Long Meg’s Diary 31-07-10
In what must have been the shortest llama birth on record I’ve produced my third son in three years. His name is Rollright.
On Tuesday I had an inkling I was about to give birth and spent most of the day kushed in Oak Field whilst the other girls mooched about, or ate, or played. Something was impending. On Wednesday morning we made our way up to the yard as usual and this is where I gave birth. Two years ago I was caught by surprise and produced Kennett in the field so that our people didn’t know and couldn’t help. Last year I was wise and gave birth to Stanton Drew in the barn with our female person and my doctor looking on. To be especially certain of help, this year I waited till I saw our male person appearing in the yard. I was so keen to be near him I blocked the door to the office so he had to coax me out of the way.
The other females watched as I gave birth, and this took just ten minutes before my new baby boy cracked onto the hard floor.
The baby starts to emerge. A white nose, feet with a protective waxy covering. He’s dark. Is he grey or is he brown? I push and rest. The nose goes back in and the feet emerge with the nose.
This always happens: one of the girls gets in close to say hello to the new baby when he’s only partially born. Tenbury Wells was the one doing the greeting this time. The baby eases and stretches out, feet touching the floor and then he is born. From start to finish just ten minutes.
Rollright lies wet spread out on the floor of the yard. For a short while he doesn’t move much, but then struggles onto his tummy and tries to get up. But he has no control of his neck muscles and he hits his head on the ground. Our person steps in with a towel and cushions my son’s head so he can’t hurt himself. My person towels the little one dry and steps back. My baby stands. Fifty minutes later I pass the placenta and my baby is under me for a first feed at one hour old. Person is pretty sneaky at this point and whilst Rollright is feeding and standing still, our person holds a jar of iodine around the umbilical cord. Soon this will seal itself and shrivel. To make sure he sprays the cord too.
Five hours later and the gangly thing is escorted to a new field for the first time. We females gather round and shepherd him down the track. The sun is good for Rollright. Tenbury Wells’ 6 week Marden thinks she has a new playmate but he’s a bit small at this stage. After a day of charging around my boy, Marden calmed down. She’s very happy now that Rollright runs around with her.
Rollright is three days old now and spends his days playing, feeding, resting and learning. Our people laugh at the different ways we llama mothers encourage our babies to feed. When Tenbury Wells’ Marden was a few days old and Tenbury wanted the baby to feed, she’d kick her in the side so Marden got up. I prefer a more maternal method. I nibble Rollright’s toes and he gets up to feed. It’s gentler than Tenbury Wells’ ‘tough love’ school of llama upbringing, but both methods work.
Rollright is lovely.
More llama news from Golden Valley Llamas soon.