Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Last cria of the year just arrived

(This is Lalana, the mum.)

Bank holiday Monday saw another wet day to go with the many we have had during the summer here in Swansea.

Finally the sun arrived in the afternoon. This was closely followed by a pair of white feet, spotted at a distance across the valley. Lalana, our oldest mum at 6 yrs, produced a gorgeous girl with long legs.

(This is the new cria at the really floppy stage.)

She weighed in at 8.75 Kg which is big in anybody's books. She struggled initially because of being born on a steep slope. As she tried to cush, she kept toppling over and kept sliding further and further down the hill. In the end I decided she needed some flat ground to get herself established so I picked her up in the sling (taking the opportunity to weigh her) and gently moved her. Mum was in tow and keeping a very close eye on me. Really don't like interfering like this but felt it was necessary in the end.

After 10 minutes she had cushed for the first time (briefly), 50 minutes to her first wobbly stand and just over an hour and a half to her first feed. I think it would all have been quicker on the flat but you just have to try to let them get on with it without interfering too much.

Last year Lalana gave us days of warning behaviour with her cushing and frequent trips to the poo pile and lots of tail lifting; this time she fooled me. I had weighed Lalana earlier in the day and checked her Sacrotuberous ligaments (they run from base of tail to wing of pelvis) which are normally like piano wires but near to giving birth relax and almost disappear. They were hardly present but the rest of her behaviour suggested it was not going to be today. Ah well, learning all the time.

Lalana's cria is doing just fine and feeding well. She is getting stronger all of the time and moves around with the herd without any trouble. They are all gorgeous at this stage but she is particularly pretty girl and her fleece looks really nice though it is obviously too early to be sure just how good it is. Nice to finish the cria season with a girl, having had two boys earlier in the year.

Now if it would just stop raining for a while...

Finally, this is a video clip of her first attempts at walking. Lots of forward momentum but she had trouble with the stopping or turning. As you can see, the rest of the herd seemed to want to check out her technique and give general encouragement.

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