A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

August 5, 2009

The Heat Is Back

A Very Pregnant Willow Keeps Cool

A Very Pregnant Willow Keeps Cool

 

After being thoroughly spoilt with some cooler temperatures and rain we are now back to experiencing triple digit heat.

 

Having been shorn in the late spring our alpacas are at least experiencing the heat minus their fleeces, but they still seek out the shade and enjoy the cool breezes created by the fans in the shelters. The crias seem to feel the heat the least and still find the energy to have a chase around the pasture now and again. Black Prince though has been well taught by his dam Chai and was found in the prime position in front of the fan yesterday afternoon. I can guarantee that if there is rain, snow or extreme heat Chai will be one of the first alpacas to take up residence in the shelter and she teaches her crias to always secure their place in the shelter at the earliest chance.

 

Our newly arrived visiting alpacas Mira Bella, Lady Belle and Jillie Belle are probably relishing the fact that our heat does not come along with the humidity that is present at their home farm in Louisiana. Still though they have taken to sitting in front of the fan in the shelter. With only the three of them in the quarantine pasture it is easy for them to spend the whole day in their shelter nibbling on the hay, sipping cool water and enjoying the shade and breeze. At times it would be easy to think that the quarantine pen has been abandoned, but by the evening the three girls come out at the first rattle of the feed bowls. Little Jillie Belle also tries to join in with the cria games that she sees taking part in the main pasture, a few more weeks and we can let her in with the main herd and give her the chance to run and play with the other crias.

 

It seems like the spring breedings have only just finished, yet already we are starting to keep a close watch on the two girls who are due to have late summer/early fall crias. Willow is due to have her cria by Travesura’s Altiplano Treasure at the end of August, her cria “bump” is quite large (and perhaps a little exaggerated by her compact body style) and she waddles around the pasture these days. Bjorn is due to have her cria by Enchantment’s Prince Regent at the beginning of September, her cria “bump” has been large and very active for several months now and Bjorn’s appetite is telling us that she once again is carrying a large cria. Bjorn’s crias are usually over 20 lbs. when they are born and toward the end of her pregnancy Bjorn always seems to be hungry as she feeds her unborn cria and herself.

 

Let’s hope that by the time Willow and Bjorn give birth the temperatures will be on their way down again without having plummeted to the range of “cold”. You would think that would be unlikely but remember we are in New Mexico where as far as the weather is concerned anything could happen!

 

Rosemary

April 25, 2009

Guilty!

Guilty Bjorn - her legs give her away!

Guilty Bjorn - her legs give her away!

 

Just look at those front legs, caked in mud from the knee down.  Looking at those legs I know that Bjorn has been sticking her feet in the water buckets!

 

Bjorn is not alone in her activity, Merry Me and Melody like to join in too and TeQueely just loves to splash in the water if enough is spilled.  It was only on Tuesday that Melody came around the side of the barn with a guilty look on her face.  Melody had not had her feet in the water buckets then but a short while later I caught her with her feet in the automatic waterer!

 

From the alpacas antics you can probably tell that our temperatures have warmed up.  The last few days have been in the mid eighties and for once the wind has not been blowing – perfect!

 

We have set the fans running in each shelter and they will now run for the rest of the summer.  Soon we will also put electrolytes in some of the water buckets to help keep the alpacas well hydrated.

 

Of course the biggest thing we can do to help keep the alpacas cool is to shear them, and it’s that time!  Today we will be shearing a few of the herd.  Our main shearing day will be in a couple of weeks time, but Ric asked for one day prior to that date for him to shear a few alpacas without spectators to allow him the chance to get back into the rhythm of shearing.  We will probably do no more than six alpacas but it will be enough for the first day of shearing.

 

I suspect though that even with fans, electrolytes and shearing we still will find that certain alpacas will be putting their feet in the water buckets and once more their mud caked legs will be labeling them as guilty!

 

Rosemary

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