A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

March 21, 2007

One good female is all it takes

Filed under: alpaca, Alpaca Care, Alpaca Shows, Alpacas, camelids, Family, General — alpacalady @ 7:22 am

Jenny and ClarissaAs I did chores this morning I noticed that Regent was not in the best of moods.  He was being decidedly grumpy over the hay rack, not due to anything other than he wanted it all for himself.  As I watched his behaviour I was reminded of his dam Enchantment’s Peruvian Jennifer (Jenny), and as I continued chores I thought about how strongly Jenny made her mark on our alpaca world.

Jenny was our first alpaca.  When we went to look for our first purchase I had an older female in mind, as it happened Jenny was also in the pen and as I looked at her I knew that she was what I wanted for the cornerstone of our breeding program.  After a little deliberation I decided that Jenny was to be our first purchase, and she was I purchase I have never regretted.

Jenny was to bring us many “firsts” – our first cria (Enchantment’s Prince Regent), our first cria to be delivered on our farm (Windrush Ashling a Maidin), our first blue ribbon winner (Enchantment’s Prince Regent) our first Reserve Color Champion (Enchantment’s Prince Regent) and our first Color Champion and multiple Color Champion (Windrush Jennifer’s Zindel).  Jenny also was the cause of my first trip to Colorado State University Veterinary Hospital an eventful trip that was also my first 12 hour drive on my own and my first experience of getting stuck in a snow storm for three days along with Jenny and her cria at that time Braveheart.

Jenny was most definitely a character, once pregnant she made sure we all knew it, for she would change from being a sweet girl to being grumpy and hormonal for the next 11 months.  She loved her food and she also loved her crias.

Sadly we lost Jenny in 2004 when she lost her battle to a debilitating illness.  Those last months with Jenny were difficult ones as she had to be medicated daily and as her illness progressed life became difficult for her, but Jenny being Jenny hung on until the cria she was carrying was born and old enough to survive on his own.

As I look at our herd today, Jenny’s mark is most definitely upon it.  She always produced outstanding cria and gave us a direction with our breeding program, and that is how it should be with your first alpaca. 

We could have gone with a less expensive choice than Jenny, but I felt at the time of choosing her that we were better to have one really good female than compromise our breeding program with two lesser quality females.  At that time the alpaca world was not as competitive as it is now, but Jenny and her offspring still gave us the edge that would enable us to build a solid alpaca business even as a small farm.

We agisted Jenny when we first purchased her, our property was not ready at that time to accept alpacas and it would not have been fair to her to keep her on her own.  Alpacas are very much herd animals and need the company of others. 

I cannot write about Jenny without mentioning the people we purchased her from, Rick and Ann Evans.  Rick and Ann not only sold us a fine alpaca but were our mentors as we started in the alpaca business.  Throughout the time we agisted Jenny with them and way beyond they have mentored us, entertained us and become our good friends.  The people you purchase your first alpaca from are as important as the alpaca itself, they should be people you are comfortable with and who are prepared to mentor you along the way, Rick and Ann Evans are a perfect example of that.

I still miss Jenny to this day, but thankfully I have my memories of her and also some outstanding offspring from her who will continue her legacy.

So if you are reading this and contemplating buying your first alpaca, remember that one good female is really all it takes to get you started.  I hope your choice is as good to you as Jenny was to us (and that you give us a call to see if we have that perfect alpaca for you!).



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