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An Alpaca Birth

One little nose,

two little toes;

That's the way it usually goes

Thanks to Jeff Merrifield for these lines.

1. First-time mother Mira has been looking uncomfortable all morning - restless, alternately walking and lying down.
Finally she started pushing, and soon a foot appeared.

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2. Nose and toes appear - perfect.

The head is curved down, the top foot is beside the left ear.

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3. A pause in labor is common;
Mira gets up and takes a walk.

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6. The new cria doesn't look very good at all...

4. I get impatient and try repositioning the cria - sometimes the shoulders get stuck, and rotating the cria a little bit can help get things moving again.

But not in this case. I just have to wait.

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7. ...but she just needs to get some starch in her legs.

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5. Labor restarts, and things happen fast.

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8. The Happy Ending.

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Everyone is very interested in the arrival of a new herd member.

I was used to lambs presenting in a very organized manner - nose resting on top of toes and "diving out.".
Alpacas...it looks totally twisted, but it all works out.

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Please don't reproduce these photos without permission.