A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

March 24, 2009

And The Latest Visitors Are…


Donna Given and her alpaca Marti.  Donna and her daughter Tamara Garel own Kiss Me Alpacas in Bandera, Texas and are long time customers of ours.  Last spring they brought us three of their alpaca girls for breeding Marti, Celeste and Cariad.


Celeste was bred to Windrush Jennifer’s Zindel and delivered a beautiful beige daughter on St. Patrick’s Day (March 17), Cariad who is a daughter of our Enchantment’s Prince Regent is due to deliver any day now.  Cariad was bred to our Windrush Moonlight Surprise so we soon will have another Moonie cria on the ground.


Marti unfortunately lost her pregnancy in the seventh month of gestation.  The seventh month can be a tricky time in a pregnancy as that is when the fetus really starts to put a demand on the dams system.  Donna and Tamara rushed Marti to the vet when they realized she might be aborting her cria, the vet kept Marti in for observation but unfortunately was unable to stop her from losing her cria.  Following the loss of the cria Donna and Tamara had blood work run on Marti and the cria was also examined, but the vet was unable to establish a reason for Marti having lost her cria.


So Marti is coming back to us for rebreeding and hopefully this pregnancy will go to term without any problem.


It will be good as always to see Donna, Tamara had to stay at home to keep an eye on Cariad and also had to work so was unable to travel with Donna.


I do hope the weather stays warm as Donna and Tamara had their shearing day last weekend and so Marti is newly shorn.  Our forecast did mention the chance of snow on Friday – I hope it doesn’t get that cold or poor Marti will really feel it!


Should it turn really cold we can always pen Marti in a stall inside one of the barns with some deep straw and I even have a blanket she can wear if need be.  Fingers crossed though the temperatures will stay warm enough where all we will get is some gentle rain – we need the moisture but for Marti’s sake I am really hoping that the snow stays away!



July 7, 2008

Our Visitors Go Home

Over the weekend we were joined by Tamara Garel of Kiss Me Alpacas who traveled to our farm to pick up her three alpaca girls who had been visiting us for breeding.  The three girls Celeste, Marti and Cariad are confirmed pregnant and were over 60 days bred, putting them at a good stage in their pregnancy to travel home.    Also going home with them were Celeste’s cria Skylar and Cariad’s cria Copper.


Tamara was of course excited to see her alpacas again.  They had been delivered to the farm in March and by the time they had gone through the three week quarantine, breeding, shearing and confirmation of pregnancy it was July.  How time flies!


We prefer pregnant females not to travel before the 60 day point of their pregnancy if possible.  We have made a few exceptions in the past when the journey was a short one and the alpaca was one who was calm about traveling, but we feel it is better to wait a little longer to travel than to put a pregnancy at risk.


Before loading the alpacas in the trailer we gave each of the pregnant girls some banamine.  The banamine will help prevent soreness from traveling and can also prevent early contractions.  Needless to say Tamara had a nice thick layer of bedding in the trailer to cushion the alpacas on their journey home.


It’s always good to spend time with our alpaca friends and clients and the weekend with Tamara was enjoyable.  We worked a little with Tamara and her crias on halter training, looked at fleeces together, showed off our alpacas and of course took in the more social side of life to include a trip to the 4th of July fireworks display put on by our Chamber of Commerce.


Sunday morning saw Tamara and her alpacas headed on their way home.  There is always a tinge of sadness to say goodbye, but a promise of joy ahead with the anticipation of the birth of the crias next year.    Three more alpacas for Tamara and her mother Donna to add to their herd, and three more crias for our boys to add to their list of progeny.



June 28, 2008

And Finally…….

Zianna    Zianna Close Up

Our last cria to be introduced is Windrush Zianna, born on June 4th to our dam Ivanna and our herdsire Zin.  Zin has had a good season on our farm having sired Atlas, Rebecca’s cria, Pride, Anacia and Zianna. While Tobiano gave us his cria contribution in the form of Dream, Serenity and Stormy.


Zianna’s arrival coincided with the passing of our little cria Legs (see post June 6th, Witnessing Life’s Circle) and she was a reminder of the brighter side of life.  A beautiful light fawn color with almost an apricot tinge to it, liquid brown eyes and the thickest of eyelashes Zianna is quite a character.  She loves to check out what you are doing and is quite a vocal cria, a trait that comes from her dam Ivanna.


Ivanna handled Zianna’s birth with ease; she is an experienced dam and a great milk producer.  She prefers to have people keep their distance a little while she is birthing, but interestingly she allowed one of her previous crias, Cariad (who is here for breeding) to be with her as she delivered Zianna.  I did eventually remove Cariad from the immediate area where Ivanna was as Cariad was being very curious about the half delivered cria and was starting to get in the way.  Ivanna delivered Zianna in her favorite place, right in front of the fan in the small shelter and I used some portable panels to prevent the other alpacas from intruding into the area as she finished delivering.  Cariad was still able to see her dam and was very curious about her new sister once she was delivered.


Zianna was the cria that Theresa decided to “steal” a few days after she was born during Theresa’s hormonal confusion!  Zianna seemed quite happy to be with Theresa and would try and nurse off Theresa when Theresa encouraged her too, but Theresa did not have milk and so eventually Zianna would return to Ivanna for nursing, much to Theresa’s dismay.  We eventually had to separate Theresa and Zianna, as we really did not want Zianna bonding to the wrong dam.


Zianna is already over 30 lbs, testimony to Ivanna’s good milk production record, and is one of the first to greet you when you go out in the pasture.


Of course Zianna was not the last to be born, Pride was born on June 9 and Desert Sandstorm (or Stormy as we call him) was born on June 13, but in all of the chaos at the time of Zianna’s birth I did not get a chance to introduce her.


We now have one cria left to be delivered this summer, our maiden dam Cinnamon is due in July and we are looking forward to seeing what she produces.  We see her cria kicking frequently and day by day Cinnamon gets a little larger but is not huge.  So are we going to get a little female cria or a little male cria, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!



June 25, 2008

Three for three is a good thing!

Yesterday was ultrasound day.  The three female alpacas from Texas – Cariad, Marti and Celeste were at a point in their pregnancy when we could confirm their pregnancy by ultrasound and so we headed off to the vets with the three girls in the trailer.


Out vet usually likes to ultrasound at the 45 day post breeding point.  Some vets can confirm pregnancy by ultrasound as early as 21 days post breeding, but our vets’ ultrasound equipment is older and so less clear than some of the newer models.


The girls were actually all closer to 50 to 60 days bred, we had sheared them just a week or so ago and we wanted to wait a while after shearing to make sure the pregnancies had held.  Before shearing we had given the girls Banamine to help with soreness and to help block any early contractions and we had also sedated them with some Acepromazine.  All three girls handled shearing well, and a few days after shearing we behavior tested them with one of our male alpacas and all three rejected the male.


I always love to watch the ultrasound screed and see the image of the embryo as the vet finds it and today we were treated to the sight of three embryos, one in each of the girls. 

We have called the girls owners and given them the good news and they are naturally anxious to get their alpacas home.


So a good day all in all, and it even finished off with a little rain in the evening, what more could we ask for?



April 7, 2008

The Other Side

The Girls Gather Ready To Go To The Other Side


Over the weekend we decided to put the girls who had been in quarantine in with our main herd of girls.  We originally had planned on leaving the visiting girls in the quarantine pen for the duration of their stay, but our neighbors have a new puppy and one of the visiting girls, Cariad, kept alarming at the puppy.  The puppy was well within the boundaries of its owner’s property and not doing anything to threaten or upset the girls, but its mere presence was obviously upsetting Cariad.


As we had bred the visiting girls this weekend we didn’t want them stressing out because of the puppy and either failing to get pregnant or losing any possible pregnancy.  The girls had finished their quarantine period and the farm that the girls come from has not had any incoming alpacas in over a year.  Additionally that farm has not been to any shows in several months, so we felt the risk of exposing our alpacas to these girls was minimal.


We decided that we would open up the quarantine pen and the area between it and the girl’s pen and allow the female herd access to both areas.  No sooner had Ric opened the gate than there were alpacas flying between both areas – a real case of “the grass is always greener on the other side”.  Our girls were joyfully exploring the quarantine pen and the visiting girls and their crias busily investigated our girl’s pasture.


There is absolutely nothing better or more interesting in either pasture, but the fact that it was different was enough to cause each group of girls to check things out.


By lunchtime all twenty-six alpacas in our female herd plus the three guard llamas were crammed into the small quarantine area.  They had made it to “the other side” and were not relinquishing their newly claimed area.  Not wishing to miss out the visiting girls and their crias (a total of five alpacas) had staked their claim in the much large main female pasture which they considered was “the other side”.


The girls remained that way for the rest of the day, but when it came to evening feeding both groups forgot about the excitement of being on “the other side” and joined together to eat.  That proved to be a little confusing for the visiting girls, the alpacas love of routine throws them off kilter when they suddenly find themselves being fed in a different area.  That evening’s feed and the following mornings feed was a little bit of a challenge – but that’s another story!



January 9, 2008

The Grandkids (and Great Grandkids) Are Coming

Cariad and Copper Chai        Celeste and Skye

We heard today from our friends Donna Given and Tamara Garel of Kiss Me Alpacas in Bandera, Texas that they will be coming to visit us at the beginning of March.

We always enjoy Donna and Tamara’s visits, they of course love to talk alpaca and are just good company.  There have been several times that Donna and Tamara have driven up to help us on shearing day and they are both hard workers who don’t hesitate to jump in and help where needed.

This time when they come to visit Donna and Tamara will be bringing four of their girls for breeding Rana, Celeste, Marty and Cariad.   Cariad was one of the first offspring of our herdsire Enchantment’s Prince Regent and Donna and Tamara fell in love with her on a visit to our farm and ending up buying her.  It is hard not to fall in love with Cariad; she has one of the prettiest alpaca faces, a gorgeous fleece and is also quite the character.   Cariad is the cria whose picture features on the home page of our web site at www.windrushalpacas.com

It will be interesting to see how Cariad reacts to coming back here, Cariad’s dam Ivanna is still at the farm and I would bet that the two will recognize each other.  This time though Cariad will be coming with a cria of her own, a lovely medium brown boy called Copper Chai and of course I can’t wait to meet one of my alpaca “great grand kids”.

Celeste too will have a cria with her during her visit; Skye is the first cria out of our herdsire Windrush Moonlight’s Surprise and from his photos bears a striking resemblance to his sire.  It will be lovely to get a chance to see him in person and get to know the little guy.  His sire is an absolute sweetheart and I hope that Skye has inherited Moonies easygoing nature too.

Rana, Celeste and Marty are not strangers to the farm either.  Rana and Celeste were boarded here for over a year while Donna and Tamara set up their property, and both Rana and Celeste delivered their first crias here.  Rana is a large alpaca and one that you can guarantee will be first in line for food in the morning.   Celeste is a sweet girl who is very easy to manage and Marty is one of Celeste’s crias who is as sweet as her dam.  Marty came here with Celeste on a previous occasion and so hopefully she will feel comfortable returning.  Marty has a superfine fleece and it will be interesting to see in time what sort of a cria she produces.

We will look forward to the arrival of the “Kiss Me Girls” and start planning how we are going to spend our time enjoying Donna and Tamara’s company. 


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