A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

June 26, 2009

Next Please!

Shiimsa and her cria Rio

Shiimsa and her cria Rio

With Queen, Chai and Rosie all having had their crias we still had Shiimsa, Ivanna, TeQueely and Willow to go. 

Shiimsa is now owned by Terri Faver of Almost Canyon Ranch.  Shiimsa is one of Terri’s first alpacas and is her first pregnant dam, so Terri has been anxiously awaiting the birth of Shiimsa’s cria.  With Shiimsa being so far along with her pregnancy when Terri purchased her it was decided that Shiimsa would stay with us until after she delivered her cria.

On June 18 we thought Shiimsa was in labor and so called Terri to let her know.  Terri was able to take time off from work and come over for the day, but alas it turned out to be a false alarm and no cria arrived.

On June 21 though it was a different story.  Following chores Ric and I noticed Shiimsa stretched out beside the hay wagon.  Shiimsa typically spends a lot of her day at the hay wagon, but she rarely stayed there to stretch out or sunbathe, so to see her lying beside the hay wagon was a clue that she might have started labor.

We watched Shiimsa for a while and we could see that this time she really was in labor.  I called Terri who was taking part in a horse show that day and left her a voicemail to let her know that Shiimsa was in labor.  A short while later I received a call back from Terri, she had finished showing her horse and so was leaving the horseshow to take her horse home and then head our way.

By the time I spoke to Terri I could just about see the birthing sack starting to emerge.  Progress was a little slow, but Shiimsa is a maiden alpaca and so her body had to do some new stretching to accommodate the progression of the cria.   I decided to go into the house to collect my birthing kit, towels and other supplies, thinking I had several minutes before the cria was born.

By the time I had gathered my supplies I could see two little legs flapping around behind Shiimsa.  From her earlier slow progress Shiimsa had gathered speed and the cria was nearly fully emerged! 

I made it to Shiimsa just as her cria landed on the ground.  I moved the cria onto a clean blanket and started to dry it off and then checked to see whether the cria was a boy or a girl – it was another boy and another handsome boy at that.

Shiimsa’s cria is either bay black or black and has an unbelievably soft handle to his fleece.  His fleece is crimpy, shiny, fine and dense – what more could you ask for in such a dark male alpaca.

We knew Terri had been hoping for a girl, but once she arrived and saw her new cria she was very happy with him.  Terri already had a name picked out for him – “Rio”.
It is sometimes hard to tell the quality of a young cria, so much can change as they grow up, but little Rio is already showing a lot of potential.  Conformationally he is well put together and with that spectacular fleece I see the words “Color Champion” in Rio’s future.  If that is the case Rio will be following in the footsteps of his sire Windrush Jennifer’s Zindel as well as his grandsire Dom Lucilio and his great grandsires Royal Fawn and Acero Marka’s Champ.

Shiimsa has proved to be an excellent mother; she is very attentive to Rio and gets quite distressed when he is out of her sight.  Shiimsa also has lots of milk, a great trait for a female alpaca.  I think Shiimsa has given Terri a great new addition to her alpaca herd.

Ric and I will look forward to seeing Rio grow and mature, we will be making a point to monitor this young male’s show and breeding career, but that is all in the future, for now we will have fun to watching him gallop around the pasture with the other spring crias. 


October 21, 2008

And Another Little One Joins Us


With four girls left to give birth we have been keeping a close eye on the expectant dams.  Sunday night Melody seemed a little uncomfortable in the evening, sitting rolled onto one hip, then sitting sternal and then rolling back onto her hip again.  So it was Melody we thought would be the next to deliver.


Monday was a sunny day even though it was a little blustery, all of the girls ate well in the morning and Melody seemed more comfortable with no more signs of possible labor.  The new crias were having fun chasing each other, interspersed with periods of napping in the sun.


In the early afternoon the weather suddenly changed, the sky grew cloudy, the wind picked up and the temperature dropped as a cold front came into the area.  It seemed that the sudden change in pressure had another effect too as I became aware that Essie was walking a little strangely.  She had that same stiff, waddling gate that Clarissa had on Saturday – she was in labor.


Essie is a maiden alpaca, this being her first experience of giving birth and the look of her face seemed to say “What the heck is going on back there?”  The poor thing looked quite perplexed!  Essie was soon to discover what was going on as she went on to deliver a beautiful, golden brown female cria.   Having delivered the crias head and feet, Essie took a break to sit down and chew her cud, before delivering the rest of the cria.


Both Essie and the cria belong to our alpaca neighbors Bob and Regina Dart.  Bob was out of town on Monday but Regina was able to come over to see her new arrival being delivered.


The cria was a little tired after being born and took a nap while Essie delivered the afterbirth (this time with a look of “Now What is Happening” on her face).  Once Essie was comfortable the cria woke up as if on cue, struggled to take her first steps and was soon nursing from her dam.


So the new cria group is now up to six, with three more left to arrive.  Maybe today will be Melody’s day, we’ll just have to wait and see.





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