Marden’s Diary 23-04-13
Flowerdown was born last night in the dark. Ha ha ha, I kept everyone guessing with a series of false alarms, strange behaviour and occasional rattiness (so unusual for me, you understand).
On Saturday it was sunny and I spent most of the day lying in Oak Field. The other llamas avoided me and our people kept checking to see if I was about to give birth. But no, I fooled ‘em and whilst I had a pleasant enough afternoon, the two legs were sunburned.
Sunday wasn’t quite such a good day, and llamas usually wait for the best weather if we can. Monday saw a party of twenty five visiting for a bit of llama karma, and realising a stressful birth wouldn’t be to everyone’s taste I put off the birth till I was quite certain they had left.
An hour or so before sunset everyone realised I would give birth and Stenness, Rollright, Stanton Drew and Moai came rushing over to check on me. I’d developed a fondness for a particularly large molehill in the paddock over a course of a few days and liked to rub the bridge of my nose on the crumbly soil. Long Meg has been so sympathetic to me over the last few weeks, and I tried to sit next to her a few times, but seeing as I was practically on top of her in my rather distressed state she kept on rising and wandering off. I settled on baby Sarum. Was Sarum mine or Hetty Pegler’s? Hetty P suggested Sarum was her’s. I didn’t argue.
Our people shepherded us up to the barn and I immediately sat down near the manger. Ol’ Ringsbury was a bit too lively for my liking and our people told him and the other lads to leave the yard and to sleep in the field for the night.
It was dark when I started to give birth to my daughter Flowerdown, but it was a quick birth – I’ve seen several at Old King Street Farm. A rose-tinted fawn my daughter is, pretty much the same size as Sarum. They will be terrific playmates.
As it was late and baby was damp (despite vigorous towelling) I was penned with my cria on one side of the manger and the other girls stood the other side. Of course they piled in for a good sniff of the baby, but slept in a group protecting the newborn by blocking the entrance to the barn which was rather charming.
I fed her and then we settled down for the night.
Introduction to the herd is a major event in the first hours of a llama’s life. All the boys pile in to check the young one out. As long as she comes through the first two minutes of this all should be well. The boys are quite pushy. Ringsbury lifted Flowerdown’s back legs right off the ground with his nose.
And now, at less than a day old, my daughter is enjoying warm sunshine and good milk. She’ll follow me round for a walk later today, but when she’s tired she’ll lie down and I’ll shelter her from the sun by standing over her. My first cria….
More news from Golden Valley Llamas soon