A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

August 26, 2008

Taking Baby Steps


We are once again trying Dream with a lesser amount of milk during the day.  The last week or so while she has drunk her bottles without a problem there have been several times when she has either not seemed too hungry or drunk less milk from each bottle.


Yesterday we fed Dream in the morning along with the other crias and did not offer her a morning bottle.   She didn’t come and seek me out looking for it and she didn’t seem ravenously hungry when I gave her a bottle in the evening.  So it seems as if it is time to wean Dream off at least one of her two daily bottles. 


Dream is now just over three months old and is eating hay well plus a little bit of pellet supplement and calf manna.  She is a sturdy cria, full of energy and certainly not thin.  It is amazing to think that in the space of three months we have gone from feeding her every few hours to now only giving her one 10 oz bottle a day.  We were very lucky that Dream took well to the bottle and did not fight over it like many alpaca crias do and of course Dream still has her dam Rosie who she nurses from and the occasional drink of milk from our guard llamas.  Food is not in short supply where Dream is concerned!


It is interesting to watch the progress of the crias, they go so quickly from nursing from their dams every hour or so, to starting to try out the hay and then making sure that they get their fill of the hay before going to nurse and then play.  One of our neighbors dropped by the other night to watch the crias play and was most disappointed to find them with their heads immersed in the hay racks.  I explained to our neighbor that play starts later these days once the crias are feeling full, often that is after dark when all you can do hear is the whisper of their feet as they fly across the pasture.


People often talk about baby steps, meaning small steps, but with crias I am not sure those baby steps are so small.  In a few short months they go from birth, to first steps, to playing, to eating and the visits to their dams for nursing while still there, become less frequent.  Just a few months more and we will be thinking about starting to wean them and wondering how time has yet again passed by so swiftly.



February 2, 2008

How Fast They Grow

While looking through my photo collection I was struck by how much Zeus is changing.   Like any young thing it seems that alpaca crias grow so fast, and sometimes when you see them everyday the gradual changes fool you into forgetting how much change has taken place and have different they have become.

Zeus was born at the end of September 2007; he has been the subject of many posts on this blog due to his slow and erratic weight gain.  Thankfully now he seems to have overcome his weight gain issue and is becoming a striking young alpaca.

This picture was taken when Zeus was just a few days old.

 Zeus Looking Cute

Who would have imagined that just over four months later, that little face would change into this one!

 Zeus Face on January 2008

As you can see the little guy is still adorable but what a dramatic change.  Even his body has now filled out from this

 Zeus Standing Proud

To this!

 Zeus January 2008

He’s starting to look like a little mini adult alpaca. 

It will be interesting to see how Zeus ends up looking.  I am sure he is going to be quite striking, and he is convinced that his future job description will be herd sire.  He has taken to orgling a lot (orgling is the noise a male alpaca makes during breeding) and is even scenting the poop pile like an adult male alpaca would.  He practices mounting Kanika and Carissima several times during the day and has even ventured trying his luck with some of the older girls.  Of course all of his advances are rejected, but if he’s going to be a herdsire he had better get used to that!

 Zeus and his dam Zoie are at our farm for sale on consignment so chances are by the time he is of breeding age he will be many miles away from here.  Still I will keep in touch with their new owners once they are sold, I always like to keep in touch with our “alpaca family” even if they are here on consignment.  In Zeus’s case though he has become a special boy, it has taken work to get him to where he is, but now his body is functioning well on it’s own to keep him healthy and hearty and to prepare him for a future as a breeding male.  I will follow his progress as he continues in life – and who knows I may even need to reserve some breedings from him for our girls some day!


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