A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

September 30, 2008

Just Protecting Her Baby


With crias being born and National Alpaca Farm Days the weekend was a busy one.  It was a nice change of pace on Monday to have nothing on the agenda past the usual chores, follow up phone calls and sorting through the mail.


The two new crias are doing well and showing good weight gain.  Keeva’s cria still sleeps more than Cinnamon’s cria but is starting to get up and play between her naps.


Cinnamon and Keeva were both born at our farm and so are pretty comfortable with their surroundings.  Keeva has always been quite sweet and approachable, while Cinnamon is more curious and a little wary of strangers who try and handle her.  Both girls are proving to be great dams, but have their differences in how they behave with their crias.


On Friday afternoon after Cinnamon had delivered her cria our neighbor Tracy came to visit.  Tracy had helped us catch Cinnamon when Cinnamon went on her great escape escapade (See blog entry “Cinnamon’s Great Escape“August 13, 2008).  Tracy was anxious to know that all was well with Cinnamon and her cria and I had promised to let her know when Cinnamon delivered her cria.  So on Friday afternoon Tracy came down to visit Cinnamon, bringing with her four children who she baby-sits.  The children have been to the farm before and know to be quiet and calm around the alpacas. 


We all went over to the catch pen where I had Cinnamon and her cria.  We always put our new dams and their crias in a catch pen to allow them to bond and to give the cria time to get steady on its feet before being introduced to the rest of the herd.  Once we were at the catch pen we all stood quietly outside and Cinnamon walked over to check out her visitors.  Cinnamon usually loves to check out visitors to the farm stretching out her neck to sniff them, but this time was different.  Having taken a look at the visitors Cinnamon tried to stomp on them through the fence!


I felt sorry for the children who were taken aback by Cinnamon’s behavior.  I explained to them that Cinnamon was protecting her new baby and suggested that we all leave her alone so as not to stress her any further.  Needless to say the children were quite happy to go and visit with Stormy one of the older crias who was much more receptive to visitors!


This was the first time we have experienced a dam who was that protective on our farm.  I had seen the behavior before at another alpaca farm, when a dam who had been imported from Chile was extremely protective of her cria, but our girls have always been fine with visitors up to now.


Cinnamon soon calmed down and went back to eating her hay; she is been fine with Ric or me being near her cria, but definitely gives visitors the wary eye.  Having seen what happened during Tracy’s visit we were careful to keep our weekend visitors at a distance from Cinnamon.  They were able to see Cinnamon and her cria, but we did not allow anyone to get to close to the area where they she was. 


I am sure in time Cinnamon will become more relaxed over her cria, she is after all brand new to the idea having a cria and I would much rather she be attentive and protective than not be at all concerned about her cria.  For now she is following instincts that have been passed on to her from previous generations of alpacas, and we have to respect those instincts.



Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.