A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

December 2, 2009

When the Whole Herd Prongs ….

It’s time to take cover!  Especially if your guard llamas are joining in as well!

With recent snows and falling temperatures the animals on the farm have been a little friskier.  The horses like to have a little buck and kick session as the excitement of feeding time combines with their need to stay active and warm.  The dogs are ready to dash about all over the place, especially puppy Blue who is about as fast as a dog can get speeding here and there as she follows Ric during morning chores.  The alpaca boys like to warm up by taking part in some extra wrestling sessions especially as evening feeding time draws nearer.   We keep an eye on the boys as they wrestle, 90% of the time they are fine but if we see things starting to get a bit too rough then we will intervene.  Usually clapping our hands or whistling will distract them long enough to break up the wrestling match, but if that fails the appearance of more hay or feed usually gets the boys attention away from wrestling.

In the girls pen the friskiness is less aggressive, with the young crias in with the girls it is usually not long before sunset that  a couple of the crias start to race around the pasture, increasing their body temperatures as they gallop at full speed.  Occasionally a few of the adult girls will join in and we are treated to the sight of the adult girls in full prong, bouncing up into the air with tails raised and heads held high.

Tuesday evening though saw a rare event, the site of the whole female pasture pronging together as a herd, from the smallest cria to the oldest dam and our guard llamas too they moved together as one from one side of the pasture to the other and back again.  By the time this happened it was dark, having been delayed starting the evening chores I was later getting to the girls than usual and by the time I was ready to feed them the daylight had gone.  You would think that the site of the feed wagon loaded down with hay and feed would be enough to get the girls to stop, but no they were just having too much fun and the pronging continued.

There was no point in going into the pasture any further to try and stop them, they weren’t paying attention to me and the last thing I wanted was to get mown down by a herd of cavorting camelids – try explaining that to the doctor!   There was nothing else to be done but stand back and watch the site of my happy herd (and yes they finally did settle down to eat but it took a while!).


January 23, 2008

Whatever Next!

Well yesterday was pretty eventful, so much so that it took me 5 ½ hours to do morning chores.  I think that has to be a record!

It was just one of those days with one thing going wrong after another.  Frozen faucets, a leaking automatic waterer, two male alpacas with bloody ears (in separate pastures and fortunately nothing serious, just the result of frisky wrestling boys on a cold morning), a female alpaca with a grungy eye (again thankfully nothing serious, just an inturned long eyelash, but still requiring the eye to be bathed), and a 40 lb sack of beet pulp shreds that split open as I lifted it out of my truck to put it in the feed shed.  It just seemed that life was determined to challenge me yesterday.  The good news of the day was that my dental appointment for a filling was cancelled due to the dentist coming down with stomach flu.  I hate to think of the poor dentist being ill but at least it meant I didn’t have to rush to that appointment on top of everything else.  I did chuckle though as I thought of how many dental patients were overjoyed at the news that their appointment had been cancelled for the day!

I think there were two causes for yesterday’s mayhem; first Ric is away for the week (a sure way to ensure everything is going to break down in his absence) and also a full moon.  I need to remind myself to never let Ric leave town during a full moon again, the combination of the two is too much to handle!

That full moon was spectacular last night at Sunset, it was huge and golden as it rose over the horizon and I couldn’t help but admire it despite the problems it had caused during the day.  

Oh well, I survived the day and am now more educated in the inner workings of an automatic waterer, plus the dogs and I had a great walk in the beautiful moonlight.  Fingers crossed the gremlins will be worn out after yesterdays mischief and today will be a quieter day.


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