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I Helped Deliver a Baby Alpaca

I started working at Meadowview Alpaca Farm in July of last year. There were two babies that had already arrived, and right from the start of the summer I really wanted to see a baby on the day it was born. But every time a new baby was born last year, it was on a day when I wasn’t working. I really hoped that my luck would change this year, and that I would be able to see a baby on the day it was born, or even the day after. So, you can imagine how exciting it was to hear that Stardust was in labour and I could go down to the field to not only see a baby on the day it was born, but to watch a baby being born!

With alpacas, there is rarely a need for an assisted birth; they should come naturally within half an hour after the water breaks. But when Stardust’s baby still hadn’t come after an hour, it was time to check it out. It was soon discovered that the baby wasn’t even in the birth canal. The vet was contacted, but he suggested that we leaver her for a little while longer, so we went back up to the barnyard. After another hour, we headed back down to the field and realized we were just in time to see the baby being born because there was a head sticking out of Stardust!

However, as we got closer and went to see, we realized it wasn’t actually a head but a blueish/purple sac. We broke it open and saw one back leg instead of two front ones and a nose. I ran to get the birthing kit - the baby was breech and probably couldn’t breath.

After putting on gloves and lubricant, we got the second back leg out. The baby was still stuck and wasn’t coming out on its own, so I had to pull it out. I pulled as hard as I could but it barely moved. After what felt like forever, the baby eventually moved and after a lot more pulling, he eventually came out.

At first, we thought he was still-born because he wasn’t moving or breathing, but when we wiped some mucus away from his nose he started gasping for air! We picked him up by the back legs and held him upside down. All the fluid came out, and then we laid him down again. He was creating on his own and kicking his legs. I stayed in the field with him and Stardust for almost an hour, rubbing him with a towel to keep him warm and get his blood flowing. By that time, he still couldn’t stand on his own, so I carried him back to that barn, but by the next morning he was running around and seemed very happy.

It was by far the most interesting thing I’ve ever gotten to do at work so far, or maybe ever! It was an exciting day, then a scary day, and then exciting again. To think - all I wanted was to see a baby on the day it was born and I ended up helping to deliver one and even getting to name it! Meet “Sergeant”.

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