A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

July 21, 2009

Alpaca Reunion

We had several alpaca reunions over the weekend starting first with the return of Anya to our farm.


Anya now belongs to Terri Faver of Almost Canyon Ranch in Amarillo, Texas and last weekend we had taken Zin and Regent over to Terri’s ranch to breed Shiimsa and Anya. All went well with Zin and Shiimsa but Anya was not in the mood for breeding! In fact Anya was far from in the mood, running hard, spitting and even trying to get out of the stall – definitely not receptive. Anya’s reaction to the male was so dramatic that we started to wonder if she could have a retained CL or somehow be pregnant.


The pregnancy theory was a remote one, Terri had her two male alpacas Opie and Rian gelded after she purchased them and then kept them separated from the girls for at least three weeks. Terri did try and put the two gelded boys in with the girls but that was unsuccessful as she came out to the pasture one day to find Anya cushed and Opie acting as if he was breeding her. If Anya had cushed for Opie there was a chance that Opie’s act of breeding her could have been a factor in causing a retained CL.


We talked the situation over with Terri and decided to have her test Anya with Opie during the week to see if Anya’s reaction changed. About the middle of the week Terri reported that Anya seemed a little more flirty and so we made a plan for Anya to come over to our farm to see what happened when she was put in with Regent.


Saturday morning arrived and so did Terri and Anya. Thankfully Anya did cush for Regent this time and we will keep our fingers crossed that the breeding results in a pregnancy. Terri has left Anya with us for the next week or so in order that we may test Anya with a male to gauge if she might be pregnant.


It was fun to see Anya again and she settled right in, making her way to the feeding pen where we always fed her, checking out the hay feeders and of course sniffing and greeting her old pasture mates. What was interesting to me was that Anya’s dam Bjorn and sister Keeva were among the first in the herd to come and see Anya.


The other reunions arose from one simple act. Allowing the weanling alpacas back in the main herd. It didn’t take them long to find their mothers and by the evening each weanling was cushed at its dams side reinforcing once more the strong family bond that alpacas have.


So by Saturday evening our pasture was filled with happy alpaca families and hopefully a newly pregnant Anya.



June 29, 2008

Sometimes Rejection is a Good Thing

Filed under: alpaca, Alpaca Care, Alpaca Reproduction, Alpacas, camelids, General — Tags: , , — alpacalady @ 6:57 am

Yesterday it was time to test Theresa with Zin again to see if we were making progress in getting her to cycle and possibly conceive a pregnancy.    Having watched Theresa over the last few days I was secretly optimistic that we were making progress, as she had been quite grumpy toward the weanlings who are her current pasture mates.  While she is pretty dominant and always first in line for food, once she starts eating she is usually focused on the task in hand, but on Thursday I had seen her fussing if any of the weanlings came near the hay feeder that she was feeding from and at one point chasing one of the weanlings away from the hay feeder (good job we have more than one in the pasture).


We put Theresa in a catch pen and as I brought Zin over to the pen I saw Theresa’s ears go flat back against her head – a good sign that she might reject him.  Before we could get Zin in the pen with Theresa she was spitting hard at him.  Having had her spit, scream and then cush the other day we decided we should let Zin into the pen with Theresa just to make sure that was not going to happen again.  It didn’t as Theresa ran from Zin and then turned to let him have it with some more spit.  A good indication that she has at least cycled.


So Zin was disappointed for the day and was returned to his pasture where he made it clear to his pasture mates that he was not a happy camper!  The downside of being a herdsire I’m afraid, but after a short while the hay feeder called to him and was a nice distraction.


So we now have all fingers and toes crossed that Theresa has conceived.  If nothing else we know she is now cycling again which is good news in itself.


We will behavior test Theresa in a week, I want to keep her stress levels low and I also want to give her reproductive tract a chance to recover from the two breedings she has recently had.  Should she cush when we test her we will give her an antiseptic flush in case she has a low grade uterine infection and then breed her the following day.  However we are going to remain optimistic that next time she encounters Zin she will again reject him giving us greater hope that she is now pregnant.  Keep your fingers crossed for us!



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