Saturday, 25 January 2014
Boys of all species
Not very 'summery' weather here, and only a few hot and humid days so far! We had a few days of gorgeous sunshine (and sweltering temperatures) so we headed for the beach to take a break from the farm.
Little man had a great time collecting rocks, shells and building sandcastles, whilst we all alternatively took turns in playing with him and lying on the sand in the sun.
The next day, the weather turned sullen, grey and windy again...and Maddie (Maiden) decided that she would have her cria. Hubby was slashing the last paddock on the dam side, and little man and I walked down to see how he was going. Maddie was alone in the corner of the paddock, the other girls had moved into the next one, and just by her feet, struggling in the grass was a new-born cria! I called Hubby off the tractor, and we watched the cria struggle to it's feet and Maddie click and lick at it. As soon as she moved off to deliver the placenta, Hubby moved in to check it...another boy!!
The rest of the herd came to see what was going on, and Maddie turned out to be a very protective mother. She would keep the cria away from the others, was very good at body blocking the baby from us and grew very aggressive with any of the herd who took such liberties as to sniff at her cria. We named the little one Chai, and he was soon happily feeding off his Mum.
Yesterday we herded all of the girls into the pen, having to do some spit-offs with the five girls we hope to be pregnant, and to give all of the cria vaccinations, and Chai his AD&E. Maddie was very reluctant to enter the pen, and Daughter had to catch Chai and carry him in to get Maddie to follow. Poor Maddie was very anxious, and when I picked up Chai in the pen she tried to bite me, was clicking and humming. Hubby grabbed him to inject him, and Maddie started screaming, and then urinated in the pen. We closed her into one of the sub-pens, where she could see the cria but we weren't at risk of her injuring us. After injecting Chai and checking him (now one week old), I dropped him into the smaller pen with Maddie.
It is interesting to see how different the Mum's are with the cria. We have noticed though, that after the first week of being over-protective, the Mum's seem to relax a little and allow the cria to wander away a bit. After two weeks the cria are playing with each other and coming up to three weeks they are 'babysat' by an 'Aunty' whilst the Mum's just wander off! Maddie is a little more relaxed after the penning, when she realised that neither she nor the baby were hurt or shut in the pen for long, and actually came into the garden today with the rest of the herd for a nibble on the rose bushes.
As times move, we had another change as our 'big boy' moved into his bed after being in a cot for so long. With three water sources on the property and little man quite adept at opening gates and climbing over fences, our home 'security' had to be stepped up to manage this change. There are now latches on all doors so that the patter of little feet at 6am isn't a patter that escapes the house while everyone is asleep! He is so very proud of his 'pirate' bed!