A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

September 4, 2017

Open Farm Day is Back at Windrush Alpacas

September is a great time to visit Windrush Alpacas

Advertisements

August 29, 2017

A Difficult Month at Windrush Alpacas – Test Results

Test Results

On Monday, July 28, we received test results that gave us some answers and direction. It seems as if we experienced a bizarre coincidence with the events on our farm.

The first alpaca we lost, Echo, who was in our male pen, tested positive for West Nile.

Moonie’s test results came back with 100% diagnosis for Polioencephalomalacia (PEM). The next step was to figure out what caused the PEM. The vets were still suspecting the water, grain or hay with the water and grain being top of the list, so those samples were tested first.

The girls who showed symptoms were all in the same pen. They were girls who needed additional supplementation for one reason or another and so received more grain than the rest of the herd. We were suspecting that it could be a combination of a problem in the grain and a problem in our water supply. In the meantime, we had been advised by our vet to feed only long stem grass hay to help clean out our alpacas’ stomach compartments just in case there were toxins.

As of August 15, 2017, we have results back on the hay and water.  The hay did not contain any noxious weeds or seeds and the water tested as being suitable for livestock.  So now we are waiting for results on the feed tests, a liver toxicity screening on Moonie’s liver and a West Nile test on Moonie’s brain. We will update this post when we receive the results.

For those of you in the Clovis/Portales area please take steps to control mosquitoes on your property and also use bug spray to protect yourselves.

West Nile Virus can affect humans as well as animals and is a devastating and sometimes deadly disease. If Echo’s death can at least serve as a reminder to people that West Nile Virus is still a threat in the US then he will not have died in vain. https://www.cdc.gov/westnile/symptoms/index.html

Here is a link explaining what PEM is for those interested in learning more.http://www.merckvetmanual.com/…/overview-of-polioencephalom…

Into August

On July 30, after a couple of days off all appearing to be okay on the farm, we were upset when we found our girl Dream showing neurological symptoms. She was trembling, in a stupor, staring into space and walking backward. Fortunately, we feel we caught her early and she responded well to treatment overnight. By the next day, she was eating and drinking and appeared okay. Our vigilance continues, we are not out of the woods yet.

Thankfully no one else has shown any systems. We adopted a new normal at the farm as we waited for the test results. We give you the details of our experience to offer assistance to other alpaca farmers and breeders who experience dis-ease in their herd. Act quickly. Be diligent in watching your entire herd. Treat accordingly. Had we not done so, our herd may have been hit even harder.

Tributes to Echo, Queen, and Moonie

The beginning of the story

A Difficult Month at Windrush Alpacas

Filed under: Alpaca Health — Tags: , , , — alpacalady @ 8:30 pm

July 2017 was the most difficult month we had at the farm in 18 years of raising alpacas.

Mid-month our herd was hit with two diseases – West Nile Virus and Polioencephalomalacia (PEM). Sadly, we lost three of our alpacas – Echo, Queen, and Moonie. Each succumbed to one of the diseases.

The course of events was difficult for everyone as several other alpacas had symptoms and we did not know what we were dealing with. We had to wait several days – and longer – for test results to know how to most effectively treat any animal with signs of distress.

The beginning

Early in the week of July 17 Echo, one of our alpaca boys, started with strange and sudden neurological symptoms. He rapidly went downhill. Since Echo did not respond to anything the vet was trying and only got worse, we made the difficult decision to euthanize him.

A few days later, our livestock guardian dog Duke alerted us that something was wrong in our female pasture. On checking the girls, we found eight of them with symptoms similar to Echo’s.

We started treating the girls immediately and contacted our vet. By the time we were loading up to go to the vet, two of our girls, Queen and Moonie, were in bad shape. Sadly, by the time we got to the vets it was apparent that Queen was suffering terribly. The vet said the chances of Queen making a full recovery were very slim. Once again, we had to make the difficult decision to let one of our alpacas go.

Moonie stayed on at the veterinarian’s hospital. She was blind by the time we left her and the vet told us there was a 50/50 chance of Moonie regaining her eyesight. Moonie was on IV fluids, receiving antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory medicines.

Like Queen, Moonie was one of our older girls which is probably why she was more susceptible. Out of the six other girls, Snow, Clarissa, and Carina responded well to treatment at the farm. Betty, Theresa, and Ana Lynne had fewer neurological symptoms but their appetite was very depressed. They were definitely not themselves.

Our vet has worked hard with us to try and determine caused the illness in our herd. The prime suspect was some form of toxin in our feed or hay or West Nile Virus. Blood samples were submitted for testing. It was the weekend, so we knew it would be several days before we had results. In the meantime, we became very observant of our herd and prayed that no-one else would show symptoms.

At the end of the first week, we were emotionally and physically exhausted.

On the morning of Sunday, July 23, we had some good news.

The girls who were affected but remained on the farm were all back to eating and drinking on their own. One had been a little slower to respond than the others so we kept close attention to her, but we were hopeful she would follow the path of recovery of the others, which she did.

Moonie, still at the vet, showed signs of improvement that morning, too. On Saturday, we gave the vet some Oxbow Critical Care we had used to encourage the appetite of the alpacas on the farm. The vet tubed Moonie with the Oxbow and on Sunday morning Moonie was eating and drinking on her own. I took that as a hopeful sign.

Moonie still had very limited vision, she appeared only to be able to differentiate light from dark. We were hoping that her vision would improve with time.

Sadly, by the afternoon, Moonie had taken a turn for the worse. She had four seizures within 15 minutes. The vet sedated her and gave her stronger doses of anti-inflammatories. When we left, she was able to hold her head up. We were still hopeful.

On Monday morning, however, we had to put Moonie to sleep. She rallied a little during the night and then started to crash around 2:30 a.m. I was with her when she passed.

We had a necropsy done on her and samples of all of our hay, feed and water had been submitted for analysis. We were still waiting on the West Nile test results from Echo. We needed an answer soon.

Our vet contacted four clinicians at CSU who all felt that this had to be something in our feed, hay or water. She told us there was also some other blood work she could run that could help us figure out what on earth this was.

We remained on alert for anyone else in the herd showing symptoms. With there being about week between the first incident and the second we realized there was a chance this could happen again.

That same morning, we had two boys possibly showing very early symptoms of whatever this was. At this point, we were so paranoid that we didn’t know if we were being oversensitive or if we were getting more cases. We were ready for this nightmare to be over.

Through this difficult couple of days, we had to acknowledge the brighter moments. Most significant was the recovery of the girls on Sunday. Then the discovery that we have a new vet in town who has good knowledge of working with alpacas (the vets and staff at Clovis Veterinary Hospital were amazing)!

Our new livestock guardian dog who, despite having been here little over a week, alerted us to what was happening with our girls (and this guy is a rescue who we have no background history on, who doesn’t appear to have been around livestock before), and the outpouring of love and support from the alpaca community, family and friends.

On Tuesday, the two boys who we had a concern about seemed to be normal.

Our vet, Dr. Hornig, told us our samples ended up going to Texas A & M rather than CSU partly because she felt that Texas A & M would have a better knowledge of noxious weeds in this area. The samples from Moonie went to Texas A & M too so that there would be consistency and continuity in our case. Dr. Hornig had spoken to the lab at Texas A & M and was working with them to systematically run various tests in an effort to keep our costs down.

She spoke with our other vet Dr. Orton. Together they identified certain things they felt should have priority when it came to testing. When those things are eliminated then they would start working down a list of possible causes. It would be a timely process, but a necessary one to get this right.

I spent some time that evening walking through the herd doing my last check before I lost daylight. Everyone seemed peaceful, content and calm. We hoped, that in time, we would join them in that peaceful, content, calm state too.

Click to read about Test Results

 

June 5, 2017

Last Open Farm Day til September – This Saturday!

Filed under: Open Farm Day — Tags: , , , , — alpacalady @ 6:11 am

06.10.17 Flyer DRAFT

May 29, 2017

Summer is Almost Here! Celebrate at Windrush Alpacas

Filed under: Open Farm Day, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — alpacalady @ 6:05 am

Newly Shorn boys are waiting for you at WIndrush Alpacas

June is a month filled with celebrations. National Chocolate Ice Cream Day, Corn on the Cob Day, and Best Friends Day. And those biggies too – Father’s Day, Graduations and the first day of Summer! Why not celebrate with your best friend, dad or grad at Windrush Alpacas? Bring them to Open Farm Day, Saturday, June 10 between 10 am and 3 pm.

Our owners will show you and your special someone around our farm, tell you all about raising these gentle, soft fleeced animals, and give you a chance to get close to a couple of our herd. You’ll even be able to feed them! The alpacas will be feeling great as they will all have been recently shorn and will be wearing their short summer coats! Be ready to take pictures! We’ve got a couple of alpacas who are real hams and will pose for you!

Stop in at the Farm Store where we’ll serve refreshments. You can browse our shelves filled with alpaca socks, scarves, toys, cushions and more! Treat Dad to a pair of extreme alpaca sport or hiking socks. Plenty of gifts for grads from pre-school through college too!

June’s Open Farm Day will be our last until September. Don’t miss it! There is always something interesting to learn and see at Windrush Alpacas. Stop by anytime on Saturday, June 10 between 10 am and 3 pm!

Windrush Alpacas farm is located just 1-1/4 miles south of Brady on CRM. Watch our Facebook page for updates http://www.facebook.com/WindrushAlpacas.

For more information, call us at 575-683-5177 or visit our website at www.windrushalpacas.com, shop online at http://www.windrushalpacas.net/store/, or sign up for our newsletter at http://eepurl.com/xhiwn! Learn more about our Adopt-a-Program here http://www.windrushalpacas.com/pages/2087/adopt-a-paca.

May 8, 2017

Treat Mom to a Special Day!

05.17 Flyer FINAL

February 28, 2017

Watch the Alpacas Spring Into Action at Windrush Farms

Filed under: Adopt A Paca, Family, Open Farm Day — Tags: , , — alpacalady @ 9:29 pm

We all love the first signs of spring! Our alpacas do too! Just like humans, alpacas love the warmth of the sun and first signs of green grass. We always see an extra ‘spring’ in their step as they graze about the farm. Come celebrate Spring with our herd at Open Farm Day, Saturday, March 11 between 10 am and 3 pm.

Visit Windrush on OFD!

While you are at the farm, we will give you a tour, tell you about raising alpacas and their lovable habits. We’ll even introduce you up close and personal to a couple of our fleece-y, friendly four-legged friends. 

Our Farm Store will be open for you to enjoy refreshments and browse the alpaca products we have for sale. Who wouldn’t like a new pair of soft, alpaca socks or a bright new scarf for spring?

Spring time is a great time to do something new! And, if you’ve been here before, come again! There is always something interesting to learn and see at Windrush Alpacas. Stop by anytime on Saturday, March 11 between 10 am and 3 pm!  Be ready to pose for a picture with one of our alpacas.

Windrush Alpacas farm is located just 1-1/4 miles south of Brady on CRM. Watch our Facebook page for updates http://www.facebook.com/WindrushAlpacas.

For more information, call us at 575-683-5177 or visit our website at www.windrushalpacas.com, shop online at http://www.windrushalpacas.net/store/ , or sign up for our newsletter at http://eepurl.com/xhiwn! Learn more about our Adopt-a-Program here http://www.windrushalpacas.com/pages/2087/adopt-a-paca.

January 30, 2017

Warm Up with Our Herd at Windrush Alpacas

Filed under: Adopt A Paca, Open Farm Day — Tags: , , , — alpacalady @ 11:50 am

091015 OFDWinter getting to you? Warm up with our herd of friendly alpacas at Open Farm Day! Visit Windrush Alpacas on Saturday, February 11 between 10 am and 3 pm.

During your visit to our farm, we will tell you about our alpacas (and their names!), tour you around the farm and explain to you all you want to know about raising alpacas.

 Don’t let cold keep you away! Our toasty, heated Farm Store will be open for you to warm up in and to see (and buy!) all the different socks, scarves, hats and other products made from alpaca fleece. And if we must, we’ll even bring an alpaca inside! You’ll get hot chocolate – the alpaca will get your attention!

Get out of the house and do something different!  If you’ve been here before, come again! There is always something interesting to learn and see at Windrush Alpacas. Stop by anytime on Saturday, February 11 between 10 am and 3 pm!  Make sure your phone or camera are with you too! Our alpacas love for you to take their picture.

Windrush Alpacas farm is located just 1-1/4 miles south of Brady on CRM. Watch our Facebook page for updates http://www.facebook.com/WindrushAlpacas.

For more information, call us at 575-683-5177 or visit our website at www.windrushalpacas.com, shop online at http://www.windrushalpacas.net/store/ , or sign up for our newsletter at http://eepurl.com/xhiwn! Learn more about our Adopt-a-Program here http://www.windrushalpacas.com/pages/2087/adopt-a-paca.

January 14, 2017

New Year – New Goals! Do Something Different – Visit Windrush Alpacas

Filed under: Adopt A Paca, Open Farm Day — Tags: , , , — alpacalady @ 8:46 am

The Girls from Dancing Wind Alpacas

We all know how hard it is to keep resolutions once the new year is underway. If you resolved to do something different – or be more active – in 2017, come out to Open Farm Day at Windrush Alpacas on Saturday, January 14, 10 am to 3 pm.

Visiting an alpaca farm is certainly a different kind of entertainment and exercise. A tour of our farm will keep you moving! You will learn why we chose to raise alpacas, how we care for them and what we do with their fleece in the spring. Our alpacas each have a name and very different personalities. A visit to the farm is a unique experience.

While here, stop in our Farm Store. We sell toasty, warm alpaca products. Warmer than wool and softer than cashmere, we have luxuriously soft alpaca scarves, gloves, mittens, and hats… and everyone’s favorite, socks and slippers.

Admission is free and refreshments will be served at the Farm Store. If it’s a little too cold, we’ll bring one of the alpacas inside too for you to visit with and feed.

Start your new year in a new way.  And if you’ve been here before, come again! There is always something interesting to learn and see at Windrush Alpacas. Stop by anytime on Saturday, January 14 between 10 am and 3 pm!  Be ready for plenty of picture taking too!

Windrush Alpacas farm is located just 1-1/4 miles south of Brady on CRM. Watch our Facebook page for updates http://www.facebook.com/WindrushAlpacas.

 

For more information, call us at 575-683-5177 or visit our website at www.windrushalpacas.com, shop online at http://www.windrushalpacas.net/store/ , or sign up for our newsletter at http://eepurl.com/xhiwn! Learn more about our Adopt-a-Program here http://www.windrushalpacas.com/pages/2087/adopt-a-paca .

January 9, 2017

Do Something Different in 2017

Filed under: Adopt A Paca, Open Farm Day — Tags: , , , — alpacalady @ 11:56 am

01-14-17-flyer-draft

Older Posts »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.