A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

September 28, 2007

A Radio Appearance and More on Zeus

This morning we are off to a bright and early start as we are appearing on a local radio station KTQM at 7 a.m.  We will be talking to the Morning Show hosts Grant McGee and Misty Presley about our open house this Saturday in recognition of National Alpaca Farm Day.  I’m not sure what questions or comments Grant and Misty will have but I am sure it will be a fun experience.  

The impetus for National Alpaca Farm Day is certainly building with many farms opening their doors to the public on September 29.   We will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will have alpaca products available, tours of the alpaca farm and even some cookies and drinks for visitors. 

Immediately following our open house I am planning on driving to Oklahoma City and then onto Shawnee, Oklahoma on Sunday for an Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association Compliance Check Clinic.  The Compliance Check is a method used to accurately place alpacas in the correct classes at shows based on their fleece length and color.   Following the clinic there is a Judges Oral Reasoning Clinic, which I will probably stay and volunteer at until Tuesday when I will need to head home. 

At home young Zeus has again stopped gaining weight.  We were so thrilled when he gained for the one day, but then his weight stabilized and yesterday he lost weight.   We feel that while Zoie has some milk she may not have enough to allow Zeus to gain weight.  We are also wondering if the day he gained weight was as a result of Carina allowing him to nurse from her while she was distracted. 

In an effort to improve the situation with Zeus we have upped Zoies calorie intake by allowing Carina, Chai (who is in the last few weeks of her pregnancy) and Zoie to be in a pen with a flake of alfalfa hay between them.  We don’t usually feed our alpacas alfalfa as it is really too high in protein for them, but the girls we are giving it to have a need for it right now.  By penning the three girls up together with Zeus and Carissima it also allows Zeus to have a nurse off Carina who has plenty milk. 

We have also started Zoie on an extra ration of the herbal lactation stimulant and some of the MSE Probiotic Drench.  I will also give her a treatment with the photonic red light that is supposed to help milk production.  Fingers crossed something will work to help increase Zoie’s milk production. 

We did try Zeus with a bottle yesterday, but like many alpaca crias he did not want to have anything to do with it.  We tried both goats milk and whole cows milk without success.  Zeus seemed a little more comfortable with the whole cows milk (to which we have also added some whipping cream and full fat vanilla yoghurt) but he still was not at all cooperative about drinking from the bottle.  It may just be a case of being persistant in getting something in him. 

We will be holding our breath this morning as we weigh Zeus, I won’t feel comfortable leaving town if he does not start to gain weight soon.  Ric will be here to look after Zeus while I am gone, but I will still be reluctant to leave town if Zeus is not progressing in the right direction.   Let’s hope we can exhale with a sigh of relief once we have weighed the little guy! 

Rosemary  

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