For as long as I can remember I wanted to get an alpaca so I could shear them and use their fiber to spin it into yarn and knit with my own alpaca wool.
And It doesn’t hurt that they are so cute.
I never thought this dream would come true. I would tell my husband all of my crazy farm ideas and I think he thought that I was kidding. So about 3 years ago I called an Alpaca farmer in Prescott Arizona and we went to visit their farm on father’s Day. We learned a lot. They were very shy and inquisitive, they don’t like their heads touched, they are hard to catch and they are a lot like cats and don’t really give you the time of day unless they trust you. We fell in love with Zsu Zsu. Her fiber was dark blonde and she came from a great blood line.
We also knew we wanted a Cria (baby alpaca) so Zsu would need to get pregnant before she was delivered to us. Alpaca are herding animals so we picked another female to come to the farm. Her name is Lena and she’s become very protective of Zsu Zsu. Lena is the spitter and Zsu is the lover. Did you know alpaca’s are pregnant for 11 months?
It took a while for Zsu Zsu to get pregnant and after she got pregnant they still couldn’t travel for a couple of months because she could lose the cria (baby Alpaca) from stress. So we patiently waited for their arrival. They got the ultra sound that everything was great in July and they were delivered in August 2017.
We wanted to get them in Arizona because their desert climate is a lot like ours. Hot in summer and not too cold in the winter. They went over the whole birthing with us and gave us a date of January 22,2018. They also told us they are almost always born before noon. It never really looked like Zsu was pregnant and she didn’t act much different from Lena the whole pregnancy. She was actually a little nervous at times but was never mean and she never spits. We had a vet come out about a week before the due date. She said she was doing great.
Sure enough at 9am on January 22 I saw Zsu standing awkwardly and something literally was hanging from her back side. I ran out with my cria kit and gloves. I called my husband. We were a little nervous but prepared.
Brent came home from work around 9:45 and changed. Zsu was already pushing. The vet was texting us and so were the Alpaca farmers just to make sure everything was going smoothly. We broke the cria’s water around his nose so he could breathe and he immediately starting to cry a little. It was really sweet. The cria was in perfect positioning which is nose and front legs coming out first in a diving position.
Pretty cool right!!
We then let her push for about 15 minutes but nothing happened. I tried to pull the crias front legs to help a little but I wasn’t strong enough. So my husband did all the pulling. We were told not to pull too hard because you could hurt mama. So brent pulled gently out and down. Sure enough Zsu dropped to the ground. We had to move the Cria so his head wouldn’t get smashed. Within about 5 minutes Baby B wiggled himself out.
It was our first BOY💙
We wiped him off with a clean towel and cleaned out his mouth. With in 15 minutes he was walking around and starting to breast feed. Her placenta came out looking great and it pretty much was a perfect Alpaca birth story until...
Lena got jealous and thought little B was hers. She started to spit at Zsu and brent. Unfortunately we had to move her to the other side of the fence with the goats because she was getting aggressive with the Cria. It was a little scary because we weren’t expecting that at all.
Once we separated them Zsu got very upset and was having a hard time feeling Little B because she wanted Lena over by her. So a couple days later we reintroduced Lena to the cria. She was a little aggressive but we didn’t leave the alpacas all day until we knew the cria would be safe. It’s now been almost 2 months and everyone is getting along perfectly. We also had to weigh Little B everyday and he was slowly gaining weight. His fiber is beyond soft and he is extremely sweet.
We named him Little B because he is our first born boy. And my husbands name is Brent but we call him Big B for short. We love nicknames in our family so we also call him Baby B, bumble B and many other names.
Little B’s ears were curled a little because they think he might have been a little stressed or premature. He was only 12 pounds when he was born. Now he’s about 25 pounds. Pretty soon we won’t be able to hold him.
Vera and Little B
Lolly holding Little B for the first time.
It has been a fun experience so far. We are getting them all sheared in Arizona in April. I’ll let you know how that goes.