A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

March 16, 2008

A Productive Day

Yesterday we finally had a chance to catch up on some of the routine herd health tasks.  Between the show in Fort Worth and illness we were a little behind schedule and with many of our pregnant girls coming up to 60 days from birthing we wanted to take care of as many tasks as possible so that we can leave those girls alone until after they have their crias.

Our young friend Alex Stewart joined us for the day; Alex was the subject of a previous post on the blog when he formed an instant bond with Stars, one of the alpacas on the farm, during a farm visit.  Alex has a good touch and manner with animals and is interested in becoming a veterinarian, he had asked if he could come out to the farm on herd health days to assist us and this was the first opportunity we had for him to do so.

Between the three of us we were able to get a lot done and now most of the herd has received a manicure and pedicure (okay we really just trimmed their toenails), preventative ear tick treatment and had their weight and body score checked and recorded.  The few alpacas that we didn’t manage to get too will receive their herd health check during the week.

It is important to keep up with these routine tasks.  Overgrown toenails can cause the alpacas to walk badly and put a strain on their joints, as the weather warms up ticks will be more active and can cause major problems if they take up residence in the warmth and safety of an alpacas ear, and overweight or underweight alpacas need to have their diet adjusted to keep them in good condition.

While dealing with the pregnant girls we were careful to try and avoid excess stress on them, the last thing we want to do is lose a pregnancy because of stress caused by something as simply as a toe nail trimming.  Each girl is different in her personality and hormone levels, some took our work in their stride while others were not so at ease.  To help keep the girls from undue stress we gave them some Bach’s Rescue Remedy about 30 minutes before working with them.  Rescue Remedy is a wonderful preparation and helps just take the edge off things for the girls without us having to sedate them.

Having accomplished much during the day we were joined in the late afternoon by Donna Given of Kiss Me Alpacas who was delivering three of her females to us for spring breedings.  Donna traveled to us from her home in Bandera, Texas and was traveling with her friend Deborah and Deborah’s two daughters Laura and Rachel.  Donna’s daughter Tamara had intended coming on the trip but unfortunately had to stay home to write a paper for a course she is taking.

Donna’s three female alpacas – Celeste, Marty and Cariad – plus Celeste’s cria Skylar Moon and Cariad’s cria Copper Chai were all pleased to come out of their trailer after the long drive and took no time at all to start exploring the quarantine pen.  Celeste was enthralled with some tumbleweeds that had blown into the pen and proceeded to rub herself all over them and then roll on them.  While the tumbleweeds obviously felt good to Celeste we did remove them from the pasture, as the last thing Donna needs is to have to spend time picking tumbleweed out of her alpacas fleeces.

During the afternoon our friends Justus and MJ stopped over too, and so the group of us went out for an evening meal together.  We ate lots, discussed much and enjoyed a great end to a productive day.


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