Monday, September 20, 2010

Baby llama surprise!

One-day old
Friday around noon, I was sitting at my computer, which is in front of a window overlooking the barn pasture. I don't even remember what I was doing, but I gazed out into the pasture like I do a hundred times a day, and I saw something moving. It was not any of the usual animals that live in that pasture. Then it clicked. I gasped and shrieked, "Oh, my God!" I guess I sounded pretty panicked, because Mike came running from the kitchen. I repeated myself a few times, and he kept asking, "What? What?" as he ran into the library.

I pointed out the window, gasping and shrieking, "Baby! Baby! Baby!"

"Baby?" he asked. "What baby? Who had a baby?"

"Llama! Llama!" And then in a stroke of real genius, I was able to put two words together and say, "Llama baby! Llama baby! September! It's September!" You would have thought that I'd never seen a baby before.

Two-days old
Eleven months gestation is a long time to wait, and to complicate things more, there is a 20 day window in which llamas can give birth, kind of like humans, rather than the convenient five-day window that most goats birth within. So, although I knew Katy was due in September, it still meant a lot of waiting and uncertainty.

I ran to the door, pulled on my shoes, and ran to the pasture. As I got closer to the llamas, I slowed down so as not to scare Katy. I sat down under a tree and just watched the little llama wobbling around. Since llama males don't have family jewels that hang down like a lot mammals, I looked under his belly to see if it was flat or if there was a ________. (If I write the real words, the comment section will be filled with spam.) I finally got a good view of the belly and realized it was a boy! He was mostly dry, and I saw the placenta on the ground a few feet away, so he'd been with us for a few hours already. His hind legs were very weak and kept crossing each other, and he was falling down a lot, which worried me. We've never had such a long-legged baby before, so maybe it was normal. His legs were twice the length of his body.

Nursing at two days
I emailed a couple of llama breeders asking questions about what was normal and what was not, and later in the day, our neighbors (four miles in the country counts as neighbors) who raise alpacas came by to give their opinion. Everyone agreed that his hind legs were probably just crooked and weak because he'd been in a bad position inside mom, and within a few days they'd straighten out.

As of this morning, they are definitely stronger, but the right rear leg still bends inward some. Katy's breeder said that the little guy will  probably be fine, and if his hind leg isn't perfectly straight, he won't be the only llama with imperfect hind legs. She makes a good point! He has no trouble running around, so I should stop worrying.

Now, the next big thing is to come up with a name! Any suggestions? His mom is Katydid, and his father is Dolce & Gabbana, but I already have goat lines named after designers and insects, so don't know where to go with that one. He'll grow up to be a flock or herd guardian here, so maybe we could name him after a knight or someone like that? Llamas are from South America, so maybe something Spanish? Maybe a Peruvian city? He looks like he's wearing biker pants if you look at him from one side. He's mostly black and white with one brown spot on his back. I'm not coming up with anything. Help!

11 comments:

Annette said...

congrats on the baby! My favorite city in Peru was Cuzco - and it reminds me of the Emperor's New Groove. Yes, not very original, just many fond memories. =)

SkippyMom said...

First thing I thought of was Caballero - Cab for short - which can mean gentleman or knight in Spanish.

Then again black and white says Whoopie Pie to me. You could call him Whoopie, [for being so surprised that he showed up! Whoopie baby llama!] but that might not be so great. :D And besides Oreo has been over done.

CONEFLOWER said...

How about Lima Llama for Lima, Peru? He sure is a cutie.

CONEFLOWER said...

Or how about Lovely Little Lima Llama. :-)

Kathy ~ Cackles and Berries said...

He is very cute! The first knight I thought of was Sir Lancelot. I'm sure he will be an excellent guardian.

Michelle said...

I love Cuzco! You could then start a whole theme of naming baby llamas after Disney characters - you'd never run out of names!

Natalie said...

A spot in Spanish is a Mancha... could he be Quixote?

What a wonderful discovery... he is so cute.

(I learned to write words that attract unwanted attention with a symbol thrown in: pen!s... okay that looks a bit obscene lol.

Chicken Momma said...

I think Don Quixote or just Quixote would be perfect if you wanted something with a Spanish flair.

Michelle said...

The three colors made me think "Trifecta." Very cute!

Genny said...

Well, I know this has nothing to do with Cuzco, but his long legs made me think immediately of Dancer. Just sayin'. LOL He's gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

Following the Knights theme--"Fisher King", who guarded the grail.

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