A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

September 2, 2008

Waitress Service Please!


The bottle feeding education of Song is going well, I thought it might take her a couple of days to adjust to us moving the bottle away from Mags, but today she latched onto the bottle with ease.  Now we just have to figure out the best system for one person to feed them both at once, as that will sometimes be necessary.  Mags is the most insistent about his bottle and will take his through the fence so we are thinking that it would work best to put Mags in a pen, have the person feeding stand in an adjoining pen, offer Mags his bottle through the fence and then get Song started on her bottle in the pen where the person feeding is standing.


With the arrival of the three new girls for breeding (Moonshadow, Arianna and Sonora) we have put the weanlings back in with the main herd to allow the pasture they were in to be used as a quarantine pen.  Our quarantine pen is quite adaptable and with a series of gates and panels can easily be converted to allow a 10 ft alleyway between that pen and the main herd.


Putting the weanlings back in with the main herd was not a problem, in fact we had tried it on two previous occasions, but Kaneka had returned to nurse from her dam Chai both times.  As Chai is pregnant we did not want Kaneka to stimulate Chai to produce milk which could in turn cause Chai to abort the pregnancy she is carrying.  This time Kaneka did try to nurse on the first day, but Chai kicked her away a couple of times and so hopefully Kaneka now has the message that the milk bar is closed.


For the first day or so of feeding we know it is going to be chaos as the weanlings try and figure out which pen to eat in.  Ric has put together an additional pen and we have figured out the best combination of which girls go into which pens, trying to match them up by the speed at which they eat and their nutritional requirements.  Alpacas are smart though and I am sure the herd will soon figure out who goes where.  Once the girls have learned which pen they eat in it is not unusual to find them standing in the pen waiting for us to bring them their food.  Waitress service I guess!



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