A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

August 29, 2017

Tributes to Echo, Queen, and Moonie

Filed under: alpaca, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — alpacalady @ 8:28 pm

Fond tributes to our beloved alpacas:

ECHO

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Echo was born on our farm on October 15, 2006 to our alpaca Bjorn.  Echo’s sire was an alpaca out of Colorado called Spanish Peaks Alpha Centauri (known as A.C.).  We had bred Bjorn to A.C. previously which resulted in a beautiful white female alpaca Windrush Anya.  We liked Anya so much we took Bjorn back to Colorado to be bred to A.C. again. This time we got a beautiful white male alpaca who looked so much like his sire we called him Windrush Echo of Alpha Centauri – and so Echo’s life began.

Echo was, for the most part, a quiet alpaca, but as a cria he used to get up to mischief with his buddy Rascal who was born a couple of months later.  When they were younger, they loved to tear around the pasture together at sundown having “cria races”. Echo and Rascal were great buddies from the moment Rascal was born until Echo’s passing.

Echo was not the biggest of alpacas, but if he didn’t want to do something he sure could put up some resistance!  Echo grew beautiful, shiny, long, white fleece and also grew long toenails very quickly too!  Having his toenails trimmed was not on Echo’s list of favorite things to do.

As Echo matured he became a quiet alpaca who mainly kept himself to himself, with the occasional wrestling match with Rascal and some of the other boys for good measure.  We miss Echo’s quiet presence around the farm. He loved to lie by the big bale of grass hay and stake his claim for his spot at the “dinner table”.  I am sure that Rascal misses his friend Echo too.

QUEEN

Queen at Windrush Alpacas

Queen came to our farm at age seven along with her daughter TeQueely. We purchased Queen because she was holding her fleece fineness despite her age. When Queen and TeQueely arrived at our farm we soon learned we had purchased two alpacas who had personality plus.

Queen lived up to her name, she was dignified, independent and strong. Queen loved her crias but they soon learned not to nurse from her when she was eating and when Queen decided to wean her crias there was no going back! We try not to have favorite alpacas but Queen was definitely very special. We are heartbroken at our loss.

MOONIE

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Moonie arrived at our farm about seven years ago along with her friend Betty. Moonie and Betty had been together in one herd for several years, their owner then became unable to care for them and gave them to our friends Bob and Regina Dart.

In time Bob and Regina decided to leave the alpaca business. Moonie and Betty came to stay with us. Both Moonie and Betty had beautiful shiny black fleece despite their advancing years. Moonie was always a thin alpaca, no matter how much food you piled into her she never gained an ounce (and she was always ready to eat!). As thin as she was you might expect her to have health problems but she was strong, healthy and lively. After arriving at our farm, we bred Moonie to our herd sire, Enchantment’s Prince Regent.

Moonie had previously had a beautiful cria out of Regent making us want to repeat that breeding. We were not disappointed when out popped Amazin’ Aimee! Aimee literally came out running. On her feet within seconds of being born, looking around with an expression of “look at me”.

Despite Regent being a white alpaca, Aimee is true black like her mother Moonie. Her fleece is soft, fine and shiny. Moonie was an excellent mother who cared well for Aimee and provided lots of milk. Easy to handle and as sweet and gentle as can be, Moonie had a peaceful presence to her. On the day that we found her ill she nearly had us fooled. While the other alpacas were all up, trembling and staggering around Moonie was sitting peacefully in the pasture chewing her cud. At first, we thought that she was okay but then we realized she had gone completely blind. During her days at the vet clinic Moonie fought so hard to stay alive, but sadly eventually her body couldn’t cope with the effects of the PEM. We had to make the decision to let her go.

Enjoy Today

At one point when we thought Moonie was coming home, even though she was still blind, we went out and bought some wind chimes to hang around the girls’ pasture. The wind chimes were to help Moonie find her way to the feed bunks, water, and shelter. We never got to use the wind chimes for Moonie.

After Moonie had passed away we decided to keep the wind chimes. In various cultures, wind chimes are believed to ward away evil spirits. After the last couple of weeks, we could do with something to keep evil spirits away.

We have hung one of the wind chimes in a pasture overlooking the girls’ pen, the other two are on our back screened porch. One of them is inscribed with the words “Enjoy today” – a good reminder that whatever is going on, life is really short and each day should be enjoyed to the fullest. As the wind chimes sound we will forever be reminded of the alpacas we lost – Echo,

As the wind chimes sound we will forever be reminded of the alpacas we lost – Echo, Queen and Moonie – and will cling to the happier memories of their time at the farm. Farewell my sweet alpacas, until we meet again.

We received this gift from the very kind vets and staff at Clovis Veterinary Hospital. The disc contains an imprint of Moonie’s foot. As we were not able to bring Moonie’s body back to the farm for burial due to the need for tissue samples to be sent for testing, it is lovely to have a memento of her. I will probably hang the disc near one of the sets of Moonie’s wind chimes.

Moonie's hoofprint

To learn the story about the illnesses that struck our beautiful alpacas, click here.

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