Many thanks for all your comments on my previous blog, regarding the ups and downs of caring for animals. I am pleased to report that things have since continued to be on the up.
Yesterday morning Nancy presented us with a lovely Top Account of Fowberry solid white daughter. She really is gorgeous and Nancy is so proud of her. Poor Nancy was in shock after she was born and wasn't quite sure how to go about the feeding part. We did give Lucie a couple of bottle feeds of cows colostrum to give Nancy time to recover. Mum then soon got the hand of things after a rest.
I have decided that the best way to bring on labour is to organise for Paul to be away on drive by mating duties. We had organised a date for Honaria with Ambersun Baltimore (a Warrior boy) at Townend Alpacas. We were just ready for loading when Nancy decided to birth. Fortunately we were able to delay things until the afternoon so that Paul got to witness Lucie's arrival.
We bred Nancy early (13 months of age) because we felt that she was well grown, very mature for her age, and she was desperate to be mated. Last year we also bred three other girls between 13-16 months of age. On reflection this is not something that we will probably do again. Partly, because Nancy was the only girl who carried her pregnancy; but also I did feel that Nancy seemed rather overwhelmed by the birthing process, and was obviously asking us for guidance.
The problem is that to avoid winter births it does mean that most of our maidens will be nearer two years of age if we leave them, and keeping them from getting a bit porky can be a problem. We have decided that we will separate our girls this winter to allow for more specific feeding.
We have named Phoebe's daughter Tabitha. Phoebe continues to put her tea first and rushes in without her. Fortunately Tabitha has now realised that she just has to run at top speed whenever I shout "come on".