With the pending births of 4 new Cria next year, Mr Rob and I decided we needed to attend a seminar to get ourselves up to speed on any potential issues and how to resolve them.
There was a 2 day seminar in Richmond Virginia last weekend with the foremost expert in the US – Dr Norman Evans. So we signed up and then flew up to VA late on Friday night. We settled ourselves into a Hotel in Short Pump then drove out to the farm where the seminar was early on the Saturday morning. There were over 80 attendees, ranging from newbies like us to some very experienced farms.
The weather had dropped significantly and as the seminar was being held in a barn we froze most of the day. But the food was great ( and plenty as always) and more importantly Dr Norm was interesting and very informative. The first day focused on improving the quality of the fiber and the effects of food, environment and breeding on the future cria.
Saturday night we had dinner in a sport bar and learned some of the finer points of college football.
Sunday morning, thank goodness was a little warmer, and Dr Norm discussed the potential birthing issues and what we can do ourselves and when we should call a Vet. After lunch we joined a wet lab, not for the squeamish as it involved dead cria placed in mock ups of internal organs in Alpacas and you had to work out what the potential issue was and how you would address it. It was amazing how difficult it was to diagnose when all you had was touch and such a confined space.
We flew home Sunday night with a lot more knowledge and respect for our animals.
ooh one extra side note — there was a cute little cria in the barn with us – she was born a week earlier and her mom wanted nothing to do with her so she was being bottle fed every 2 hours. She seemed to be doing really well and was gaining weight.