It has been a lovely Summer down at the farm, with our small group of cria. I dare say we have had a relatively easy year.
However, our biggest success hasn’t been related to one of our own cria, it has been helping a special little alpaca called Prince! Prince’s mum wasn’t producing much, if any, milk, and bottles desperately weren’t agreeing with him. We are very very fortunate to have a wet nurse, who produces milk on seeing the first cria of the season, and will happily be a top up bar for any nosey cria!
When our friends told us about Prince, we decided to make use of the asset that (thank goodness) we weren’t using. It was a risk, uprooting a cria, placing them in our concrete barn and hoping they would bond. But things weren’t looking good for Prince, through no fault of his own or his owners. We had never attempted to bond Lucy to a cria, so there was no guarantee she would go beyond allowing cria to top up.
It is safe to say it is one of the best decisions we have ever made. As soon as lovely Lucy heard the sound of a humming cria she immediately rushed to him and the bond was instant. We left them to it and went for a walk around the farm and watched them on the camera that covers the barn. Within minutes he was feeding, and the rest is history!
After quarantine Prince was let out into a paddock with Lucy and some friends. This was the next milestone! Would the bond continue with the other cria about, who would happily steal a snack? Would he be distracted by other lactating dams? Would going from being kept calm and indoors to outside with lots to see and do sap his energy? Would that bond hold?
Luckily, it couldn’t have gone better! Our cheeky cria still do steal the odd snack, as shown here by naughty Dollar. But Lucy is happy to oblige!
Prince is now back on track, and is a totally normal (naughty) cria. He will return to his home farm after weaning, we will be very sad to see him go but we are just delighted that we have been able to help.