A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

October 7, 2012

Cold Weather And Pumpkins Arrive At The Farm

Brrr!  In typical New Mexico style we have been treated to a sudden change in weather.  From days last week with temperatures in the high eighties and early nineties, today we have dropped to a day time high of around 45 F.  Fall has finally arrived on the high plains!

The cold weather gives the alpacas (and their owners) a hearty appetite.  It also makes for frisky alpacas – young Tiki was doing vertical take off displays this evening, Snow and Betty were running full gallop with the occasional kick of their legs in the air.  With the alpacas now having at least a couple of inches of fleece growth the cool temperatures feel good to them.

Our next Open Farm Day is rapidly approaching.  Fall is a great time to stock up on alpaca products and I have been busy creating things for the store.  Some wearable and others just fun.

Fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving all bring to mind pumpkins and even pumpkins can be made from alpaca!  Easy to care for, no mess involved and they will last you for years.  Needle felted alpaca pumpkins are just the thing for your fall decorations.

Needle Felted Alpaca Pumpkins

Hand made and cute as can be these mini needle felted pumpkins could be yours!

Using dyed alpaca roving (roving is fleece that has been processed to align all of the fibers in the same direction) and a needle felting technique.  I have made a selection of pumpkins to be available in the store.  From plain pumpkins to Jack-O-Lanterns, mini pumpkins to larger versions – you can choose the ones that appeal to you the most.

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So come on out and join us next Saturday, October 13 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. pick the pumpkin that appeals to you the most and meet our wonderful alpacas at the same time.

Rosemary

October 28, 2007

Mmmm – Pumpkins!

Pumpkin EatersWe are just a few days away from Halloween and many houses in the area have pumpkins as part of their fall displays.

Many people do not realize that pumpkins are grown in large numbers in Clovis, New Mexico and then trucked all over the US for sale.  So many pumpkins are grown that throughout the pumpkin picking season you will see semi truck loads of pumpkin culls (the misshapen or damaged ones) being dumped in fields for cows to munch on.  It’s quite amusing to drive past a field of cows and see them chewing away, their mouths stuffed full of pumpkins.

Last fall as part of Ric’s degree course in Elementary Education, Ric and his class mates developed a learning based activity evening for one of the local schools and used pumpkins as the theme of the evening.  Children learned how to calculate the circumference and diameter of pumpkins, how to weigh pumpkins, how to carve pumpkins and all sorts of other exercises involving pumpkins.  One of the local farms very kindly donated the pumpkins for the evening and the evening was a big success.

A week or so ago one of Ric’s classmates who is now teaching full time contacted him to see if he could help her out with finding some pumpkins.   The same farm that donated the pumpkins last year was willing to donate more pumpkins this year and so Ric drove out to the pumpkin field and collected about 50 pumpkins.   Again the pumpkins were culls but many of them only had minor flaws and the children enjoyed working with them.

When Ric collected the pumpkins he picked out six for our own use.  We may carve one or two of them, but the main reason we wanted the pumpkins was for a treat for the alpacas and llamas.

Last year we fed pumpkins to the herd for the first time, some of the alpacas were a bit wary of the pumpkins while others were more willing to try them out.  The llamas were a different story though and zoomed in on the pumpkins, eating them with much gusto and not allowing the alpacas even a sniff at them.  Maya in particular made a point of devouring every scrap of pumpkin that she could find.

 Maya Eating Pumpkin

We had asked our vet last year if it was safe to feed pumpkins to alpacas and he told us that they were safe to feed and were actually a good nutritional source.  He said that while he would not recommend feeding the alpacas a diet of nothing but pumpkins he could recommend feeding the pumpkins as an occasional treat.

This year the alpacas were more aware that a pumpkin is edible and tasty and managed to get a least some of the pumpkin away from the llamas who had made a beeline for the pumpkins as soon as they saw us bring them to the pasture.

As of last night there was not a scrap left of the pumpkins we had fed the girls, the flesh, seeds, skin and stem of the pumpkins was all gone and all that remained was some happy cud chewing camelids!

Rosemary

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