A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

February 14, 2009

Today’s The Day

Dream's beautiful head

Dream's beautiful head

 

The show classes begin today at the TxOLAN Alpaca Spectacular.  Alpaca show classes run the darkest fleeced animals first gradually working toward the lightest fleeced animals.  With this in mind I fully expect Kaneka (black), Mags (dark brown), Athena (medium brown), Atlas (who color checked as light brown rather than dark fawn), Pride (who color checked dark fawn rather than medium fawn) and Dream (medium fawn) to show today.  Zianna who is light fawn may also show today but may show first thing on Sunday morning depending on the speed at which the classes progress.

 

Young Dream has been receiving lots of attention and admiring looks from other alpaca breeders at the show.  Dream has a stunning head and great coverage making her very striking.  Dream is still not too enthused by all of the attention but I suspect by the end of the show she will be getting used to it.  Mags too seems to be settling down to all the attention.  At home he actively seeks out attention, but as of yesterday evening he was starting to remain cushed when visitors came to our pens indicating that even he had more than enough human attention to satisfy his needs.

 

The fleece show started judging yesterday and hopefully will be completed by this afternoon.  Once the fleece show has been opened for viewing we will be able to fins out if the any of the fleeces we entered won a ribbon.

 

Back home things have been reasonably quiet.  The four girls in the weaning pen who did not go to the show were a little unsettled the first day after their pen mates left for the show, today they are settled and more interested in hay than anything else.   Once the show alpacas return home the four girls in the weaning pen will be rejoining the main female herd group and the show alpacas will be put into the weaning pen for a three week quarantine period.  By the time the show alpacas return home they will be more than ready to stretch their legs and take a good roll in the dirt and then happily relax in familiar surroundings – even for alpacas there is no place like home.

 

Rosemary

February 4, 2009

Getting ready for the show

Windrush Zindel's Kanika

Windrush Zindel's Kanika

 

Yesterday we made a trip to the vet’s with some of the alpacas who will be attending the 10th Annual TxOLAN Alpaca Spectacular in Fort Worth, Texas later this month.    When you are transporting livestock from state to state you often encounter different rules and regulations regarding health checks and health requirements for your animals.  The rules and regulations vary from species to species and can change from time to time.

 

For our alpacas to enter Texas we need a Health Certificate issued by our vet and also a permit number from the State of Texas.  Additionally all intact (not neutered) alpacas over 18 months of age need to have a negative brucellosis and TB test within six months of entry into the State of Texas.  So it was that Kanika and Athena had an appointment with the vet to have blood drawn for Brucellosis testing and the TB test administered.  We picked up Regina Dart and her alpaca Mayflower on the way to the vets (Athena also belongs to Regina but boards at our farm).

 

It was only on the way back from the vets that I realized that Kanika is only 16 months old and so did not really need testing.  I guess that will teach me to calculate alpaca ages in my head!  As the blood had already been shipped to the lab by the time I realized my error we decided to let the test run.  Who knows, maybe Kanika will need to take another trip to Texas within the next six months in which case her brucellosis and TB tests will still be current.

 

It is always a good idea to research what tests or paperwork you need for a show well in advance of the show date.  Some tests just take longer than others and it would be awful to discover that you could not get the necessary testing done in time for a show.

 

The 10th Annual TxOLAN Alpaca Spectacular starts on February 12 (exhibitor check in day) and will run until February 15 so we should have plenty of time to get the results of the brucellosis and TB tests prior to the show.  We also have to take the alpacas back to the vets on Friday for the TB tests to be read (the TB test is administered in the area around the base of the alpaca’s tail where it can be easily read if there is a reaction to the test).  At that time we will take the younger show alpacas along as well so that our vet can examine them and make out the health certificate.

 

There are still plenty of things to do before the show, prepare fleeces for the fleece show, check the alpacas microchips (AOBA shows require all alpacas entering the show grounds to have a microchip), print out copies of BVD test results, print out copies of the alpacas registration certificates, check toenails and teeth and of course pack up all of the supplies that travel with us to a show.   There is a lot to do it’s is going to be a busy week or two!

 

Rosemary

 

August 1, 2008

People Arriving, Paca’s Leaving

Filed under: alpaca, Alpacas, Crias, General, shearing — Tags: , , , , , , , , — alpacalady @ 7:31 am

Rosson

Rosson

 

Yesterday saw the arrival of Kathryn and Tracy Annis from Dripping Springs, Texas.  Kathryn and Tracy are here to pick up four of their girls, Rebecca, Rosson, Athena and Zoie and take them back to Texas.  The alpacas have been boarded here while on consignment sale but now Kathryn and Tracy have a place where they can board them at no cost and so decided to take up that offer.  Rebecca, Rosson, Athena and Zoie will still be listed for sale from our farm so if you are looking for some beautiful alpaca girls to either get your herd started or add to you herd let me know!

 

I will be a little sad to see the girls go, they have been here for close to two years and during that time I have seen Rebecca and Zoie give birth and have raised their crias.  Zoie’s cria Zeus who we worked so hard on getting to gain weight when he was younger will be staying with us and soon joining our herd of junior boys under the watchful eye of our herdsire Windrush Jennifer’s Zindel who does well with the younger males.  Zeus is a beautiful young male with such a bright white fleece that shines in the sunshine.  I am looking forward to seeing him mature and using him as a herdsire in the future.

 

Rebecca and Zoie are old hands at traveling and Athena has been to a show or two, but little Rosson will be in for her first long trailer ride.  She did go to the vets with us when we took Rebecca and Zoie for Brucellosis and TB testing, the testing being a requirement for re-entry of alpacas into the state of Texas.  I know that Rosson will miss her seven little cria buddies, it will be very strange to her to be the only cria in her little group, but she will have Rebecca with her and maybe even Athena will buddy up with her.  Athena herself will be leaving her herd mates, but being a little older will probably adjust easier to the change.

 

Of course waiting for the girls in Texas is a real treat – grass!  Not lush pasture right now, but at least some grass to graze.  The shorter grass will give them a chance to gradually get used to grazing having been in a dry lot situation for so long.

 

We will enjoy our time with Kathryn and Tracy, they are both a lot of fun to be around and it has been well over a year since we have seen them.  Poor Ric will be putting up with a weekend full of alpaca talk and fiber talk as Kathryn is also a knitter and now also a weaver and Tracy is a herd manager, shears alpacas and is a Camelidynamics Practitioner.  I am sure Ric will manage to keep his sanity though.  Most likely will busy himself with projects in his workshop where it will be relatively peaceful compared to the chatter of three women who have a lot to catch up on and a lot to talk about!

 

Rosemary

 

January 27, 2008

Their First Night Alone

Last night was the night, the first time the weanlings have been away from their dams overnight.  The weather is forecast to be mild over the next few days and even the night time temperatures will be above freezing and so it was a good time to make the final break.  Often newly weaned cria will sit out by the fence line all night and that is not the best place for them to be if the weather is very cold.

The weanlings were not too concerned at first last night.  I fed them and put out extra hay for them and while they came to the gate a couple of times to see if it was open, they soon settled down to eating hay followed by a chase session around the pasture.  As time went on though the realization set in that they were not going to back to the main herd for the night.

Shiimsa of course is already weaned, and we hope that her lack of concern at being in the weanling pasture overnight will help the three weanlings feel less stressed about the event. 

During the course of the evening I checked on the weanlings, Athena and Shiimsa were in their barn eating hay, Velvet and Blast were setting together by the fence line.  Some of the main herd were sitting by their fence line where the weanlings could seem them, and if truth be known the weanlings are physically no further away from their dams than I have seen them on several other occasions.  The only difference is there are two fences on either side of the 10 foot gap between them.

When I checked on the weanlings Velvet and Blast ran up to see me, and Blast did a fair amount of “talking” telling me he wanted to go back to the main pasture.  Velvet too had some curious hums to pass onto me.

Today we will give the weanlings some more probiotic.  They are sure to be suffering with a little stress, which is not good for them or the health of their rumen.  The probiotics will help keep their rumens healthy and also contain B vitamins that have calming properties.  I might even put some Bach’s Rescue Remedy in the weanling’s water to help calm their nerves.

In a day or so the weanlings will have settled in to their new pasture and will be adapting to spending their nights together.  They will remain there until the show and then will return to that pasture for quarantine following the show.  By the time that process is all through we should be able to return Velvet, Athena and Shiimsa to the girls pasture.  Little Blast though is another matter – I may have to borrow an alpaca buddy of the same age as him to keep him company for a while until he is big enough to join the junior male herd.

And what about the dams during this final weaning process?  Well not one of them has been looking for her cria, a sure sign they were ready for the weaning process to happen.  Sorry to tell you this kids but Mom says it’s time to move out and set up home on your own!

Rosemary

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