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THE Llama Farm

Frank & Judy Hofreiter, THE Llama Farm, 11421 N. CR 1650 E Havana, Il. 62644 309-543-3497

We strive to make our mama llamas as healthy and comfortable as possible during the gestation period of an average of 335 to 355 days.  Tetnus shots are updated at least 90 days before the due date and the last three weeks of pregnancy we start them on an herbal lactation supplement.   We then wait -- and wait -- and wait.  Most generally the cria (baby) is on the ground before we realize the mama llama is even in labor.  However, once in awhile they will share the big event with us.
Pocohantas appears alert and relaxed to most.  She is, however, in labor.  You can see where the baby has dropped into position and now it is a matter of nature taking it's course.  A veteran at motherhood she is about to have her fourth cria.  A high percentage of crias are born before noon.  The first stage of labor can last from one to six hours.

 

 

The front legs and a nose appear first.  This second stage of labor should last no more than 30 minutes.  All the other pasture mate mamas have come and are checking out the situation.

 

 

It takes a bit for those long legs to appear. The cria is born with toenails that are covered with a padding to protect them from puncturing the uterus.  The little pads soon fall off.

 

The sac has broken and already the cria has taken its first breath.  Once the shoulders are out the cria slides out in a rush.

The drop to the ground stimulates the cria and breaks the umbilical cord.  The drop makes the cria gasp hard and inflate the lungs.  The cria appears normal.
Our job at this point is the most difficult -- observe.  Once we have determined the cria is normal and healthy -- we treat the navel with iodine and 'back off'.  We let mom and cria bond.  The cria will first try to get in a 'kush' position.
 

 

Within thirty minutes of birth the cria will attempt to stand. 

It will take several attempts to get up on all four feet.  The legs are long and awkward looking.  Most crias are walking by sixty minutes post-partum.
Most crias will also have nursed by ninety minutes.  It is then time for a little rest in the sun.  The ears are upright and the cria soon becomes 'fluffy'.  After a rest is a good time for the owner to check the weight, the temperature, the teeth, and again treat the umbilical cord.  Then the cria is ready for a nap.
 
On May 7

THE Llama Farm