We have another unplanned huarizo. Diarmuid arrived yesterday. First-time mum Victoria quietly got on with things when we weren’t around.  Late afternoon, I noticed a pair of dark ears sticking up above the Berlin Wall which didn’t look like Fionn’s, our other baby’s. So I went to investigate – and sure enough, there was more evidence of that Brendan the alpaca had been busy eleven and a half months ago when he broke into the girls’ field.

Diarmuid is entirely dark brown with just a few white hairs on one ear. He seems more alpaca-esque than Fionn, so he might turn out to be a T’aqa rather than the Warilla that Fionn is. Anyway, he’s cute. He’s doing everything he should be and Vicky seems to be coping with her new responsibilities well.

So … will any of Lulin, Windermere or Georgie present us with baby huarizos too, or Ciara or Amélie with dark brown alpaca babies? We’ll have to wait and see!

Two small portions of Brendan’s anatomy are soon to meet the business end of the vet’s scalpel, by the way!

Fionn meets half-brother Diarmuid

I’m actually beginning to question our previous policy with cria (baby camelids). We’d always take mum and baby off to a stable to be on their own for a couple of days to bond and we would watch like a hawk to make sure baby was feeding OK, leaping in with bottles of colostrum or goat’s milk if we thought baby wasn’t getting enough sustenance. With Vicky and Elrond we had to intervene a lot to help with feeding. I’m now wondering if we did more harm than good in that we caused problems by stressing the  mother out with this action. Llamas and alpacas are like Star Trek’s Borg. They function better as a unit than individuals. They need to be in a herd environment. We’ve left the two latest arrivals pretty much to their own devices, although we’ve checked to see if they’re suckling, and Caiti redirected them to their mothers a couple of times when they didn’t seem too sure who she was! Diarmuid followed Uncle Seamus around for quite a while yesterday before we put him right.

Less intervention is perhaps better.