Monday, August 3, 2009

The First 48

The first 48 hours of a crias life are so busy. The first day is concentrated on survival. How do I breathe? How do I get these long things under me out and in front so I can stand? Now where did you say that dairy bar was? Over here in the dark corner? The crias will look for the dark place, and often will go to corners of the barn or stall, looking for milk. Once they find their mother, it's pretty easy to find the dark place. Usually. If the cria is strong and healthy. With the unusually hot weather we have had here in the Northwest, I'm afraid several of our crias were born with heat stress. We've tried very hard to keep the alpacas cool, but as the old saying goes: You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. The same goes for alpacas. The barn is about 10 degrees cooler than outdoors, but it's rare that the girls will go inside. I could go on and on in this vein, but I won't

So, to continue. The cria will spend her first day nursing and sleeping. She will try out her legs a little, but probably won't stray very far from mom. She will meet the rest of the herd, which can be pretty overwhelming.The second day, she will sleep ALOT. Nurse, sleep, nurse, sleep.

She has to regain her strength from all the work she put in the day before. Then on the third day, she starts running. This is so much fun, and if there are other crias around, they all join in. In fact, even the yearlings and adults will join the fun.

By nature, the alpacas enjoy running in the evening, right as the sun is going down. We call it running laps. In the high Andes Mountains, where they are from, they do this to get the blood running and warm them up for a long, cold night. So even when it's still 90 degrees at 9PM here, the alpacas are out running. Their instincts tell them to. Besides, it's such fun.


  1. What FUN to watch these videos. Thanks for taking them and posting them here!

  2. Poor Madison, nothing worse than being the outcast. You tell her for me that soon she will be able to get paid .35/hour for babysitting.

  3. Aww, aren't the babies just too cute and I have to say I really enjoyed viewing the vid. Aw, poor Madison...hugs to that sweet girl.