Just a brief explanation of terms for the non- nursing and non-farming folks: IgG is a type of immunoglobulin (antibody) required to fight infection. Generally healthy adults acquire resistance to infection by contact with foreign antigens which results in the production of IgG. However cria (as with lambs) are reliant on the passive transfer of antibodies from their mother (dam) via the colostrum (first milk). It is vital that the cria receives the colostrum within the first 12 hours (ideally 6 hours) of life for the antibodies to be effective. After this time it is considered that there has been a failure of passive transfer (FPT). If this is recognised then the cria can be given plasma. Blood is taken from a healthy alpaca and spun to separate the red blood cells from the plasma. The plasma containing the antibodies can then be given to the cria (how this is given is too lengthy to debate here).
Nakita was our second cria to be born in 2009. Katkin, who had been a fantastic first time mum to Nimrod, had a text book birth at 11am on a lovely sunny day. Mum had plenty of milk and Nikita was seen on the nipple within the hour, with lovely milky chops observed. She weighed in at a healthy 8.5kg.