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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A new Cria at Split Rock Ranch!

On Saturday, June 4th, Split Rock Winona Wildfire gave birth to a beautiful 30 pound male cria (baby llama). I suspected that Winona was in labor that morning but we already had plans to go to Colorado Springs to celebrate my birthday and my Dad's birthday. We always celebrate our birthdays together and this was a milestone birthday for Dad - his 75th! He proudly announced that he made it three-quarters of a century. Since Winona has had three other crias and wasn't a first time Mom, we felt comfortable leaving for the day. When we got back home a little before 5 PM we noticed that one of our studs was pacing the fencing in his run and we didn't see any of the females when we drove up so we knew something was going on. I left my purse and everything else in the car and headed out to the pasture to see what was going on. As soon as I got to the end of the privacy fence around our back yard, I saw that all the girls were gathered together under one of the big pine trees in their pasture. I knew that meant that either there was a brand new baby just born or she was still in the process of giving birth. I hollered to DH that we had a baby and he ran into the house to get clean towels and the birthing bag. I saw that the baby was partially out; his front legs and his head were out but his shoulders were stuck. DH came back out with towels and birthing bag and he grasped the front legs of the cria and gently pulled to loosen the shoulders. The rest of him quickly slid out into my waiting arms. We toweled him off an pulled the birth sac off him while all the females, including momma llama, sniffed and hummed to the new arrival. I sprayed the umbilical cord with iodone and DH carried the cria to an area where we normally put newborns and their Moms so they can bond without all the other llamas intruding. I gave Winona some grain to eat while her cria started trying to stand.

I went back to the car and got my purse, etc. and changed into my work clothes, grabbed my camera and went back out to feed the horses and our two elderly llamas who are not in large pastures where we have bales of hay so the llamas can free feed. By the time I got back to check on the new cria, he was up and toddling about.

Here is a photo of him when he was first on his feet.

And here is the other side
I haven't used the video feature on my digital camera until recently and I was surprised at how easy it is to use and download the videos! Here is a short video I did of the cria as he was toddling about trying to figure out where he was supposed to nurse from.

When he finally got his sea legs and had nursed, we opened the gates and let them go back in with the rest of the female llamas so everyone could say hello to the newest member of their herd.

Here he is with his momma, Winona, before we let them back in with the rest of the girls.

The dam's name is Split Rock Winona Wildfire; she was born at the height of the Hayman Fire in June of 2002. The sire's name is Midnight's Kemui Yama, which is Japanese for Smoky Mountain; he was born during a wildfire across the road from us in June of 2006. This is his first cria and we are thrilled with him. This cria was born during the wildfires raging in Arizona and the air here has been filled with smoke for days now.

Here is Kemui Yama

We knew that we wanted a name with "fire" in it or something that gave the sense of fire. We also wanted to include Midnight in the name in honor of his paternal grandsire, Midnight Hour who passed away from cancer this past January. Somebody suggested Firestar, which we liked. But Midnight Starfire rolled off the tongue easier so we were considering those names. But then someone who read the story about his background suggested the name Phoenix - to represent rising from the ashes of fires, which is perfect! So, we are going to name him Split Rock Midnight Phoenix. He already answers to the name Phoenix so we think it is perfect for him.

Here he is the next day when he was about 20 hours old. He was all dried out and fluffy so he looks totally different than he did in the first photos when he was still damp.

We expect Midnight Phoenix to be our next halter show llama! He will be eligible for shows as of November 4, 2011 so he'll miss this year's show season but he'll be ready to go for the 2012 show season! We're hoping he'll follow in his sire and grandsire's footsteps.


Pricilla said...

Oh he is beautiful. All little ones are so funny as they search for that teat.

Emma Springfield said...

He is a real cutie. His name is too big for him now but he will quickly grow into it.

Mountaindreamers said...

He is gorgeous . I just love what you do. I hope someday to have a llama ; )

Split Rock Ranch said...

Pricilla: Thank you! Yes, it is funny to watch all the little ones as they search for that teat the first time!

Emma: Thank you. He's actually a fairly large llama. Normally the crias are around 20 pounds and he was 30 at birth.

Mountaindreamers: Thank you! I hope you can have a llama one day!

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

I never saw a newborn llama! How skinny he is. What a cutie.

Sparkle the Designer Cat said...

How exciting! Such a spindly little guy, but he is already stunning!

Split Rock Ranch said...

Sharkbytes: They do look pretty skinny when they are newborns and still wet!

Sparkle: We are very excited about this cria! He looks spindly in his newborn photos but he looks incredible several days later!

Lin said...

Oh, he is a BEAUTY!! I love his "black eye"!! I'm sure all the girls are gonna love that. :)

Give him a big squeeze from Aunt Lin!

Anna said...

Congratulations! He is beautiful! I really enjoyed both the short video and reading about his birth.
Best wishes and hugs,