Golden Touch Alpaca Farm

  (Westport, Massachusetts)
A glimpse into everyday life at our Alpaca farm
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HD Video: Grand Central Bird Station

We posted a new video last night - enjoy a few minutes of the birds playing around at the feeders!

 

 

Grand Central Bird Station from goldentouchfarm on Vimeo.

 
 

Believe in Miracles - They do happen!

Friday started off as any typical day, morning chores where done so we decided with such beautiful weather we would take the boat out and do some fishing. We had a great day on the ocean and returned home around 4:00pm.

As always when returning home from an outing the first thing I do is a check on Mothers and new cria. Upon my entrance into the barn I saw a newborn cria laying lifeless in the hay with membranes still covering his face. Immediately my heart sunk and I flew over the railing, when I touched him he was cool, not breathing and had no pulse. Mom was a first time mom and she was very distraught.

I was not hopeful at all but instincts kicked in and I cleared the membranes off his face and then swung him upside down to clear any fluid that might be in his lungs. I then began CPR and mouth to mouth. After a couple of minutes he gasped his first breath. At first I couldn't believe it but it was actually him coming to life. Not only was mom standing over my shoulder watching me but twenty other alpacas witnessed this miracle with me.

I continued working on him until his breathing was at a regular rate, dried him up and put a coat on to help get his temperature up. I put him in a stall and proceeded to focus on mom and getting her in with her new son.

With my adrenaline pumping from what just happened I looked at mom and realized not only was the placenta hanging she had a prolapsed uterus. The uterus was hanging about a foot out from her body. I got her into the stall with her new son and then ran in to call the vet. I got my vets voice mail and when he didn't call back in 10 minutes I knew I needed a back up plan so I put a call out to my secondary vet.

Thankfully I was on the phone with her in 10 minutes and she said she would come but it would take her a while so in the mean time I was to keep the uterus as clean as possible, rinse with clean water and coat it with sugar. Sugar helps shrink the size making it easier to put back. While waiting for the vet I worked at getting this new little miracle baby nursing and was successful. I am still amazed when I think how quickly he bounded back to life. Mom was very cooperative despite how uncomfortable she was. She also let me milk her to get more milk for the little guy.

When the vet arrived she too was amazed at the cria and how he had rebounded. While mom was lying down she made her first attempt at replacing the uterus without success. Mom was still contracting and would put it out as the vet was trying to get it back in. We decided to give mom a little sedation to help relax her and then make another attempt in a standing position. If that was not going to work then off to Tufts University we would have to go for surgery.

The second miracle happened when she got the uterus in and it stayed. The vet then sutured her vulva closed and she was started on antibiotics and Banamine for pain and inflammation. The next 12-24 hours were critical. I stayed in the barn for most of the night making sure the cria was nursing and that mom was not trying to expel the uterus. I am happy to say both mom and her son are doing wonderful, better than any of us expected. Mom is not totally out of the woods yet but we are all very optimistic. Her sutures will be removed tomorrow and the antibiotics will continue for the rest of the week. Providing no complications she'll be good as new. the jury is still out on the new little guys name but I promise you it will be a special one. Here is a picture of this bundle of joy.

 

 

 
 

Getting the Garden Ready

Over the weekend we spent some time getting our Vegetable and Herb garden ready for the quickly approaching growing season. The garden is roughly 45ft x 20ft, with a total area of 800 sq ft usable planting area (minusing the edging and pathways). This will be our 3rd year keeping a fairly decent sized garden, considering it is more a hobby for us than anything else and we are really excited about it.

Hopefully in the next 4 weeks we will be able to start transplanting some hardy seedlings, we will certainly keep you all posted on our little side project!

A friend of ours pointed out that there are some wonderful videos on YouTube that help explain in plain english the most important aspects of gardening, here is a great example:

 

Basic Gardening: How and Why you should all Compost - You can find a ton more videos here - http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=gardening&search=tag

 

 
 
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