't notice Marmalade for a couple of minutes.  The others greeted Q'inti and Marmalade sniffing their butts.  Johnny started to walk to where the action was and I saw his eyes as he noticed Marmalade.  They lit up and all four feet left the ground.  He did a big leap straight up into the air and like the cartoons, ran to Marmalade.  About every few feet, he couldn't contain his excitement and he'd do another vertical leap in the air.  Marmalade noticed Johnny and ran to him.  They met nose to nose and then off they ran racing the field in loops and circles.  Johnny kept leaping in the air as they raced about.  They have barely been separated since those two days when Q'inti was under the weather.  They nap together, play together and are rarely apart.  What joy in watching two these two BFF's.  After such sadness and challenges on the farm, these two babies have been the best medicine and keep me going. 
Johnny Be Good having a discussion with his dog Moose

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