Friday, June 4, 2010
An R-rated Day on the Farm!
A Kinder Gentler Time--(August 2009)
With Mary Jane as an on-looker, Obama jumped Dalai's bones tonight in a desperate show of his love and devotion--yeah, right. Paco heard indescribable noises from the field and called up to me, "Obama's making history!" My first thought was of Washington DC! I was up giving a library tour to a friend and her two young adult daughters. We could see the torrid scene out the window just barely through the crabapple tree, so we moved out to the deck of the outdoor staircase and SAW THE WHOLE THING!!!--but just for a few seconds. Oh, yes, indeed we did. Morgan and Jessica may never be the same! So with only 350 days to go, we're back to the same point we were at about a year ago--waiting for another baby. For your enlightenment and edification here's just exactly what goes down in the llama reproduction arena:
Llamas have an unusual reproductive cycle for a large animal. Female llamas are induced ovulators. Through the act of mating, the female releases an egg and is often fertilized on the first attempt. Female llamas do not go into "heat" or have an estrus cycle.
Like humans, llama males and females mature sexually at different rates. Females reach puberty at approximately 12 months.(Oh my baby Mary Jane!!! Run, Honey, Run!!!) However, males do not become sexually mature until approximately 3 years.
Llamas mate with the female in a kush (lying down) position, which is fairly unusual in a large animal. They mate for an extended period of time (20–45 minutes), also unusual in a large animal. (Yea verily!! This is ALL TOO TRUE!)
The gestation period of a llama is 11 1/2 months (350 days). Dams (female llamas) do not lick off their babies, as they have an attached tongue which does not reach outside of the mouth more than half an inch. Rather, they will nuzzle and hum (probably because they don't know the words...ha ha) to their newborns.
A cria (pronounced cree-ah) is the name for a baby llama (also alpaca, vicuña, or guanaco). Crias are typically born with all the females of the herd gathering around, in an attempt to protect against the male llamas and potential predators. Llamas give birth standing. Birth is usually quick and problem free, over in less than 30 minutes. Most births take place between 8 a.m. and noon, during the warmer daylight hours. This may increase cria survival by reducing fatalities due to hypothermia during cold Andean nights. While unproven, it is speculated that this birthing pattern is a continuation of the birthing patterns observed in the wild. Crias are up and standing, walking and attempting to nurse within the first hour after birth. Crias are partially fed with llama milk that is lower in fat and salt and higher in phosphorus and calcium than cow or goat milk. A female llama will only produce about 60 ml (0.0021 oz) of milk at a time when she gives milk. For this reason, the cria must suckle frequently to receive the nutrients it requires
Hmmmmm...a little math here. Actually we just back up 2 weeks. Right? Mid May. Crikey. At THIS rate...factor in Mary Jane...hmmmmm...indeed we seem to be in the business.