Two New Alpaca Crias!

Peaceful Heart's Maximum Joy

Yesterday, October 14, was a busy day.  We were getting ready for a large storm headed our way, making sure all the alpacas had plenty of hay in the barn and sheds and that things were as clean and dry as could be after days of fog, when one of our girls due this week went into labor.  Ima Joy has been acting ready to deliver for several days now, so we were not surprised to see her go into labor a little before noon.  Her labor progressed normally, but took a little longer than the usual 15-20 minutes because Ima laid down and refused to stand back up, alpacas normally give birth standing up.  We helped minimally by pulling gently on the crias legs (one at a time to help the shoulders pass through the birth canal in case they were stuck).  Everything went fine and the cria was ready to get on his feet as soon as he was born.  What a beauty!  He has beautiful spots in many colors.  We suspect that we will find even more when we shear him for the first time next May as he has a dense fleece and much of the color is masked by the  cria tips (whose color can be affected by the amniotic fluid during pregnancy).

We have named this adorable boy after his parents, Peruvian Maximus and Ima Joy.  Peaceful Heart’s Maximum Joy will go by the nickname MJ around the farm.  He is full of energy and running around the pasture today with Wade R., Hercules, and our second surprise of yesterday.  MJ’s coloring is just a great example of the fun of alpaca color genetics.  We never know what to expect.  MJ’s full sibling Dante was born last year, and was such a pretty boy with lovely dense fleece that we decided to repeat the breeding.  Despite having the same parents, Dante is a lovely solid beige in color, and MJ is a spotted wonder.

Peaceful Heart's Polar Night and Henrietta Ruth

When we got Ima and MJ settled in the barn within a pen to keep MJ from wandering out into the expected rain*, we headed back up to the store and found that Ruthie had delivered a beautiful little boy while we were busy.  He was sitting up pretty as you please surrounded by his mom and the other girls in the pasture.  She had even passed the placenta, our “no drama mama” (and most typical birth type on the farm).  With the storm heading our way, we decided that Ruthie and her boy should join Ima and MJ, so picked him up and carried our newest farm member to the barn with his mom following close behind.  We had not expected the other two girls in their pasture to get so upset, but they were worried about him leaving and running along the fence line trying to find him, so we opened the gate and let them follow too.  We had a barn party, the two newest and their mamas in the pen and the pregnant girls and new mama and crias with them in the rest of the barn.  Everybody was settled and ready for the storm which brought a lot of heavy rain overnight.

Ready for the storm

We named our newest farm member Peaceful Heart’s Polar Night.  His parents are the lovely Henrietta Ruth, “Ruthie”, and fabulous Polar Ice.  Night is a rich true black in color and as we sat around discussing name possibilities, we read that the opposite of the midnight sun phenomena at the poles is called polar night, when the night lasts for more than 24 hours in the polar circle.  We thought it was a perfect name for our newest boy.  Night weighed 18 pounds at birth, and is also enjoying being out and about with the other crias today.

Ima Joy, MJ, Night and Ruthie

Wade is a little more standoffish with the new boys and is content to stand back and watch them.  Hercules is ready to play!  He is kicking up his heels and running from cria to cria.  You can see more pictures of our fall crias on our Facebook page.  (You can see the pictures without having a Facebook account.)

Hercules with the new crias, Wade in the background

We invite you to come out and watch them play this weekend.  The weather is supposed to be sunny and the leaves are predicted to be at their peak colors.  Come by the farm to see the alpacas and then enjoy some of the other fun things to do in the area, including the Blue Ridge Music Center, Blue Ridge Pumpkins, Mabry Mill, and Nancy’s Candy Company to name a few.  We also have great places to eat nearby.

For those of you looking to begin or add to your alpaca herd, our Ready to Deliver Package is no longer available, but we still have a lot of other options.  Talk with us today about creating your own special alpaca package.


* In our experience, newborn alpaca crias don’t have enough sense to come in out of the rain, and in fact seem to have an unfortunate habit of settling out in the rain no matter how bad the storm.  Within a few days, they have mastered following their mothers, so when a heavy rain starts they run to the barn with everyone else.  After too many experiences of running out in storms to bring crias back under the shelter only to have them head outside again with their worried mothers close behind, I have decided that preventing the possibility is less stressful for all.

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