A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

November 4, 2009

Happy Birthday to a Special Herdsire

 

Enchantment's Prince Regent

Our herdsire - Enchantment's Prince Regent

 

 

We had a special birthday over the weekend.  Our herdsire Enchantment’s Prince Regent turned 10 on Halloween (October 31).

We don’t make it a habit to celebrate all of the alpacas birthdays, with as many alpacas as we have we would be doing a lot of celebrating if we did that, but it is nice to remember significant events such as Regent’s 10th birthday.

Enchantment’s Prince Regent was our very first cria, his dam Enchantment’s Peruvian Jennifer was our first alpaca purchase. We purchased Jenny in June of 1999, she was already pregnant by PPPeruvian Yupanqui and we were excited to see what our first cria would be like.

Of course Jenny went past her due date and we anxiously awaited the phone call from the farm where she was boarded telling us that Jenny was in labor.  We lived about three hours away from the boarding farm, Enchantment Farm Alpacas in Ruidoso, New Mexico and so we knew that we had little chance of seeing our first cria being born, but we wanted to get to see our cria as soon as we could.

Fortunately it was a Saturday morning when Jenny went into labor, Ann Evans from Enchantment Farm Alpacas called me to give me the news.  At the time of Ann’s call I was on my way to volunteer at a local animal shelter but that plan soon changed and after returning home to collect Ric we were on our way to Ruidoso.  To this day Ann Evans teases us about the speed in which we made that journey, she could not believe how fast we made it to the farm.

Arriving at Enchantment Farms we could see Jenny and her cria penned in the pasture.  Ann and her husband Rick met us at the pasture and took us in to see our new arrival, a little white male cria who we called Enchantment’s Prince Regent.  Initially we were a little disappointed that Regent was a boy, but when Rick and Ann suggested that perhaps we would like to sell him to them we realized this was not just any little boy cria, he was something special.  While we were grateful for Rick and Ann’s offer we decided to keep Regent and have been so happy we did so.

 

Rosemary and Regent

Rosemary and Regent the day Regent was born

 

 

Regent was undeniable cute as a cria, Ann nick named him Little Monkey Face because of his round face, but as time passed by Little Monkey Face soon became an alpaca with a beautiful sought after head.  We have had people book breedings to Regent just because they liked his head style.

Regent has shown us many aspects of alpaca management during his life.  It was with Regent that we first learned how to bottle feed a cria, Jenny did not have enough milk for him and so Regent received supplemental feedings.  I can still remember being in the pasture with Ann’s daughter Thea during one of our visits to see Regent.  Thea (who I think was then about 9 or 10) instructed me in how to hold onto Regent and get the bottle in his mouth at the same time.  It was quite the challenge to me, but Thea had it down to a fine art!

We experienced our first alpaca show with Regent along with our female gray alpaca Ma Cushla in Estes Park Colorado.  That was to be the first of many alpaca shows for Regent and for us, and during Regent’s show career he won many ribbons and gave us our first Reserve Color Champion.

 

Regent at TxOLAN

Enchantment's Prince Regent wins his first Reserve Color Championship

 

 

Regent has been responsible for bringing income to the farm in the form of breeding fees and the sale of his offspring.  His offspring have done well in the show ring and he has several color champion offspring to his name.

At 10 years old Regent is still looking good and still getting bookings for breeding.  His correct confirmation, dense fleece that has held its fineness, heavy bone and of course that beautiful head make him a herdsire that is still sought after – and he is more than happy to continue to have dates with beautiful alpaca girls.  As a herdsire he is easy to manage, all you need to say is “girls” and he will stand still and allow himself to be caught and haltered.  He is well mannered with the ladies and if a girl says no, while he is undoubtedly disappointed, he will allow himself to be led out of the pen with just a little grumbling.

There is a saying that just because an alpaca is male does not mean he deserves to be a herdsire – a saying that is very true.  With Regent though he truly does deserve to be a herdsire and how fortunate we are to have been blessed with such a wonderful herdsire as our first cria.

So on Regent’s birthday I sang him Happy Birthday, told him how much he means to us – and then had to apologize to him as I didn’t have a breeding arranged for him for that day.  Oh well that’s all part of life as a successful herdsire and Regent was quite happy to receive hay and feed as a birthday treat instead.  Happy Birthday Regent!

Rosemary

 

July 31, 2008

Dolly Lingers, Flies Arrive

The last few days have been more humid than we usually experience in this part of the country and have coincided with the arrival of August heat.    We have been keeping a close eye on the alpacas, who are used to our high temperatures but who are not used to the humidity.  The fans have been running 24 hours a day and the Gatorade has been present in the water buckets to provide the alpacas with electrolytes.

 

Watching the herd they appear to be handling the heat index well.  While there are moments when several of the alpacas will be stretched out in the sun and asleep for the most part they have still been active, nibbling at hay and exploring the pastures.  Lack of activity can be an indication of heat stress and so to see our alpacas moving round pretty much as usual is a good sign.

 

The crias love to play still and their latest game seems to be one of trying to see who can leap up in the air and give the fanciest kick.  I think Zianna is holding first place in that game with Annochia and Dream coming a close second.

 

Amazingly the reason for our humidity is the lingering effect of Hurricane Dolly that hit the South Texas coastline last week.  Once Dolly had landed she headed North West, as she traveled over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains her timing and placement was just right to cause about 7 inches of rain in 24 hours for the village of Ruidoso, New Mexico.  Ruidoso to me always seems more of a small town than a village but it is commonly referred to as a village.  Whether it is a town or a village it is a charming place and we have happy memories of time spent there over the years.  Ruidoso is also home to Enchantment Farm Alpacas, the farm where we purchased our first alpacas.

 

Unfortunately the rains from Hurricane Dolly caused major problems in Ruidoso as the Rio Ruidoso broke its banks and major flooding caused devastation with between 300 and 500 people having been evacuated.  Having seen the news we called and spoke to the Evans family of Enchantment Farm Alpacas and also Marilyn Smith of Portas Nirvana Alpacas, also in Ruidoso, and both reported that they are okay and not badly effected by the floods.

 

At Windrush Alpacas we did not experience any of the heavy rains, we had one short burst of rain but apart from that the only signs we have seen of Hurricane Dolly is cloudy skies (with some quite spectacular clouds) and increased humidity, and then there are the flies.

 

We had been doing quite well regarding the flies until the moisture and humidity arrived at the end of last week.  A few days after that and the flies started appearing en masse.  It is amazing to see how many flies can suddenly appear without warning.  We are still using Diatomaceous Earth on our alpaca feed and sprinkled on the poop piles, but I think the volume of flies is just too much for any product to handle.   Our flytraps are filling up within just a day or two, which is unusual for us even for August, which is typically our worst month for flies.  Hopefully as time goes on the Diatomaceous Earth will have a greater effect and the fly population will dwindle.

 

Rosemary

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