A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

November 26, 2009

A Herd within a Herd

 

The Girls from Dancing Wind Alpacas

Four of the Six Girls from Dancing Wind Alpacas (the other two were too busy at the hay rack to pose for pictures)

 

 

On Sunday our herd was increased by six alpacas – but only temporarily.   We have been given the opportunity to take over the lease of six female alpacas that are owned by Mary Schaare of Dancing Wind Alpacas.

Leases on alpacas can work in many different ways, sometimes a pregnant female alpaca is leased for a fee and then upon the birth of the cria the lessee is the owner of the cria.  It was that type of lease that we did to get one of our first alpacas, Ma Cushla.  We leased Ma Cushla’s dam Plata by paying a fee to Plata’s owners and then when Ma Cushla was born we owned Ma Cushla.  Of course we could not bring Ma Cushla home until she was weaned but it helped us get an addition to our herd at a reasonable price.  Typically the lease on a pregnant female alpaca is less than her purchase price and the cost of feed and care of the dam are paid for by the owners.  The lessee is responsible for any feed and care costs on the cria when he or she is born.  With a lease you do not know the sex of the cria until it is born and so there is a bit of a gamble involved, but it can help you bring fresh bloodlines into your herd without taking on the full cost of the pregnant female alpacas.

Other leases we have been involved in have been structured so that the lessee pays one fee if the cria is a boy and another if the cria is a girl.  I am sure that there are other formats of alpaca lease on the market too.

This particular lease will involve us boarding and caring for the six girls, delivering their crias and then keeping the girls and their crias until the crias can be weaned.  In exchange for our services we will get to keep some of the crias.

The six girls in question are an interesting group, they have excellent bloodlines and are beautiful girls, but what is interesting to me is their behavior as they are a very tightly bonded group.  I call them the herd within a herd because they really do behave as if they are their own herd rather than part of the main group of girls.  The “matriarch” of the girls is Ms Genevieve and where Ms Genevieve goes the others follow!  They never stray very far from each other and Ms Genevieve is definitely the boss and is respectfully acknowledged by the other girls in the group – Luna, Sierra, Bella, Grace and Mariah.

So for the next 18 months or so the girls will be in our care, it will be interesting to see if their behavior changes over time or if they continue to be their own herd within a herd.  Of course when they all have their crias they will be a much bigger group and hopefully their crias will socialize with our crias and help break down some of the boundaries the girls have put up – but only if Ms Genevieve allows it I’m sure!

 

Rosemary

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