A Farm Miracle

Denise Jacobus

Tags Farm News
A little miracle happened on our farm this week. One of our pregnant maiden dams has become increasingly skinny over her pregnancy. Our vet has not yet been able to determine why. We knew because of her body condition that she likely would not have enough milk for her cria. When he was born, it was even worse. Although his mama seemed to love him, she wouldn't let him nurse at all. We bottle fed him colostrum, but he wasn't eager to say the least. We were not hopeful for this little guy with the shiny black crimpy fleece. Six hours after his birth the little miracle occurred. Caramel, whom I'm nominating for mother of the year, gave birth three weeks early to a perfectly healthy black female who looks very similar to the weak little boy. Caramel has a history of nursing cria who aren't her own. For those of you who are not alpaca people, this is very, very rare indeed. Caramel is such a toting mom that last year she encouraged a little one to nurse from her. Here's the crazy part . . .she wasn't pregnant and yet produced milk for that cria! We were hopeful that she would take on this little boy in need of a surrogate mom. We did an igG on him, and as suspected, he needed a transfusion. We bottle-fed him for several days - every three hours. Then, just as we had hoped, Carmel adopted him. I didn't want to tell his story sooner because I feared the worst would happen to him. Now after he has gained 3 pounds in 4 days, I am excited and hopeful for his future. Caramel, amazing mom that she is, is nursing both cria, and each one is gaining close to a pound a day!