A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

September 29, 2014

Feelin’ Chilly? Alpaca Will Warm You Up!

Filed under: Adopt A Paca, Open Farm Day — Tags: , , , — alpacalady @ 3:01 pm

10.2014 Etta for advertising pixHave you heard the predications for another cold winter (colder than usual, that is)? Stock up now on alpaca products for you and your loved ones during our next Open Farm Day Event on Saturday, October 11, 2014.

Take a tour of our fully-functional alpaca farm to meet our friendly alpaca, see how such a facility is run, and to learn why we love alpacas so much! Pacas are our passion and we enjoy teaching visitors everything we can.

After the tour, warm up with a hot beverage (or cool off with a cold one depending on the temps that day) and relax in our Farm Store. Think about stocking up on super warm alpaca socks and slippers, hats and gloves, scarves and shawls, or pick up a cozy pet bed for your dog (they need to stay warm, too!)

So come on out to Windrush Alpacas on Saturday, October 11, 2014 between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. when we are open to the public for our Open Farm Day Event and Farm Store Shopping Experience.

We encourage you to bring your whole family… everyone will enjoy the experience! We also welcome 4-H and scout groups, class outings, or any other group who would like to experience something a little different. We have easy access and ample parking to accommodate even large groups.

Stay in touch with us on our Facebook page, through our newsletter, or better yet you can Adopt-a-Paca and get special treatment for a whole year!

Free admission and parking, Windrush Alpacas is just 1-1/4 miles south of Brady on CRM. See you soon!

For more information, call us at 575-683-5177 or visit our website at www.windrushalpacas.com. Also, you can Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WindrushAlpacas, shop online at http://www.windrushalpacas.net/store/ , and 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 27, 2009

Winter Pays a Visit

Guess what's under here

Guess what's under here

Well we knew the warm sunny weather had to end at some time and yesterday it did.  From having temperatures close to 70 degree Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius for those of you in areas where Celsius is used) on Sunday we plunged down to 18 F (-7 C) overnight and then achieved daytime high of (-2 C).  Brrrr!!!

 

(You might be asking what relevance the picture of the upturned trash can has to do with all of this – keep reading and you will find out!)

 

The cold weather made the animals a little frisky.  The adult girls were pronging around the pasture on Monday morning as I carried over their feed.  They certainly were not lacking in energy and were more than ready to eat.  Maya one of our llamas was a little shivery as I fed her, cushing in the straw as she ate.  At 11 years of age Maya is starting to feel the cold more in winter, but she is smart and on colder days she stays in the big blue shelter where she is protected from the wind and can cush in deep straw if she needs to.  I made sure I let Maya out of her pen as soon as she had finished eating so that she could return to the comfort of the shelter.

 

The cold also makes the boys frisky, they are apt to wrestle and chase each other more, a natural way of turning up their internal temperature.

 

Today is forecast to be even colder with a chance of freezing fog, freezing rain and even snow.  The weatherman is not promising a lot of moisture, but it is moisture all the same and so we will take it in whatever form it comes.  I might have a slippery time doing chores in the morning, but at least I don’t have to drive anywhere and it always feels so good to come into the warm house when it is cold outside.

 

No doubt my thermal coveralls and fleece-lined jeans will be making an appearance today, along with my alpaca socks and alpaca headband to keep my ears warm.  Chores tend to take a little longer in the cold and so it is best to be prepared to stay outside for a while.

 

Of course our preparations for the cold start as soon as we hear it is coming.  We make sure that the alpacas have a good layer of straw in their shelters, we turn on the heater for the boys’ large water tub and we plan to feed the herd extra warm soaked beet shreds and some extra hay including a little alfalfa.

 

So with regards to the trash can.  Look carefully at the picture and you will see a glow coming from the bottom of the trashcan.  It’s a simple way to keep our outside faucets from freezing!

 

Our outside faucets are supposed to be frost free, but some are quite old and the faucet heads tend to freeze up when the temperature gets really cold.  To make life easier we hang a worklight with a 40-Watt bulb on the faucet, turn the light on, cover with a trash can to keep the heat in and the alpacas and llamas out and voila – a working faucet in the morning.  The things we will do to keep from carrying water buckets!

A simple faucet head defroster (I turned the light off to take the picture, usually it would be on)

A simple faucet head defroster (I turned the light off to take the picture, usually it would be on)

 

Rosemary

December 5, 2008

Staying Warm In Record Lows

 

Sometimes life doesn’t cooperate the way we would like it to.  While I made it safely to England for the funeral services for my father, Ric has had a more challenging time at home.

 

When Ric returned from his trip to England, he apparently brought an unwanted gift with him – a nasty virus which has left him with a sore throat, cough, low energy and which has stolen his voice.  Not really what you want when you are running the farm on your own, but so far he has been managing. 

 

If that was not enough to deal with the weather has turned really cold with Wednesday night/Thursday morning bringing record lows.  (I think Ric said minus 15, but with his lack of voice it is difficult to understand him sometimes).

 

Cold weather always brings more work with it, the alpacas need extra bedding and we also increase their hay to help them keep good energy during the cold temperatures.  Extra beet pulp shreds soaked in warm water are always welcomed by the herd, who love to slurp up the warm sweet water that the shreds are in.  We also like to put out buckets of warm water for the alpacas to drink.  Ric contends that the warm water freezes more quickly, but often the alpacas drink most of it before it gets a chance to freeze.  The first couple of warm water buckets may show less consumption but usually once word gets around (and it is amazing how quickly alpacas spread the word of something good to eat or drink) the warm water is the first to go.  It makes sense really; I know I prefer to drink warm drinks over iced drinks on a cold day.

 

The youngest of the crias have been practising their warm up routine, galloping at high speed around the pasture at dusk, and Ric reports that on Thursday morning the cria group had figured out that if they all cushed close together they could all be pretty comfortable.  Usually crias tend to sit with their dams at night or when it is cold, but I have noticed in the past that this fall cria group will often sit in a group together and sometimes even lie across each other.  They are a happy, friendly (and now in the cold weather comfortable) little group.

 

To keep us humans warm in such cold times the solution is lots of layers of clothing and I can be pretty certain that Ric is using his insulated coveralls, fleece lined jeans and of course alpaca socks (a post on our newly arrived line of alpaca socks will be following in the next day or two!).

 

The forecast says that the temperatures in New Mexico are due to start to warm back up again, so hopefully that will be the case.   I am sure not only Ric but all of the animals will appreciate some warmer weather.

 

Here in England I am doing my best to stay away from anyone who has the slightest hint of a cold or sickness, the only thing I plan on bringing back are my suitcases and some goodies from the grocery stores that I cannot buy in the United States (and with my trip coming so close to Christmas there are lots of goodies to choose from!)

 

Rosemary

January 17, 2008

Like Mother, Like Daughter

Filed under: alpaca, Alpaca Care, Alpacas, camelids, Crias, General — Tags: , , , , , — alpacalady @ 7:43 am

Well the cold air arrived as promised and yesterday was spent making sure that all animals would be as comfortable as possible during the cold snap.  The llama pillows are firmly wrapped around the faucets and hopefully we will have working faucets outside this morning.  An overnight low of 7 degrees Fahrenheit with a wind-chill taking the temperature down to minus one is a little bit of an insulation challenge though!

As the air cooled off yesterday (helped of course by the usual 26 mph sustained winds!) I watched the alpacas as they figured out the best way to stay warm and out of the wind.  I put most of the hay inside the shelters to encourage them to go inside, but they do so love to be outside and several of them stayed out until all of the hay in the outside feeders was gone.

The alpacas and llamas are pretty smart when it comes to figuring out which side of the shelter provides the best protection from the wind and when I ventured outside I checked the areas that they were cushed in and it wasn’t too bad.

During the late afternoon I looked out and saw Clarissa and Willow, her cria of two years ago both cushed in the pasture.  Typically Clarissa and Willow don’t hang out too much together, unlike Bjorn’s family who are almost glued to each other’s side.  Today though there were mother and daughter cushed fairly close together.  Not only were they cushed together but also each one had her head down and turned to one side in exactly the same manner.  They looked like a couple of bookends.  I went to get my camera to snap the shot, but as I closed the door on my way out to take the picture the click of the door caused Clarissa to raise her head and the moment was gone.

I’m still trying to figure out a way to have my camera with me and ready to work all the time, no success on that puzzle yet though.

I am betting that Clarissa and Willow spent much more time together last night as the alpacas all cushed together for the evening.  When the group all cushes together it is amazing how much heat they generate.  Today it is supposed to get up to all of 30 degrees for our daytime high; if it gets any warmer I will have to look out my shorts! 

Rosemary

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