A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

March 30, 2009

Warning – Crias In The Pasture May be Heavier Than They Look!

Filed under: alpaca, Alpaca Care, Alpaca Health, Alpaca Nutrition, Alpacas, Cria Care, Crias, General, shearing — alpacalady @ 6:36 am


With the snow clearing from the pastures it was time to get back to routine chores and maintenance tasks.


One task that needed doing was weighing the fall crias; we like to weigh them about once a month and knew we had gone past that time period.  Our teenage helper Bethany was with us over the weekend and so it seemed an ideal opportunity to get all seven fall crias weighed.  While I can weigh alpacas on my own it is always so much easier to have someone else around to open gates and write down the weights during a weighing session.


Bethany and I started off the weighing session while Ric dumped the poop wagons.  Nochi was the first cria we selected and as I picked her up to carry her to the scales I realized that Nochi was considerably heavier than the last time I had weighed her!  I made it to the scales with Nochi, but my muscles were telling me they were ready to put her down.  Nochi’s weight made me think that it is also time to train the crias to stand on the scales on their own.  Up until now we have used the tare function on our scales, which deducts our weight from the total weight of handler and cria displaying the crias weight only.  That tare function is a handy tool especially for those of us who are challenged in the area of mental arithmetic, but as heavy as Nochi felt it was time for her to stand on her own four feet.


Nochi weighed in at 52.8 lbs!  No wonder my muscles were telling me to put her down!  We still had six more crias to weigh, this was going to be quite the work out!  I decided that while I could carry the crias one way to the scales I would walk them back using my catch rope – one of the tools I use to start halter training.


Bethany and I continued with the cria weighing, but had already decided that Ric would get the job of carrying Chandra (the biggest of the fall crias) to the scale.  As it turned out Ric was soon back and put to work carrying crias.


All of the crias weighed in at over 50 lbs.  It’s hard to think that those tiny crias we had in the fall were now that big, but it is good to know that they are healthy and growing.  Even our Little Man (aka Windrush Peruvian Tonka) weighed in at 50.9 lbs!  Way to go Little Man!


Knowing that Chandra was the largest we left her until the end, by which time Ric had announced that not only did her refuse to carry Chandra back from the scales he was also refusing to carry her to the scales (he kept muttering something about his back).  So we introduced Chandra to the catch rope, got her moving while wearing it and over to the scales we went to discover that our little Chandra a mere 17 lbs when she was born on October 7 was now 74.4 lbs!


With the crias all doing so well we need to start planning weaning as it won’t be long before they are ready to wean (and Chandra is already more than ready but I would rather wean her with her group of friends than alone).  Halter training is also on the agenda, while all the fall crias are used to the catch rope it is now time to go a little further with the halter training and help them to learn to be completely at ease with wearing a halter and walking on a lead rope.  Besides which Ric has told me that he absolutely refuses to carry any one of those crias to the scale again – and I can’t say that I blame him (although he could move the scales nearer to the girls pasture which would also solve the problem!)



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