A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

March 31, 2007

Wild and Whacky Weather

Filed under: alpaca, Alpaca Care, Alpaca Health, Alpacas, camelids, Crias, General — alpacalady @ 7:16 am

This past week we have experienced some beautiful spring weather.  Our town is still cleaning up the devastation of last Friday’s tornado and the warm calm weather has been most welcome to those working at the tornado sites.  This Friday however was a different story, having been told that on Thursday a cold front with more stable air would be moving into the area we were prepared to things to cool off a little.  Indeed Thursday brought us a day with slightly cooler temperatures, but then today things changed completely.  Whereas last Friday brought us a tornado this Friday brought us snow!  Big flakes of fluffy white snow that fell rapidly – whatever next!

The alpacas cushed down as the snow fell, once alpacas are cushed their fleece acts as a vacuum seal to the area that they are sitting on and helps them to create a warm spot where they lie.  On a frosty morning once the alpacas start moving around you will see what a friend of ours calls “alpaca eggs” – egg shaped frost-free areas on the ground where the alpacas have been sitting overnight.

Rebecca’s cria got to experience her first snow and also got to keep her cria coat on all day.  Our daytime high was supposed to be 39 F but the best our thermometer showed all day was 36 F.  With a cria so small around the farm we were concerned that she not be allowed to get too cold, so her coat stayed on all day and we put down deep straw in the shelters so that she could cush down in the straw and stay warm when she felt the need.  Rebecca is a bit of an independent alpaca and tends to sit out on her own quite a bit, so there were a couple of times that we carried her cria back into the shelter to make sure she at least got some time out of the wind and cold.  As the sun set the temperature fell and so that evening the little cria got to wear two cria coats to keep her warm.  A late night check showed us that she was not shivery and was cushed in a shelter so all was well for the evening.

While the weather brought us a little extra work, it was really no more than a bit of an inconvenience, for those working at the tornado sites it was a different story.  Their job is tough enough without throwing snow and cold into the mix.  The tornado victims are starting to realize their true situation, many of them have nothing left but the clothes they were wearing that night and the few personal items they have been able to salvage from the wreckage of their homes.   There is still a long road ahead for these people; the wheels of government aid agencies and insurance companies turn slowly.  The Red Cross, Salvation Army and the United Way are doing their best to help but the situation puts a large strain on their resources.  Today again a request for volunteers to help those agencies was put out, along with a request for more donations.

If you are reading this and would like to help the tornado victims of Clovis, New Mexico there are a couple of web sites that are able to accept your donation they are as follows:

 http://www.redcross.org 

 www.unitedwayenm.org  

Donations can also be mailed to The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 900, Clovis, NM 88101.

Please indicate at the time of making your donation that you wish it to be used for the tornado victims of Eastern New Mexico.

Additionally the Clovis Animal Shelter is currently housing many pets that have been recovered since the tornado. Our animal shelter is not large and it is expected that the longest they will be able to keep these pets is two weeks.  If you would like to make a donation toward extending the stay of the recovered animals please call the Clovis Animal Shelter on (505) 769 7893 to make arrangements for your donation.

Whether you donate $1 or $1,000, those affected by the tornado, both two-legged and four-legged will be most appreciative of your donation.

 Rosemary

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