These are suggested guide-line information. This is to give you a feel for alpaca care.
The Wonder of Cria
This short article is being reprinted, it was originally published in the NEAOBA NEWS, Winter 2006 addition. In the more than eight years and a good number of cria born here at Wright Choice Alpacas, I find that the wonder does not fade. Some of the worry about birthing and raising them does, but there will always be the possibility of troubles which only makes each one more precious, if that is in fact possible. I think that enough years have gone by that many new eyes will have the chance to see what I see and hopefully have the chance to be touched as the cria have touched my heart. I did in fact have to retype it as it was lost to a crashed computer. I had kept the magazine though. Here is the original in its entirety.
What a wonderful world it is that includes these precious babes. To watch them in their rollicking play, racing, darting this way and that, makes my heart sing and my eyes water. The pure joy of taking flight with a bound in the middle of a lap around the field, I can just about feel that in my heart’s memory… of long ago but not far away, for me it is a glimpse of the timeless joy of being a kid in the country. It tugs at a memory of barefoot races down the dirt roads of my childhood, or flying down a hill on a saucer and going airborne. Of course we were not so graceful, but we thought so.
Any day that includes a few minutes of watching the cria playing and pronking is a day worth being alive. There is very little to do with cria that isn’t a little piece of wonder. It doesn’t seem to matter that this tiny babe, still wet from birth, struggling to get to its feet may well be the forth one that you have seen that summer. They are precious little miracles, every one of them. How they grow and discover what it means to be an alpaca is a daily experience, for me as well as for them. I like to watch them as their personalities emerge. Some of them, you know who they are from that first hour of life, in the way they deal with their trembling legs that just want to go everywhere but where they are needed. The ones that are in an all-out battle to win control over those wandering limbs are future herd leaders no doubt. The sweet, low keyed ones take longer to get to their feet.
Later the power plays as each little one starts working his way up the alpaca herd ladder. I get a kick out of watching a twenty pound cria trying to intimidate an one hundred fifty pound female, it just makes me chuckle. They apparently don’t feel that their small size should stop them from doing anything.
It’s a special treat for me when I let them out of the smaller night paddocks, especially after being kept in of visitors on Open Farm Days. They are so full of energy that they race around at top speed as if their lives depended on it. They are so fast that their legs are like the spokes of a wheel in motion. They take a leap or change direction with phenomenal ease; it is a wonder that those tiny legs can do so without shattering!
You are probably thinking that I’m new to alpacas, that I’m just learning all of this; yeah I’m new, about 2,000 days new! These are like rainbows, and beautiful sunrises and sunsets, I’ll never stop watching and thanking God for such beauty.
Have you watched your cria play today?
Submitted by Deb Bahre, Wright Choice Alpacas