A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

December 19, 2007

Apparently we have company!

Filed under: alpaca, Alpaca Care, camelids, Crias, General, guard llamas, llama — Tags: , , , , — alpacalady @ 4:16 am

I had cause to speak to one of our neighbors yesterday; Stan lives in the property to the North of ours and shares a fence line with us.

As we talked Stan asked me if I was aware that we have a red fox living on our property.  The fox is apparently a large one (Stan describes it as being the size of a small coyote) and is living under a couple of old water tanks that were left on our property by the previous owner.

In late summer Ric and I had noticed that something seemed to be getting under the water tanks, but could not figure out what it was.  We have a good collection of rabbits on the property this year, including some quite magnificent jackrabbits and we had wondered if the rabbits were the ones making themselves at home under the water tank.  We had also wondered if a skunk was the resident of the den, but as there wasn’t that distinct skunk odor we ruled out the skunk. 

We have had a red fox previously on the farm, that fox was a female and she took up residence under one of the boxcar shelters.  A skunk occupied the place where she decided to settle at the time and I was home the day that the fox decided it was time for the skunk to move out.  The fox chased the skunk off the property and would not let the skunk back to it’s home (it tried I can assure you).  Having established herself on our property the fox then had a litter of pups.  We were able to see the pups through a broken floorboard in the boxcar over her den.   The mother fox would go out hunting during the night and if we happened to be around she would chatter at us, telling us that she was not thrilled with our presence in her territory.  She used to bring home all sorts of food including one time a chicken.  As none of our immediate neighbors has chickens on their properties this indicated to us that the fox was traveling quite a way to get her food.

At the time of that fox being on our property we called the Department of Wildlife, Game and Fish as we had read that foxes are becoming rare in New Mexico and we wondered if there was anything special we should do.  The Department of Wildlife, Game and Fish offered to rehouse the fox and her pups, but by the time the necessary arrangements were made the fox and her pups had moved out of their den and we have not seen any signs of them since.

We will check the latest fox den to see if we can see signs of new activity.  Stan mentioned he had not seen the fox over the last couple of weeks but that does not mean that he or she is not still around.

To me it is quite exciting to have a fox on the property and hopefully we can leave him or her to their own devices.  I did hear just recently though of an alpaca farm where a fox stalked and attacked a cria, so we will be mindful of any signs that the fox is getting into the alpaca pastures.  The fox den is closest to the boy’s pastures and I am pretty certain they would chase and stomp a fox if it came into the pasture.  The llamas of course are on duty in the girls pasture and I also have heard of some llamas killing a fox that got into someone’s alpaca pasture, so hopefully we will not encounter any problems with our fox and crias. 

If I manage to see the fox I will try and get a picture of it.   I had better start keeping my camera with me as I do chores otherwise I can guarantee the one time I see the fox will be the one time I don’t have my camera on me.

Rosemary

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