New crias can be very exciting and nerve wracking at the same time.
What to watch for
- Make sure they are peeing and pooping. Most pee right after nursing. Crias don’t always know about the community toilet yet, so they might just go where they feel like.
- Weigh them daily- they should be gaining after the first day or two
- Crias can get into stuff as they get more active, so remove all cords/strings/ropes as they can get tangled in them.
- To coat or not to coat- if night time temp drops and I know they won’t be sweating, I typically coat newborns just to be safe. You can double coat them as well if really cold. Just make sure their coat is on snugly so they can’t put their feet through weird places and get tangled up. They are not quite coordinated yet. You can add bedding hay and even make a warmer nook with hay bales inside the barn.
- If there is any chance of cold rain, be careful. Crias do not understand that the barn will keep them dry and will cush where they are if it starts to rain. They can easily get hypothermia this way.
- Normal healthy crias will romp around and be curious about their surroundings. They’ll nurse, pee/poop, take naps, and play.
- They are also being socialized by their mom and herd mates. If they get a “scolding” for crashing (on purpose) into a bigger alpaca, they are learning their boundaries.