Thursday, 12 January 2012

A Miscarriage.

After a very positive start to the new year we had a blip yesterday. Unfortunately, whilst doing the poo picking Paul found a foetus in the maiden field. No more than 2.5 inches long (base of neck to tail) we knew by it's size it had to be one of the younger females mated late in the year. We checked everyone; no tell tale signs under the tail, no one showing any obvious change in behaviour.

This morning I decided we should spit off the girls, that way we could give prophylactic antibiotics if we felt this to be necessary. Our young working stud males can all be a bit eager at spit offs, thus wanting to keep disruptions down to a minimum, I decided Explorer, who is not yet working, could have a little venture across the lane to the girls.

He started off well with his 2 favourite girls; Lucie and Roma. Both spat off. Next Renata, he wasn't as keen but did enough to get a rejection. Biba, our black girls was fourth to be he wasn't keen at all...positively turned up his nose in fact...I did my best ogling impersonation...still not interested...then something caught his eye...something white...something gorgeous...he looked back at Biba then back at this thing of beauty...he went closer then stepped back to admire...what was it he saw? was himself in the mirror! Yes, I kid you not...he then lost all interest and started going round all the mirrors...a whole room of gorgeousness! So that was it... I will spit off Nicola and Biba tomorrow using Legacy (old and wise and knows when they are pregnant by the merest whiff...and not quite so vain).

I remember going to a lecture at our first British Alpaca Futurity and being surprised to hear that 20% of alpaca pregnancies do not result in a cria (a live cria at 6 months of age). This seemed to us to be high, although I now believe that this is similar to many mammals. Last year we lost no pregnancies, but have lost 2 cria (one at birth and one at 3 months of age). Hence we did prepare ourselves that we would be very lucky if all the girls actually delivered. At least no one appears to be upset by their loss of pregnancy.

We have actually had a couple of dry days this week so I have been able to have a good look at some of the cria fleeces...what a difference a dry windy day makes...especially when trying to assess the finest fleeces. Hopefully we will have a few juniors making the show team this year. If anyone has any concerns as to whether showing is a stressful experience for juniors...I found a photo from Northumberland Show...that is Explorer asleep with Poppet using him as a don't get more chilled out that that!

Explorer and Poppet asleep at Northumberland Show.

I always find it interesting to see how mums and cria cope at weaning time. It isn't always as predicted; with some of the most protective mums accepting weaning without a backward glance, and others who have appeared a bit indifferent coping less well. This year it is Camilla who is the surprise, last year she was glad to be rid of Explorer (to be fair he was trying to mate everyone...bit of an embarrasment to her) but this year she has been moping around since the adorable Rumour has been weaned. I will be interested to see how Lady Gaga copes...she must be the proudest mum ever...despite Boots being very independent...touch Boots and you get the glare...the Gaga glare has to be cool!


  1. That was a horrible find for Paul - for you both - a little foetus. Always upsetting, but good to hear that none of the girls look poorly.

  2. A sad find - very sorry.

    The mirrors sound very interesting - I think I shall have a go with a mirror for some of mine!

  3. Perhaps Explorer was wondering who the handsome competition! Hope you find the female, better aborted whilst tiny, nature knows when things aren't quite right!

  4. Sorry to hear of your loss!

  5. Sounds like a bit of a sad start to the year also....Im hoping things will only get better....Fancy Explorer....admiring lovely......! Jayne

  6. Sad news, sorry to hear it. I hope there are no more problems and that's your share done. We had half a dry day yesterday, but I expect it will take a good 2 dry weeks to dry out our quagmire of a field, and before the boys can shake off the mud.

  7. Sorry to hear that and amazing that you found it.

  8. Sorry to hear of you sad loss, no consolation, but it was good you did find the foetus as it has enable you to keep an eye on the girls and act if you need to give treatment, we had one girl that lost without our knowledge and the first thing we knew was that she became quite poorly and it took us a quite a while to get her well and pregnant again.