Tenbury Wells’ Diary – Merrivale is born

And then there were three! The third and final baby llama born at Golden Valley Llamas this year is mine. She’s the first girl. And she’s gorgeous. There she is on the right! Isn’t she lovely? A pretty name too – she’s called Merrivale.

Everyone knew I was going to have a baby, as I’d had an udder for at least six weeks. Our people checked on me at 10.15 last Monday night, so seeing my opportunity to give birth without them knowing anything about it, I produced Merrivale in the middle of the night. She’s a mid brown colour, similar to me, and quite fluffy. Her face markings are like Long Meg’s.

What’s becoming the llama-mother-and-baby-routine here was kicked into action: put mother and cria in a pen with hay and water, and lock the rest of the herd in the yard so I didn’t miss them. Everyone expects the regular routine to change a bit when a cria comes along, and no-one seems to mind being locked in for a night to keep the mother company.

Merrivale is quite small (though not as small as Kennett was) and this is probably because she’s my first cria. She feeds a lot and is putting on weight. As she’s not a week old, she’s a bit awkward on her legs, but then she’ll hare off and give her muscles some good exercise.

We’ve all gone back to Bottom Field near the stream and from there we can see the fourteenth llama at Old King Street Farm. He is called Pepsi, and is older than everyone else here, even Ringsbury. He stays in Oak Field and spends most of the time on his own, but every so often one of the girls goes to visit him so she can mate with him. Pepsi has been with us a month, and the girls quite like him. I’m not so sure that the boys do and there have been snorting and clucking competitions between Pepsi and Ringsbury and Silbury.

Maes Howe is of course a great auntie, and Callanish seems to have calmed down with this third baby of the year. She hasn’t tried to steal Merrivale like she tried to take Croft Ambrey from Maes Howe! It’s a shame for Callanish and Doll Tor that they didn’t have babies this year. They are the oldest girls, and we all hoped they might be pregnant. Maybe next year.

In Bottom Field we sometimes run a crèche for the youngsters so you’ll see all three mothers and their cria in one corner of the field. All us aunties help each other out, and it gives the youngsters a chance to feed from mother or to graze.

See how much Croft Ambrey has grown since he was born in May! Maes Howe is very proud of him.

Merrivale is lovely and I usually keep her near me. As soon as she’s out of sight I call to her with a deep hum, so she comes running.

I need to feed her now, so I’ve got to go, but we’ll let you have more llama chat soon.

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