Also see : Things to have on hand
Often the llama will show labor-like symptoms two weeks before the baby is due. She may lay down with her hind legs kicked out to the side and appear uncomfortable. The vulva will stretch and you may see its pink lining. It does not necessarily mean that delivery is imminent, but if she appears to be straining she may be in labor. Watch her closely.
Most likely, she will begin to act normal again in a short while but is she continues to strain or if you see amniotic fluid leaking from the vulva, be prepared for a delivery.
If you have a male living with your female be sure to remove him from her pasture before she is due. He could try to breed her while she is giving birth, which could be a bad situation for mother and baby.
When the female starts having contraction, within a short time you should see the water sac bulging from the vulva,
followed by the nose and front feet (hopefully).
If it takes longer, be prepared to help .
If you have not been able to resolve the problem within 15 minutes, call the vet.
If you see the tail or back feet come out first, do not wait, call the vet immediately.
CARE OF THE NEWBORN
The baby is on the ground, what to do next:
- make sure it is breathing normally - no fetal membranes covering the nose
- if not breathing right, pick up by feet and shake to get all the fluid out of the lungs
- dip navel with 7% iodine - repeat 2 more times during 24 hours
- rub baby with towel to dry
- step back and let mother take over
- baby should be up within 30 Mn (longer when it is hot)
- should attempt to nurse within a hour and be nursing no longer than within3- 4 hours
- make sure baby is not cold or laying in hot sun
- when baby is dry, weigh it to get initial weight, then weigh daily for at least a week to make sure he is gaining to 1 lb per day. Many babies lose or remain the same for the first day or two, but then should gain weight.
-observe and make sure it is nursing and that the mother has milk
- make sure the baby has passed the meconium, if not give a enema. Use a human Fleet enema, or 4-8 ounces of warm water with a few drops of ivory soap is fine too.
Within the first 24 hours of birth, the cria needs to receive a minimum of 10-15% of body weight in colostrum. So, if he is not nursing the mother, a 20 lb cria would need 32 to 48oz of colostrum.. Unless it is very weak or premature, you can feed it 8oz at a time, if not feed smaller amounts more often.
The main thing is to keep the baby warm and well fed, so he can get some energy.
And no matter how weak the baby may be, NEVER GIVE UP , miracles happen every day.
TUBE FEEDING A BABY LLAMA
There are times when the llama breeder will have reason to tube feed a baby llama. A reluctant mother, lack of initial milk production, a weak or orphaned baby are all reasons why you should have at least some familiarity with this procedure. The newborn must have nourishment within a short time after birth and needs to receive the all-important colostrum during the first few hours of life.
Liliane Grant - Llamas of Atlanta - 470 Tibbitts Rd - Dallas, GA 30132 - USA