A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

September 25, 2008

Griffin Saves The Day – Well Almost…..

Filed under: alpaca, Alpacas, camelids, General, guard llamas, llama — Tags: , , — alpacalady @ 6:49 am

Griffin checks out Kanika when she was a small cria

Griffin checks out Kanika when Kanika was a small cria


As I have mentioned in previous blog entries, our llama ladies do a good job of guarding our herd.  In the past they have alerted us to stray dogs on our property and have even alerted us to when one of the alpacas was having difficulty giving birth.  Having three guard llamas means that one of them is always “on duty” even during the night, and so they provide us with round the clock security coverage.


When the llamas alert us to something there are some stages they go through.  First they will stand very erect with their tails arched up and their ears pointing slightly forward, this posture makes them seem even bigger than they actually are.  While holding this position they can snort, dance around a little or pull their lips back, depending on how they feel about the threat, but their actions are noticeable and will get my attention.


From that position, the next step for the llamas is to alarm call.  If the alarm call is ineffective they will gradually approach the intruder and if that doesn’t make the intruder have second thoughts about being in the pasture the llamas will eventually charge the intruder and try and stomp on it.


The other day when I was doing evening chores, I became aware of Griffin our rose grey llama posturing and snorting by the fence line, letting me know that something was bothering her.  She was soon joined by Cinnamon, one of the alpacas, who stood beside Griffin looking off towards the boys pasture.


For a while I thought perhaps we had a stay dog on the property, but could not see anything from where I was and so decided to go to where Griffin stood to check out what was getting her attention.


Once closer to Griffin I still could not see what was bothering her, until I realized she wasn’t really look at the boys pasture but rather she was looking straight ahead of where she stood, and there on the ground was a huge tarantula!


By now Cinnamon’s curiosity was getting the better of her and she reached down to sniff the tarantula.  The tarantula was not keen on Cinnamon’s attention and started to get annoyed with her sniffing, I didn’t want Cinnamon getting bitten by the tarantula and so shooed her away from the area.


The tarantula was a beautiful specimen, black, brown, hairy and about 4 inches across.  I didn’t want to kill it, but I couldn’t allow it to stay in the girls pasture so I grabbed the rake that we use for poop scooping and lowered the handle down to the ground to allow the tarantula to climb onto the rake handle.  Once my passenger was on board I carried him out to an area away from the alpacas and set the broom handle down so he could get off and continue on his journey.


Griffin had done a good job letting me know about the tarantula’s presence, however she seemed to draw the line at chasing and stomping the tarantula and was quite happy for me to take over dealing with the large spider.  Perhaps if I had not been near she would have taken her guarding actions a step further, perhaps she was quietly thankful that I was there to take away the spider so she didn’t have to get any closer to it and perhaps the tarantula was grateful I was there too, to save him from being stomped by our protective llamas!

(And talking of llamas, there are many beautiful llamas awaiting adoption to loving homes at Southwest Llama Rescue.  If you feel you could give a good home to two or more llamas, please get in touch with Southwest Llama Rescue who will work with you to find you llamas that will suit your needs.  If you don’t feel that you want to adopt a llama you can always sponsor one or send in a donation.  With feed costs constantly rising and the economy causing an increase in surrendered llamas Southwest Llama Rescue would appreciate all donations no matter how big or small)


September 6, 2008

It’s Looking Like An Early Fall


According to our calendar the first day of fall is September 22 this year, according to the happenings around the farm fall is going to arrive earlier than the allocated calendar date.


The temperature has already dropped in particular the nighttime temperatures that are most definitely fall like.  I have seen geese flying over the property, something that usually happens a little later during the month of September. and a true sign of fall around here is the first sighting of a migrating tarantula!  Last year it was the third week or so of September when the tarantulas made their appearance so this recent sighting is an indication to me that fall is early.


The tarantula I saw was strolling across the road in front of the girls pasture.  Good job he didn’t venture into the girls pasture as I am sure the alpaca girls or the llamas would have got him.  We have seen the llamas chase and kill a salamander before, found dead moles in the pasture that have been stomped and also witnessed the girls relentlessly pursuing a rabbit (although no stomping was involved, just good old alpaca entertainment at the rabbits expense).  I have recently heard of a couple who purchased alpacas and then noticed that the prairie dog colony in their pasture disappeared, not a prairie dog one was left – now there’s a new use for alpacas, prairie dog control!


Our Open Farm Day is today and the fall temperatures will be a welcome change from the hot summer heat that was around on our last Open Farm Day.  It will be little more comfortable for people to be out on the farm and perhaps the cooler temperatures will make them start to think about Christmas shopping and the unique, warm alpaca gifts they can buy!


The cool temperatures might encourage the crias to play a little more too.  When the heat is sweltering the alpacas tend to sunbathe and nap, when the temperatures are a little cooler the herd is more active and the crias more inclined to play.


Checking my calendar I can see that we are only four weeks away from Cinnamon’s due date.  This will be Cinnamons first cria and so we need to be watching her carefully as she may surprise as with an early cria.  Hmmm early fall, early cria I am sure that combination will inspire a neat name for Cinnamon’s little one once he or she arrives!



Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.