Roundabout Acres has our first CRIA!!

We had given up on Llama Watch, Round 2.  We thought that both llamas had lost their pregnancy, somewhere along the way.  The two girls had a busy and stressful year – they were bred, moved to our home, and learned to live with a flock of sheep.  And don’t forget – they had to get used to newbie Shepherds who kept dogs on the farm.  (Llamas don’t care for canines – that is why they make good sheep guardians.)  They’ve had quite a few new situations introduced into their lives in one year.  So we accepted the fact that this year was a bust and we would have our first crias next year.

Yesterday morning I went out to the barnyard to check on a NC Cheviot ewe who has been “down” since Saturday night.  Sadly, Fiona’s mother (see Shepherding 201 post) has developed paralysis in her hind legs.  We tried everything in the book in case it was Milk Fever, Pregnancy Toxemia, or wormload (unlikely) – calcium gluconate, propylene glycol, LA200, Valbazen, Power Punch, etc.  I called the Vet and got some dexamethasone on Sunday.  He thinks she has a bad disk.  He said he has seen more than the usual numbers of animals going down recently.  She certainly has no feeling in her back legs and cannot use them.  We have her set up in a large pen with her lamb.  Fiona can still nurse, but I have started introducing the bottle, just in case.  Cheviot #7 is eating and drinking but just can’t get up.  But this whole topic makes me very sad, so I will move on an leave it for another day.  Hopefully, she will get better…

So, after looking at Cheviot #7, I started scanning the flock, as Shepherds do.  We get to know our sheep and what is “normal.”  As I scanned the barnyard, my eyes landed on a brown, kushed form about 10 feet in front of me!  I lept into the air and whooped!  Llama mother Karma was standing protectively to the side of the cria.  She began nosing her babe while I stood there with my mouth agape.  WE HAVE A CRIA!!  I called in the house to TH to “come out here quick!”  While he was coming, I snapped photos of the cria with my cell phone.  I still couldn’t believe it!  When TH got to the barnyard gate, he did the same thing I did.  He scanned sheep, looked for new lambs, etc.  I could hardly contain myself and had to keep my eyes from looking in the direction of the cria.  When he saw the new babe, he gasped with surprise!

2009 Karma cria close upRoundabout Acres 5/26/2009 Unnamed Male Cria

Of course at that point, we didn’t know if the cria was female or male.  It didn’t matter to us but we did check and learned it was a boy.  His coloring is a deep copper brown with grey accents.  His fiber is wavy and incredibly soft.  He is 3/4 Argentine so he should have good size and wonderful fiber.  We penned him with his mother.  While mom kept a close watch we quietly stroked his ears, lifted and bent his legs, handled his toes and soft red tail, and stroked his entire body and face.  We put a halter on his face, laid the catch rope over him, played with the brass buckles and latches so he could become familiar with their sounds.  The theory is that the more “things” the cria is exposed to early on will make it easier for handling later.

2009 Karma cria sideKarma with 2009 Male Cria.  (Sorry for the blurry photo.)  You can see Cheviot #7 and Fiona in the pen in the background.

Now for the naming.  TH and I NEVER agree on names.  Sigh.  I will let you know how that goes.  Suggestions???

2009 Karma cria side close-up

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8 responses to this post.

  1. Woo-hoo! What a great way to get your very first cria — no muss, no fuss. Congratulations, you deserve it! And he’s SO darn cute. I bet he makes the cutest little sounds too. Good luck with your name quest.

    I hope Cheviot #7 gets better soon. I know how hard it can be when a new mom is down like that. Our Hetty went down three days after lambing in 2006. It was a very trying time.

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  2. Congratulation on your first Cria, Terry!
    I’ve got to say, he’s one strange looking creature! I bet he’s adorable in ‘person’.

    How sad about your sick ewes. It’s got to be so hard for you to see them suffering like that. I hope they turn the corner and start to recover for you soon!

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    • Nancy – we have one NC Cheviot ewe who is down. And yes it is hard. Especially since she still has spunk and spirit. She is dragging herself around her pen with her front legs. She is eating well, letting her lamb nurse, and baaing when the other girls baa. And she is friendly and a good mom. I just HATE the thought of putting her down. Thanks for the sentiment.

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  3. What a wonderful surprise! How about “Portent” for a name? For some reason, to me it relates to “Karma.”

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  4. Posted by Ashley and John on 05/28/2009 at 10:48 PM

    John says Murphy for the name. i think that is a nice name too.

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  5. 개미허리! Gae-mi-heo-ri. Ant waist–the Korean phrase for hourglass figure, because damn that boy is skinny. Hee hee.

    Congrats Mom and Long Suffering Stepdad!

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    • He weighed 27.5 lbs on Day 4, which was the first time we got his weight. Crias are tall, narrow critters! I like the description of “ant waist” as that describes him perfectly!

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