A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

July 31, 2008

Dolly Lingers, Flies Arrive

The last few days have been more humid than we usually experience in this part of the country and have coincided with the arrival of August heat.    We have been keeping a close eye on the alpacas, who are used to our high temperatures but who are not used to the humidity.  The fans have been running 24 hours a day and the Gatorade has been present in the water buckets to provide the alpacas with electrolytes.


Watching the herd they appear to be handling the heat index well.  While there are moments when several of the alpacas will be stretched out in the sun and asleep for the most part they have still been active, nibbling at hay and exploring the pastures.  Lack of activity can be an indication of heat stress and so to see our alpacas moving round pretty much as usual is a good sign.


The crias love to play still and their latest game seems to be one of trying to see who can leap up in the air and give the fanciest kick.  I think Zianna is holding first place in that game with Annochia and Dream coming a close second.


Amazingly the reason for our humidity is the lingering effect of Hurricane Dolly that hit the South Texas coastline last week.  Once Dolly had landed she headed North West, as she traveled over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains her timing and placement was just right to cause about 7 inches of rain in 24 hours for the village of Ruidoso, New Mexico.  Ruidoso to me always seems more of a small town than a village but it is commonly referred to as a village.  Whether it is a town or a village it is a charming place and we have happy memories of time spent there over the years.  Ruidoso is also home to Enchantment Farm Alpacas, the farm where we purchased our first alpacas.


Unfortunately the rains from Hurricane Dolly caused major problems in Ruidoso as the Rio Ruidoso broke its banks and major flooding caused devastation with between 300 and 500 people having been evacuated.  Having seen the news we called and spoke to the Evans family of Enchantment Farm Alpacas and also Marilyn Smith of Portas Nirvana Alpacas, also in Ruidoso, and both reported that they are okay and not badly effected by the floods.


At Windrush Alpacas we did not experience any of the heavy rains, we had one short burst of rain but apart from that the only signs we have seen of Hurricane Dolly is cloudy skies (with some quite spectacular clouds) and increased humidity, and then there are the flies.


We had been doing quite well regarding the flies until the moisture and humidity arrived at the end of last week.  A few days after that and the flies started appearing en masse.  It is amazing to see how many flies can suddenly appear without warning.  We are still using Diatomaceous Earth on our alpaca feed and sprinkled on the poop piles, but I think the volume of flies is just too much for any product to handle.   Our flytraps are filling up within just a day or two, which is unusual for us even for August, which is typically our worst month for flies.  Hopefully as time goes on the Diatomaceous Earth will have a greater effect and the fly population will dwindle.



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