This is our tale of our first set of twins. *spoiler – not all of it is a happy story*
One of our very first female alpacas was sent off to Alpacas at Lavendar Lane to be bred to Totara. Her breeding didn’t seem to take on the first try or the second and maybe not even the third as she never spit off. We decided to wait for an ultrasound just in case she just wasn’t spitting off for some reason. We all had heard of it happening before, and Isis had never been bred by our two farms before, she was always sent away for breedings and they took care of it for us and sent home after ultra-sound confirmation.
We got her home and waited until ultrasound time and had the vet come out (we certainly can’t do that ourselves). He did confirm that she was pregnant. So, we put her at due from the last breeding and put her back in the field.
Our near term female got brought up to the barn where we could watch them on camera to ensure everything was going good with them and to see if there was a birth in progress from the house. (I really need to get that set back up again at the new place, but the distances are so much further…something to work on in the future.) Isis however, wasn’t really near term and we were in the mourning process of losing our first alpaca cria in 4 years of doing this. It was a hard and shocking loss to say the least, but that’s another story I don’t want to go into. Isis hadn’t moved up to the barn anyway, she still was about 2 months until due when Kim walked to the field to do some daily feeding and checking and found a cria on the ground. A gorgeous black female. We scoured the field for the after-birth but could not find anything. We finally gave up and decided the cats or birds must have gotten to it quickly.
We moved Isis up to the barn so we could monitor her status closely, and kept in close touch with the vet. Nothing seemed to be going wrong with her, so after a couple weeks of monitoring, we moved her back down to the open girls field. Contacted Totara’s owners and started discussing re-breeding options. It was really making for a tough year. We were seriously considering leaving the business. Can’t handle seeing those poor babies lifeless.
A little over a month later, Kim walks out to the field where the open females are and discovers a cria. How can this be? There is only one other female on the farm still to deliver at this point and she is in the next field. Did we get the wrong female that lost her cria? The cria was obviously Isis’ since he was up and nursing before we found him. We called the vet out, and he came over in a couple days to do the cria check. We also had him do an ultrasound on the last girl, even though I was sure I could tell she was very pregnant still, there is always that little doubt that says I must be doing something wrong. I wasn’t, she was still pregnant and Isis had twins.
The vet says that without actually saying impossible, it is highly unlikely that an animal could pass one cria and maintain a second to full term. I don’t care what the vet says, because it happened. Gemini was named for his twin status and he is the miracle that kept us in the alpaca business. He is the cutest little guy, and I mean little. Being a twin has made him much smaller than all the other alpacas his age, but he has gotten some spunk. He was able to spit off one of our studs when we finally introduced them in the field together…something we were dreading doing because of his size. He is the sweetest little man now. He was a huge hit at the Clark County Fair this year too.
Take a look at him in my video on Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/video/?id=128347328253