Thursday, July 30, 2009

It's Another Girl!!

Velvet had her cria yesterday. Isn't she a beauty? A big girl, and the best part, she's strong and healthy!
The night before, Velvet was having a really hard time with the heat, hovering near 90 still at 9PM. I checked her and determined the baby was in position, but she was not dilated. Then yesterday morning, she took a couple of bites of grain, then went outside to get to work. The baby was born at 8:15.
I named her Julia. My husband likes to think she is named for Julia Child, who he just adores. But I wanted to link her to her famous grandsire, Victor's Julius. Thus, Julia.

The day before, we had some visitors
come to see the alpacas.
My friend Christina arrived at
about the same time. Here she is
getting a kiss from Bambino.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Heat Stress

It's heat stress time, and you must take extra measures to keep your alpacas cool. When the temperature and humidity added together exceed 150, it's bad news. Today we are at 153 at 11am. Soon to be worse. Make sure your alpacas have shade. Sprinklers and wading pools a must. Fans in the barn if you have electricity. We have two girls due any time now, and I'm very concerned. So, time to turn on the sprinklers and give the girls a break. Think I'll stand in it too.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

How Refreshing

The other day I posted about how my hands hurt from chores around the farm. Well, Pat, over at Artfully Ooglebloops,

sent me some magnetic bracelets. Here they are. You can tell I've been skirting fleeces, look how dusty they are. I'm wearing all 5 of my bracelets, trying to get results.
Thought you might enjoy seeing the girls enjoy playing in the sprinkler. I sure do.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Poop Scoop Blues

This is Betsy Ross. She is due to have her next cria on or about July 21. I thought she was acting a bit "off" today and took a few minutes to observe. When I looked at her from the back, I could see a big lump prodtruding on her left side. Looked like an elbow or a knee was really poking on her. So, she's a bit uncomfortable. Can't blame her. She's been humming for a couple of weeks now, so I expect she will deliver pretty close to the due date.
Now, as most of you know, scooping poop, which is an important part of alpaca breeding, can cause some real pain in the hands. I have been battleing this for years, especially in the summer when I am also doing alot of weeding. I have a few suggestions to help ease the pain.
First of all, try wearing magnetic bracelets. I met a woman in a yarn shop the other day who used to be a commercial fisherman. She had tendonitis in her thumbs so bad, she couldn't brush her teeth or button her pants. She would wear magnets and wrist warmers to bed at night and swears they cured her. As you can see, I have acquired the bracelets. I don't know how long it takes to feel a difference, but this is a pretty cheap way to go.

This stuff really works. Most Arnica creams you can buy only have 3-4% arnica in them. I believe I was told that this cream has 12%. You can find it at

Then, get ergonomically designed tools for the job. This handle has worked great. I have it on all my rakes, all sizes.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I've been dying to get this on video. When the alpacas breed, the male alpaca orgles, or sings, to the female. Research cannot prove but supposes that the orgling is essential for conception. Alpacas are induced ovulators, like cats, meaning they release their egg during the act. Without the orgling, that egg might not be released. So turn up your volume and enjoy the music!

One veterinarian we heard speak said that alpacas are more like cats than any form of livestock when it comes to breeding, or even personality. That could explain why the alpacas are so intrigued with cats.

We have 10 girls to breed this year, so we try to work with two each morning.

That's it for now.