We have a new addition!
Baby Stardust was born last Sunday. She was born healthy around noon, and immediately started exploring the pasture. Unfortunately, she and her mother Izzie didn’t connect in the nursing department. We gave the baby a colostrum supplement, but true alpaca colostrum products are not available. Izzie’s teats were soft, and she wasn’t producing milk, so we started bottle feeding with Ultra24 milk replacer. We gave Izzie a shot of oxytocin in the evening, and she was almost immediately producing milk. So between Ultra24 milk replacer and what we could get from Izzie, we got Stardust on a bottle immediately. But it was touch-and-go for a while if she would make it. Without colostrum from the first nursing, alpacas don’t develop an effective immune system. Even though Izzie was making milk, they still weren’t making the connection. She developed pneumonia, but the vet blasted her with antibiotics, which helped a lot. In fact, after the antibiotics, they connected on the nursing thing!
On Friday we took baby Stardust into the vet clinic for a plasma transfusion, which supplies the specific alpaca antibodies she would have gotten from colostrum, and now she seems to be doing great. She’s nursing regularly, and adamantly refusing the bottle.
We keep an eye on her with a cheap outdoor X10 Airsight wireless IP webcam (see X10 homepage ). I bought on sale for $69 (I also got one for the Hut).
The webcam works ok via a Linksys network extender, but either the extender or the camera occasionally needs to be manually reset. The webcam does not have wide enough coverage, so sometimes the beasts are out of the shot. The webcam has IR LED illumination for night. It’s been in the 50’s in the evening so Stardust is wearing her jacket and hanging out under a heat lamp.