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Saturday, May 21, 2016

5/21/16 Farm Forecast: Full Moon

The amazing 'Audrina' - the 373 gestation standing in front of our 'slow cookers' in the Maternity P

The amazing 'Audrina' - the 373 gestation standing in front of our 'slow cookers' in the Maternity P

Exciting news! Its a big fat full moon tonight! I'm happy because maybe the big fat gestating alpacas will have full-moon babies for me today or tomorrow. Its the weekend. It works for me... So, thats the plan!

There were all these posts on Facebook about last Friday (yes, Friday The Thirteenth!) being a full moon... I fully bought into that hype until I noticed only half of a moon out that night. Those damn FB liars. Its no wonder the babies didn't come out!! Now it all makes sense... Well, this has to - because nothing else does!

The lovely "P Xanadu Diamond Dust' is our front-runner landing at day 357 today. After her, 'Runaway Bride" (Trapper's and David Johnson's mom) is on day 355, Perfectly Delightful (Bodhi's mom) is at 354 and "Tickled Pink" (that amazing 'Rafael's' mom) is on day 353 of gestation! These females were all bred to the same stud, who has ONE offspring on the ground from 2015 - checking that baby's records yesterday, I was reminded that she was born on the 373 day of gestation! This sort of stuff is tracked, we usually note how long females tend to gestate for their records, but maybe its the stud as well. If so, shoot me now....

So this means we have some 'slow cookers' on our hands! To make myself feel better I've decided that, quite simply, good things take longer. I must wait.

On the other hand, there is nothing cuter than a newborn white alpaca shining it's unadulterated brilliant white little self under a full-moon!! I'm Just throwing it out there incase Mother Nature is listening... I mean, I'm also fine NOT waiting. Really fine.

Full moon... Help a girl out a little?

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

5/17/16 Forecast: Baby Drought

Almandina, a maiden mom (Augusto's Cochiti daughter) with some of the best fleece you'll find!! Bred

Almandina, a maiden mom (Augusto's Cochiti daughter) with some of the best fleece you'll find!! Bred

WHERE ARE THEY, you ask?! I wish I could tell you. Oh, wait... I can tell you - they're still gestating. Lazy little buggers! Its nice outside, sunny warm days and cool evenings. Who wouldn't want to live here?!! The maternity pen's pregnant females are anywhere from gestation day 337 to 353 now and there are no babies on the ground!

It appears that we have entered a 'Baby Drought'.

Because the next questions/comments are generally going to be something like "maybe they arent actually pregnant"... I have attached some of my finest photojournalism from The Maternity Pen 2016 for your viewing pleasure. All we can hope is that it starts raining Babies soon!
Tickled Pink - dam of the amazing 'Rafael' now bred to Hummingherd's Armstrong!

Tickled Pink - dam of the amazing 'Rafael' now bred to Hummingherd's Armstrong!

Perfectly Delightful, Bred to Hummingherd's Armstrong, a top 1% male!

Perfectly Delightful, Bred to Hummingherd's Armstrong, a top 1% male!

Maya - Bred to Hummingherd's Armstrong - Top 1% Male!

Maya - Bred to Hummingherd's Armstrong - Top 1% Male!


Sunday, May 8, 2016

Farm Forecast: Cloudy Skies With A Chance of BABIES!

And so it begins... Baby Watch 2016.

Alpacas gestate for at least 335 days. Normal is 340-345 days, however in the summer, for reasons not scientifically known, the female alpaca tends to gestate for maybe 345 days. Or 353 days. Or 365 days. And sometimes (yes, here... it happened) 374 days. It is impossible to lead a normal life while awaiting 'Summer babies'. You can't plan events, vacations or morning meetings very well. One of our family High School graduations was even impacted by a 5pm alpaca birthing! Seriously, these alpaca moms totally know how to make it happen at the worst time possible. This is why I don't usually breed for a Summer crop of cria. But last June, I got word that Hummingherd's Armstrong was selling and moving to Canada. I had three weeks to make some Armstrong Babies.. so, make babies we did!

Now, here I sit with ten babies due... Maybe more (but thats a whole 'nother story). I don't have a box of supplies out in the doorway of the barn yet. I don't have towels out and ready to dry the first one off. I do have a meeting at 8am Monday morning. I might be in denial.

Instead of prepping, today I just walked amongst the 'Maternity Ward' and chatted with the ladies. Ruminating together, we sized up who was about to blow... And who I'm still questioning as to whether they're just fat and faking it to gain the invite into this pen with better buffets daily. The Maternity ward here is well known for food spreads that rival cruise ships. You'll get your extra pellets, Vitie's ADE and B12s on the side, and minerals, probiotics and special alfalfa up in this neighborhood. The 'fakers' tend to learn how to pull off a fake pregnancy very well... I mean, you do NOT want to leave this cruise ship while the buffet runs 24/7.

Check out the photos of todays mommas-in-waiting, if you can handle it. I have no idea how these babies with such long legs and necks fit inside their moms... Much less how they get OUT! All we can hope for is more of the beautiful miracle that birthing always is. When a little life, a little personality is bouncing around the pen where it didn't exist the day before. I always say to myself "what a difference a day makes". Now I wonder what might be different tomorrow...