Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Babies, and more babies!

We had a baby last week. We had thought she was due and had been watching since Jan 24th. So by this time we are getting tired of watching. Subsequently we found out that we had the due date wrong and she wasn't due until Feb 8. When we found this out, she was still overdue, but perhaps less concerning. One thing to remember though is that Alpacas can have viable pregnancies with terms from 11 months to 13 months... so no real concern yet, it could have been that the weather was cold and she didn't want to have her baby. Well finally last week (while Mike was gone) Barbara went into labor. I watched her close and something seemed strange. Alpacas usually birth easily, in fact some people say they can be eating at the hay bin and drop babies. So when she was laying down, and up and down and up and down again I got concerned. When I got out to check on her the baby was just just beginning to be born, and the head came out but no feet. In alpacas this is bad. The feet need to come out the same time as the nose, in fact the toes need to be in front of the nose. I had to reach in and find and pull out one leg, but when I went in to get the second, I could not reach it. The vet had to come out and get that second leg out. Once the second leg was in position, it was not 10 seconds before the baby popped out! She is totally black, and a girl.. our favorite kind! And she is the biggest strongest baby we have had to date. She was walking within 30 minutes. Her mom was pretty sore for the next few days, but otherwise all is fine. Baby's name is Zia.

We also were waiting for Cupid to have HER baby. She was also a few weeks overdue (Due Feb 4). She had a little beige boy last Friday (Leap Day). I was gone to Las Vegas (training) so this time Mike was all alone! At first it looked like we were going to have a repeat performance (the whole class was watching on the barncam from Las Vegas) but finally a nose and feet popped out. The birth was textbook after that. He also is a strong large boy, his name is Boston Elite.

The Son

So, I'm behind on my blogging, but this week I am in training and finding myself with a little more time so I'll blog a few topics in between lesson topics.

Mike's son Dan spent the month of January with us. He arrived on Christmas night and he and Mike took off on Dec 27 to hook up with two other sons, Jed, and Josh, and they went hunting for Quail in Arizona for a week. Didn't find many quail, but I don't have to tell you how Mike was in heaven that week, quail or no quail. Unfortunately the camper and truck presented them with lots of unexpected problems, but all survived.

Dan came back after the hunting and spent the rest of January at our house. He tore into our jobs around home, and they have now built us a front Closet, and divider for the living room, and enlarged the soon to be laundry room and moved that door, also modifying the pantry... So this is the beginning of the new and improved main house at Aardwolf Ranch. Certainly lots of relaxing also took place during that month, and I was amazed at the numbers of jobs they came up with needing to do that required the use of the new tractor or 4-wheeler. Dan also rode the horse a few times. We wished he could have stayed longer but eventually his job called him back to Missoula. As a forester his Winter season is slow... perhaps he'll be back next year.