A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

October 8, 2009

Welcome to Our Newest Arrival

Our newest cria - son of Ana Lynette

Our newest cria - son of Ana Lynette

 

Now this is the sort of cria delivery that is fun.  Here I am on vacation in England while in New York one of our newest additions to our alpaca herd “Ana Lynette” delivered her cria – a beautiful light fawn boy.  Talk about a stress free delivery – well it was for me anyway!  A big thank you to Lindsay Butkiewicus of Wild Thyme Farm for keeping us updated on the cria’s delivery and for looking after Ana Lynette and her cria until we are able to move them to our farm.

Ana Lynette is being a wonderful mother, very attentive to her cria and producing lots of milk, while her cria is enjoying life as crias tend to do.  Lindsay says that there is a chance that the cria may be more rose grey than fawn, which is a distinct possibility given his genetics (black sire and beige dam with black in her background).  Some greys become more apparent as they age so time will tell for our little boy.  Now we just have to come up with a name for him (and if you have been following our blog you will know how boy crias always prove a challenge to us when it comes to names)

 

We will not get to see Ana Lynette and her cria until after I return from England.  We want the cria to be at least three weeks old before he travels as it will be a long trip for him and Ana Lynette.  Hopefully by late November Ana Lynette and her boy will be with us and maybe we can even get our new junior herdsire Champ on the transport too.

 

Ana Lynnette and her cria

Ana Lynnette and her cria

Here in England it is still sunny but the temperature has dipped to the mid fifties, still not too bad for October.  Ric reports that things are cooler in New Mexico too and so I think we can say fall has arrived.

This evening I will be attending the Baldock Knit Together Group.  I tried to attend the group last year when I was over but was unable to do so.  Since then I have kept in contact with the group organizer Rhona and we are looking forward to meeting in person at the meeting tonight.  Of course I will be taking my latest alpaca knitting project with me, and I am sure I will pick up many new tips and free patterns during the course of the evening.  It is wonderful that knitters and crocheters the world over always welcome each other and enjoy admiring each others knitting projects while being willing to pass on tips and tricks.  Being part of a knitting or crochet group is a great way to meet some lovely people who share a common love of fiber arts.

Tomorrow my mother and I will set off by train to go to Totley in South Yorkshire where we will visit my Dad’s cousin Stella.  I have many happy childhood memories of times spent with Stella.  There were at least two summers when my brothers and I went to stay with Stella for a few weeks and had a wonderful time exploring the Yorkshire countryside and learning more of our family history.  It has been at least 20 years since I was in that part of the country and so it will be nice to visit again and enjoy the many beautiful sights of South Yorkshire.

So on that note I had better turn my attention to packing my bag for my trip.

 Rosemary

October 2, 2008

Sneaky, Sneaky!

 

Dutchess and Cria - not the best picture, better picture to follow!

Dutchess and Cria - not the best picture, better picture to follow!

Once in a while you come across an alpaca dam that doesn’t give you much of an indication that she is about to deliver her cria –such was the case with Dutchess who sneakily delivered a beautiful 17.7 lb male cria yesterday afternoon.

 

Around 10 a.m. Dutchess’s owner Regina Dart had called me on my cell phone; I think she must have had a premonition as she asked me if I was out tending to one of her dams having a cria.  I was actually bottle feeding Mags and Song when Regina called and so told Regina that all of her dams were looking good although I had noticed that Dutchesses pregnancy bump had dropped since yesterday.  Regina and I had our usual conversation about what was going on in our worlds and then I went about finishing chores.  I did check under Dutchess’s tail and look at her udder as I do for all of the late term dams, everything looked fine with no swelling or significant changes.

 

Interestingly Dutchess had shown some different behavior a couple of days ago.  We had a breeding going on in one of the pens close to the pasture where Dutchess is.  She and Essie (another of Regina’s pregnant girls) had come over and shown some interest in the breeding, an indication that their hormone levels might be changing as they reached the end of pregnancy. Dutchess though took things a step further, she eyed up Keeva who was cushed close by, walked up to her, started orgling and then tried to mount Keeva.  Keeva wasn’t having any of that, spit at Dutchess and got up.  Dutchess was persistent in her efforts to mount Keeva and so I entered the pasture and herded Dutchess away from Keeva.

 

Yesterday afternoon I was preparing to load product into the truck to go to our booth at The Crafter’s Mall.  As I walked out of the house I could hear a cria humming.  The sound was coming from the pregnant girls pen, but I could see Cinnamon’s cria walking around and he is a little chatterbox, so much so we have nick named him Beeper (we promise to give him a more impressive registered name but for now Beeper suits him!).

 

I went around to the studio to get the boxes of product ready to load, and then came back to the house a short while later to prepare Mags and Songs afternoon bottles.   As I fed Mags and Song I could still hear humming, but as I looked across the pasture I could see that Beeper was fast asleep in the sun.  I checked for Keeva’s cria (who we have nicknamed Sleeper because when she sleeps, she sleeps so soundly you can pick her up and move her into the shade when she is asleep and she will barely stir), Sleeper too was sound asleep.  I then checked for Anya’s cria Annochia as she still hums loudly when she wants Anya to let her nurse.  I could see Annochia and she was nudging at Anya, but she was in the opposite direction to the humming I could hear.  There was only one option left – a new cria!

 

I urged Mags to finish his milk quickly, Song had already finished hers and Mags was almost finished.  I then went over to the maternity pen and there sitting in the straw at the entrance to the shelter was a brand new cria!

 

Looking inside the shelter I could see that Dutchess must have delivered in there.  She has spent a lot of her time recently in front of the fan in the shelter and she must have felt most comfortable there.  Certainly she didn’t come out of the shelter to the poop piles or lie outside while she was having contractions, as I would have noticed her.

 

Of course I called Regina to give her the good news and asked her if she had a premonition when she called me earlier in the day.  I reckon Dutchess was sending telepathic messages her way (or maybe the fact that Dutchess’s due date was October 2 had something to do with it!).

 

Dutchess and her cria are doing well.  This is Dutchess’s third cria and she is an excellent dam, she is attentive and a great milk producer but definitely more hands off in her preferences when it comes to anyone handling her cria.  The cria is a sturdy boy with great bone density and an interesting fleece color, he is a medium to dark fawn but has more of an ash hue to his fleece than the more usual red tone that you tend to see in a fawn alpaca.  It may be that he is going to be a light rose grey, tomorrow when he is more settled in we will examine his fleece more thoroughly to see if we can determine a color.

 

So congratulations Bob and Regina on another beautiful cria from your herdsire Andean Night.  I don’t know what you are planning on naming him, but I think for now Beeper and Sleeper are going to have a new playmate called Sneaker!

 

Rosemary

 

 

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