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 3. Birthing & Neonatal Care
 new mom rejecting cria
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Cheryl

233 Posts

Posted - 06/18/2011 :  9:26:49 PM  Show Profile  Visit Cheryl's Homepage  Reply with Quote
A first-time mom birthed a healthy-looking cria this afternoon, but the dam doesn't want to let the baby nurse at all. The cria's tried over and over, but the dam kicks and pushes her away. I've not seen the dam even show any interest in smelling her baby, etc. She's shown more interest in other crias born on the farm in the past than in her own! And, yes, I'm sure this is the right dam. :)

For now, I have them penned together. Tried holding mom, and feeding her grain by hand, to get her to stand still, but she still kicks cria away. Tried unsuccessfully to milk mom, but she's fighting too much, and I can't imagine that's doing anyone any good.... I read someone's suggestion about rubbing mom's urine scent on the cria, but in this case, it isn't likely to work, since mom won't let cria anywhere near her. In the meantime, I'm going to give the baby a bottle to be sure she doesn't get dehydrated, but I'm not sure what else to do to encourage bonding. Any suggestions?

Thanks,



Cheryl Ross
Mount Ampato Alpacas
Brookville, OH
937-770-1120 (home)
937-307-9437 (cell)
cheryl@mtampato.com

Edited by - Cheryl on 06/18/2011 10:18:11 PM

rgoss1

663 Posts

Posted - 06/18/2011 :  9:33:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Cheryl - I've read that people have had great success with penning them together and bringing in a dog or something that will "kick" in the moms protective mode.

Also, has she passed the placenta? Sometimes a female doesn't want to have anything to do with the cria until that passes.

Was this a tough birth? Could she be in pain? Perhaps a shot of Banamine might settle her down a little.

thanks

Roxanne Goss
Lands End Alpacas LLC
Vermilion, Ohio
gossr@roadrunner.com 440-225-4138
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Cheryl

233 Posts

Posted - 06/18/2011 :  10:28:37 PM  Show Profile  Visit Cheryl's Homepage  Reply with Quote
This female showed no signs of being in labor as of lunchtime, yet the cria was dry and up after dinner, so I can only assume the delivery wasn't particularly difficult. Her rear end does look very tender, though not really any more than most newly delivered females. Nevertheless, Banamine sounds like a good suggestion. Mom's udder looks quite full, and that could be causing some discomfort as well.

One downside of LGDs is that they eat the placenta, so when the females give birth unattended, we never see a placenta. I doubt putting one of the dogs in will worry her, since she's so used to them, but it certainly won't hurt anything to try!

By the way, the cria didn't really want the bottle. Every time she'd drink for a few seconds, she'd immediately head back to mom, who'd kick her away. Obviously, the cria knows what to do. Anyway, I got her to take about an ounce, and I'll try again in a couple of hours.

Thanks for the suggestions, Roxanne!

Cheryl Ross
Mount Ampato Alpacas
Brookville, OH
937-770-1120
cheryl@mtampato.com
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sylvesterranch

41 Posts

Posted - 06/18/2011 :  11:08:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Cheryl, we have a female that we sold last year and are agisting her. She was a first time mom last December.....and amazingly, while she was in labor, one of our females walked out in the pasture and plopped her baby out in front of her. The one in labor walked over to the new cria, smelled it, and decided it was hers! (with her cria 1/2 hanging out of her!)....after hers was born, she flat out refused to nurse that baby. Mom was a first time mom and confused (I would be too if I thought someone had switched my baby for another!) I did NOT want a bottle baby.....we tried rubbing her placenta on her baby, rubbing mom's urine on her...all to no avail. We ended up separating mom and baby from the group she was with, putting her and her cria in a very small enclosure in the barn. Every 2 hours for 5 days AND nights, I held the Mom (sometimes with her screaming at me) while her baby learned to get under her and nurse. After the 5th day, something clicked in mom, and she decided she would nurse her cria WITHOUT my help. (I think she got tired of me waking her up every 2 hours at night and forcing her against the wall while baby ate!) I kept her separate for almost a month from the other group of mom's, so she would not get confused again over which cria was hers. She ended up being a good mom, and now.....6 months later, her cria was just weaned a couple weeks ago. Be patient and don't give up on her yet....you CAN get this new mom off on the right track. Good luck!!!

Jeannie Sylvester
Sylvester Ranch Alpacas
Burleson, Texas
www.sylvesterranchalpacas.com
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Cheryl

233 Posts

Posted - 06/18/2011 :  11:12:43 PM  Show Profile  Visit Cheryl's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the encouragement, Jeannie. Interesting situation, that's for sure. By holding your girl against the wall, did that stop her from being able to kick at the baby?

I just re-read your post. Every 2 hours for 5 days and nights! Eeek! <sigh> I guess I don't really need sleep anyway. lol

Cheryl Ross
Mount Ampato Alpacas
Brookville, OH
937-770-1120
cheryl@mtampato.com
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sylvesterranch

41 Posts

Posted - 06/19/2011 :  09:21:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
LOL.....there were nights that I just kind of staggered out to the barn, held mom while I was half asleep, went back to bed- and started over again 2 hours later! Was not fun, but 5 sleepless nights was worth it over 6 months of being tied down to a bottle baby! I had just recently gotten an IPhone, and found I could set the alarm on it's clock for numerous times (every 2 hours!!!) during the night! Worked great!

The first couple times it took 2 people to hold Mom and teach baby how to nurse. I then learned I could do it on my own by holding Mom against the stall panel or barn wall, I could keep her more mobile that way and she couldn't swing away from me or baby. If Mom was really fighting it, I would put my knee a bit behind her front leg and under her...preventing her from going forward or backwards. Baby learned that when I held Mom, she would pop under her and nurse as fast as she could! Again....once Mom started nursing her cria on her own, I kept her in a different pasture with one of my older females as company for almost a month. After all that, I was not going to let her change her mind on which cria was hers!!! Call me Cheryl if you have any questions!!

Jeannie Sylvester
Sylvester Ranch Alpacas
Burleson, Texas
www.sylvesterranchalpacas.com
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danimac

936 Posts

Posted - 06/19/2011 :  7:14:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Cheryl -- the dam may be in pain and that could be causing her lack of interest. I'd check with the vet about using banamine.

Also, Dr. Ruthann (over on the yahoo forum United Alpacas) has suggested a light dose of torbusic (sp?), so the dam doesn't care when the cria is put up against her to nurse and can help the bonding process.

Good luck!

Dani

Dani McKenzie
Longbottom Meadows
Roy, WA
360-400-0348
http://www.longbottommeadows.com
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Upperfarmnic

491 Posts

Posted - 06/20/2011 :  12:20:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We are unfortunately going through this with a PROVEN dam giving birth yesterday. She was a fairly indifferent mom to her first, but accepted her and did her job. This baby, she just doesn't want to feed her. I tried torbugesic last night and it didn't work.

So we're doing the same thing--every 2-3 hours holding her so the baby can nurse. Sometimes we can just stand close by and she'll hold still, a couple of times I've really boxed her ears to put her in her place, and mostly it's just a matter of holding a hand under her throat without pressure. But if we don't restrain her she will not let her nurse.

She knows she's her baby and will sniff her head and butt occasionally and look for her if we carry her out of sight.

She gets a big fat F in mothering. With both crias she wouldn't even participate in the delivery, quitting once head/feet presented until we pulled them out.

They are confined to an 8x5 pen, which doesn't help her mood. I think with perserverence she will eventually chill out and I hope it doesn't take another 4 days! For now, I just hold her gently and coo in her ear in a sweet tone that I remember what a sweet baby she was herself and that I want to kick her selfish a$$.

Nicole Carter
Upper Farm Alpacas
Pownal, ME
niccarr33@msn.com
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rgoss1

663 Posts

Posted - 06/21/2011 :  7:52:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Its never easy to know when to step in. I've seen some moms that simply won't nurse their crias when people are around. I've also seen some pretty smart crias that found others moms to sneak milk from. I've also got two moms that are still letting their year old crias nurse from them.

Apparently, not all moms and crias read the books about proper nursing and weaning etiquette(lol)!!

I give kudos to Jeannie who has mastered both her Iphone and the ability to hold mom single-handedly while letting the cria nurse. Way to go!!

Roxanne Goss
Lands End Alpacas LLC
Vermilion, Ohio
gossr@roadrunner.com 440-225-4138
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Cheryl

233 Posts

Posted - 06/22/2011 :  10:23:59 AM  Show Profile  Visit Cheryl's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Just an update.

The bad news....drugging the dam hasn't worked; holding her hasn't worked. She still won't let her cria anywhere near her udder, no matter how persistent the poor little thing is. The dam continues to show no interest in even smelling her cria. She's been far more interested in other crias born on the farm in the past than to her own. We did wonder whether the dam was only acting this way due to our presence, but I don't think so. She acts the same, even when we're outside the barn.

The good news....the cria has figured out the whole bottle-feeding thing. I don't look forward to the inconvenience of the bottle-feeding, but I'm thankful that she's eating plenty.

Thanks everyone for the advice and moral support.

Cheryl Ross
Mount Ampato Alpacas
Brookville, OH
937-770-1120
cheryl@mtampato.com
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Upperfarmnic

491 Posts

Posted - 06/22/2011 :  11:10:11 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We're still fighting the battle too. If the dam sees us coming she will hold still for her cria so we don't go in her pen and hold onto her. She can't usually take it till the baby's done and I end up restraining her to some degree. So while she hasn't learned to mother the baby, she has learned that we mean business to at least feed her in our presence.

I tried putting her pee on the baby's butt and between the ears and her nose, but nothing. Next time I catch her going I'll try a heavier "dose".

This morning I moved her daughter from last year to a different group, as she has been glued to the panel since her dam was penned up Sunday. Mom does seem to be looking for her so maybe she'll turn her attention to the one that needs it now. I will probably try the torb in a day or two again if necessary.

Nicole Carter
Upper Farm Alpacas
Pownal, ME
niccarr33@msn.com
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lhmaggie

299 Posts

Posted - 06/23/2011 :  4:17:23 PM  Show Profile  Visit lhmaggie's Homepage  Click to see lhmaggie's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
We had a similiar situation with a c section mom. The suggestions included putting vanilla on baby's butt and mom's nose. I have also heard Vicks Vapor Rub.
Our mom never did accept hr cria. It was sad as the cria followed her everywhere. If I tied mom up she would run to nurse. After 2 wks I gave up.

Good Luck !



Margaret Laird
Lighthouse Alpacas
Jamestown, Pa 16134
lapaca@windstream.net
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katy

116 Posts

Posted - 06/24/2011 :  11:22:36 AM  Show Profile  Visit katy's Homepage  Reply with Quote
We had this with a proven dam and cria a couple years ago. It ended up that the cria had several unnoticable birth defects that we have since linked to a certain breeding combination. We decided to put him down. I guess the mother knew best.

Katy Holland
Alpacas of Holland Acres
32749 800th ave
Olivia, MN 56277
www.alpacanation.com/hollandacres.asp
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Upperfarmnic

491 Posts

Posted - 06/24/2011 :  11:28:54 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This morning I observed from a distance the baby nursing 3 of 4 times without any trouble. The one time the dam sidestepped her, I yelled her name from the house (about 80 yards away) and she stopped in her tracks and let the cria on.

Not calling it a victory yet but getting there. After losing a 1.3 pounds the first 24 hours we've had steady gains every day, with yesterday being 3/4 of a pound.

Nicole Carter
Upper Farm Alpacas
Pownal, ME
niccarr33@msn.com
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