Tag Archives: cria

Last, but not least!

Our fourth and final cria to be born is named Hollyhock’s Johnny B.  As you may recall, this cria was born on a Sunday morning.  Because of this timing, Darryl and I went to different churches so I could go later after drying the new cria.  That Sunday was a celebration of John the Baptist.  Both Darryl and I (separately) had the thought of giving this cria a name to pay tribute to John the Baptist as well as Darryl’s uncle John.  But it took us a while to get to know the little cria and find a fitting variation of the name. 

alpaca cria

Just able to stand

Johnny’s birthday was June 24 after a gestation of only 347 days.  While we have had crias born at 330 days and less, this surprised me a bit as the first three births of the year were all 10 days longer than this.  But he was strong and healthy.   His parents are our Carley and Duke of Rum River Alpacas.  Johnny and his half brother Stellar look so much alike that it will be difficult to tell them apart as the become closer to the same size.  They look a lot like their sire, Duke.

alpaca and baby

Carley and Johnny

He weighed 15 pounds on his birthday, then dropped a few ounces the following day.  At one month old he is now over 25 pounds.  It seems the heat of summer makes it harder for little ones to gain, as I’m sure it hard for Moms to produce milk.  He makes up for his size by the amount of spirit he has.


A month old

Johnny got his first vaccination shot last night and is on track for his booster in about 3 weeks.  He is already sporting his summer short hair cut.  I think he will have the best fiber of the 4 crias.

cria shorn

After shearing

Johnny is the friendliest little alpaca that I think we have ever had.  He is extremely curious and loves to get out of the main pen at feeding time and explore the barn, sniff Molly (our kitty) and run outside. 

That concludes the introductions of our little herd of 2012 crias.  They are so much fun to watch run and play.

Third time is….

We had nearly a month gap between our second and third crias.  But the last two were worth the wait.  Our third cria born this year is Stellar!  His namesake is my Grandmother Stella.  We just added an R and got a great name. 


First attempt to stand

Stellar was born on June 19 after a gestation of 362 days, just 3 days short of a whole year!  His parents are our Annie and Duke of Rum River Alpacas

cria greeting

Max says hello

He weighed 18 pounds his first day and was up to 35.6 pounds by one month. 


Stellar and Annie

 At 30 days, Stellar received his first shot and he’ll get a booster shot 3 weeks after that.  He’s had his first shearing too, so he can stay cool.

shorn cria

New hair cut

Stellar is such an easy alpaca – mellow and fun, but not one to start any trouble.  What fun it has been to watch him grow.  And next spring, we’ll have some lovely fawn cria fleeces.

Introducing Maxi

Our second cria to be born this year was a white male.  We wanted to name after Darryl’s uncle Max.  We thought of Maximillian, Maxamillion, and Maxabillion!  But it was my nephew Adam who shouted Maximus when we were brainstorming on variations of Max.  And so we have Hollyhock’s Maximus.

new cria

Just born

Maxi was born on May 28 after a gestation of 358 days.  His parents are Spotsie and Vagabond


First afternoon

He was our ‘big boy’ and weighed 19.8 pounds on his birthday.  By a month of age he was 40.4 pounds. 


A few weeks old

Max is shorn and has had his ‘baby’ shots.  He is not shy about getting his share of the grain, but still likes to go to his mama for most of his meals. 


2 months old

He sure likes to get dirty – or maybe it just looks like that on his white fiber!  Friendly and playful!

Introducing Francie

Our first cria born was the only female this year and her name is Hollyhock’s Francine.  (As many long-time readers know, most of our alpacas are named after a family member who has passed away.)  She is named after Darryl’s relatives Frankie and Francis. 

new born cria

Brand new

Francie was born on May 21 after a gestation of 358 days.  Her parents are Georgie and Vagabond.


A few hours old

She weighed in at 17 pounds and 4 ounces on her first day.  At one month she weighed 27 pounds and 4 ounces. 


Half-day old

Francie has had her first shots and has been shorn.  She is eating hay and grain and is sweet as can be!

alpaca cria

Two months old

They sure grow up fast!

Shearing 2 more crias

A few weeks ago, we sheared the older 2 crias.  With the heat wave still coming on strong and the youngest cria reaching a month old, it was time to shear the younger crias. 

alpaca cria


 Sorry for the blurriness – this guy didn’t want to stand still.  First up was Stellar – the older of the fawn boys.  (yes, they are all named and will be properly introduced soon) 

cria nursing


The shearing process must have been traumatic, as he went right to his mama for a little comfort food.  His fiber was pretty long and he was really warm underneath.



Next was Johnny B.  He is such a friendly, funny little guy. 

cria nursing


He, too, went to Mom for comfort after shearing.  His fiber was shorter, but crimpier and denser.  I think he got the best shearing job!  Figures that I get it right at the end!  The ripples you see, are not skin but fiber that is a little longer between snips of the shears. 

dirty hand

My hand!

This is my hand after the shearings.  My other hand held the shearers and stayed clean, but this one held the fiber and brushed off hot and damp little bodies so I could see where I needed to trim more.  They did their share of rolling in the sand!



The fiber on the oldest cria and only female is growing out and looking good.

alpaca cria


The fiber on our oldest male is growing out too.  By spring, their fleeces will have evened out and they will have lovely fiber for spinning. 


3 crias

Three out of four


I was lucky to get three of the crias to be still and close enough for a picture.  I am glad to have all four crias sheared.  It is good for them to stay cooler and will improve the fiber that will be shorn off in the spring.

Cria #4 and we are done for 2012

Yesterday, Sunday, just as I get out of the shower for church, my husband comes in from chores and says, “you better go out to barn.”  Yep.  Carley was having her baby!

just a nose out

Only a nose is out

I quickly pull on my barn clothes and head out.  Sure enough, there is a tiny nose visible.  After watching a short time, I see the little nostrils are breathing, so I stand back and watch. 

head and front legs out

Front feet and head appear

After a few contractions, the head appears and then the front feet.  Check out the little coverings on the toenails and that the membrane sack is only open on the end of his nose.  And minutes later…

baby on the ground

Whoosh and on the ground

This was her first baby, but he came quickly and pretty easily.  It was 9 AM.  There was some blood, but really not much.  Sometimes there is no blood.  I got towels and dried him off some and then moved him to a sunnier location for more warmth and more drying. 

cria is standing

Up on his feet

By 10 AM he was on his feet and wobbling around. 

walking with mom

Walking with Mom

After another shower and going to church, I found out new little guy walking around, nursing,

cria sitting

Sitting with Mom

and sitting in the shade with Mom.  It was pretty warm and sunny and I kept an eye on him so he didn’t overheat in the sun, but Carley is doing pretty good as a new Mom.  I was a little worried about her since she is VERY motivated by food.  But she will pick her head up and look for him while she eats!  I can already see what my biggest problem is going to be.

2 crias - look alikes

Which is which?

It won’t be long and I will have a very hard telling these two apart.  Both boys, only 5 days difference in age!  Wow, do they look alike!  I may have to resort to collars for the first time! 

Up next – names, comparisons, and fibery projects!

Cria #3 arrived today

I called in to my one-day-a-month job and took the day off!  It was my day to work my hours for the Anoka Fiber Arts Co-op.   But thanks to some awesome friends, I was able to stay home. (Thanks to Mary, Winnie, and Dawn.)  I was pretty sure at 7 AM that Annie would have her baby today.  At about 9:45, I went to the barn to find a cria on the floor, very cold and shivering.   He was just a few minutes old.  I got towels and the blow dryer.   It was cloudy, humid and not very warm in the barn.  Not the best day to go from 101 degrees to cold concrete! 

new born cria

I can hold my head up

After about 20 minutes, he was starting to get dry.

new born cria

Trying to stand

Before long, he was trying to stand.  Yes, a strong little boy. 

cria standing

I can stand

At about an hour old, he was on his feet, wobbly, but standing.

cria outside

I like the sunshine

He was still wet, but wanted to go outside.  The breeze and the partial sun dried him faster than I could with a blow dryer.

Peek-a-boo cria


A little over 2 hours old and he had his first meal. 


Come play with me

What a difference 3 weeks makes!  The white boy is ready to play, but is a little too rough for the new-born.  Annie had to push him away a few times. 

2 older crias

Will someone play with me?

It won’t be long before all three will be running and playing together.  But for now, the youngest one needs to make it through what looks to be a stormy night tonight. 

One more to go.  Carley is due in a couple weeks.