Posts Tagged ‘cria’

Alpacas–Johnny and Cassandra

June 19, 2010

Jeepers! It’s HOT! With crias on the ground and the weather in the mid-nineties and the humidity way up, we are counting our blessings that we built where we did. There is an almost constant breeze, frequently a wind, that blows up the ridge from the trees and keeps the barn lovely and cool. The insulation under the apartment and in the overhangs doesn’t hurt either. There is another benefit to living in air-conditioning over the barn.

In the meantime, the crias are growing by leaps and bounds.

Johnny, over 30 pounds now, will be four weeks old tomorrow

Johnny is already 30 pounds and won’t be four weeks old until tomorrow. He already considers himself quite the macho guy. This is one fantastic young boy.

Cassandra is younger by far, but the two of them are starting to play under her mother’s watchful eye. Jenni doesn’t want Johnny to get too rough. She’s growing by about one-half pound every day, despite the heat. Jenni is a very good mother.

Cassandra is only a baby, after all. She looks like a little deer to me. She was born June 14.


Darling Alpacas–Crias are Here

June 15, 2010

What would make a person who likes to travel, who has trouble sitting in one spot, who seldom worries about much, who likes to sleep in get up at 6 a.m.,  and spend three weeks waiting and watching anxiously?

Spring crias. Finally they are here and I am once again breathing deeply and relaxing.

They are wonderful and their mothers have everything under control with little or no help from us. Two were born at Fox Run Suri Alpacas. Those were the easiest since Carla and Don Llewellyn did the watching and waiting and delivering like the experienced alpaca people they are. Carla was here for our first delivery at our ranch here in Zena, Oklahoma, and all Tom and I had to do with the last two was watch in amazement.

More details about our darlings is coming soon, but here are the photos–one birth to go.

Zena's Peruvian Accoyo Topaz

Zena's Peruvian Cullinan

Zena's Peruvian Stage Door Johnny

Zena's Peruvian ZephyrZena's Peruvian Cassandra still wet, but on the ground three weeks late

Zena's Peruvian Cassandra

Advertising Alpacas

May 7, 2010
The Cria Demand Their Grain

The Cria Demand Their Grain

We are working, trying to get our ranch set up for our June 10 Grand Opening. The Grove Chamber of Commerce will host a ribbon cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. and we will be officially classified as one of Grand Lake’s official attractions. There are not the same event, but both are part of the promotion of an alpaca ranch. We plan to have a little shop with fleece, yarn, alpaca bears, and finished alpaca products. Whew! So much to do. Eventually we hope that most of the things we sell will be made from our our renewable alpaca fiber. We are biting purposely biting off more than we can chew, I think–but watch us grow.

Alpaca #5, Cavatina–she’s not mine, you know :-)

August 24, 2009

When we first purchased three alpacas, I had to make a solemn promise. I wouldn’t ask for any more alpacas for a year. Having a fourth born within days of our purchase was astonishing. The little black beauty, Demelza whetted my appetite and any woman who has and enjoys having a baby around knows that it makes you want to keep a little one around.

I really did intend to keep my promise–really. But Madrigal, our third alpaca’s mother had the most darling cria, Cavatina. One of my girls had a half Accoyo, half sister and I wanted her so much. Hmmm. I had been really good between July and November. OK, I wanted Cavatina and had to figure out how to add her to our herd. When I came to visit, she would break away and come running over to see me. So darling, so many alpaca kisses. Hmmm.

I confess. I gave her to my husband for Christmas.

Who to blame?

August 11, 2009

So how did we end up raising alpacas anyway? From the time I was a little girl I have wanted three things no one I knew had ever thought to wish for: a cigar store indian, a covered bridge and an alpaca.

Why a little girl would want a cigar store indian is unclear, even to me…???  The covered bridge is a bit more understandable. They are beautiful wooden structures, cool on warm days, great to fish from, and I once lived near one and was ready to block traffic and call it mine. This is probably the ultimate antique–ooh, maybe some insight into the indian? I even wrote an article for “Maryland Magazine” that had me trekking to every covered bridge in the state comparing structure and history.

Our second alpaca has our fourth.

Our second alpaca has our fourth.

The third item I wanted was, obviously, an alpaca. (I didn’t know you needed two or more at that time.) Mrs. Logmann, my second grade teacher, is to blame for all of this:

Dear Mrs. Logmann,

Thank you for the A on my geography report on Peru. I didn’t know there were animals related to camels that lived anywhere in the Western Hemisphere. I found out about several: llamas, guaranos, vicunas, and alpacas. I plan to spend my free time for the next couple of years sketching these animals and driving my teachers crazy with doodles of alpacas in the margins of my papers. I will quit when I get a low grade because of those doodles and I will never mention alpacas to anyone for many, many years.

Then, when I have lived a reasonably normal life, raised a child and had a career, my friend Jocelyn will go with me on a whim to the Virginia State Fair where we will see real, live alpacas and their humming will intoxicate me all over again. I will remark to her that I would really love to have one of them. Although they are cute to look at and even cuter to listen to, even Jocelyn will think I am insane.

My husband will take a job in Utah and I will say, “I’ll go if I can have an alpaca,” and will lure him to visit alpaca ranches and eventually coerce him into letting me buy the first three from a nice alpaca ranch where they will be agisted–fed and cared for–and we will visit every so often. We buy three, one because he promised, the second because I don’t want the first friendless, and the third because of the discount. I am pretty persuasive and my husband wants me to be happy. Add a baby (cria) in July, 2008.

So I asked for an alpaca for Christmas and got it! Enter Cavatina. Our January anniversary netted another, the pregnant Betty and Martello. Zeke was born in July; another will arrive in November. I will write later about the land and the ranch.

Yours truly,


P. S. Please do not notice my mistakes. I still only use the dictionary for casual reading and not to look up spellings.

Divinity was our second alpaca choice (and definitely the pregnant girl.) She is the mother of a champion, and now mother to two of our additions, Demelza who was born two days after our purchase is a true black. Zeke arrived on July 8, 2009 and is a first class charmer. The jury is still out on whether he is dark brown or medium brown. Divinity is a strong, big boned girl with nice conformation who delivers nice colored crias when bred to colored males. Divinity

The Alpaca Lure

August 10, 2009

Long before we knew we would raise alpacas, we purchased a parcel of vacant land in far northeastern Oklahoma where it is green and beautiful. We did not know why we bought it except that I come from an old Irish family and the thought of owning land was drummed into my very soul from the time I was very young. Add some friends who also bought land in the area and a rancher who would pay to use the property until I knew why I had wanted it so much and it was a done deal.

Flash forward five years to the present and we’ll cover everything else eventually. We, my husband and I have 10 suri alpacas agisted near Salt Lake City, Utah. Oh, yes, and the 11th is in utero and due in November. As our herd has grown from the initial purchase–three because you can’t just have one and while two was nice, there was a price break at three–we have come to realize we find alpacas to be cute, sweet, and a great source of fiber and prize ribbons.

We did the math and realized agisting (boarding) was going to become prohibitive by the end of next year. Our mentors have been wonderful but sooner or later, if you want to have first-hand contact with your alpacas, you need your own place to keep them and your own knowledge of how to care for them. If you have an urge to buy an alpaca, find someone you can talk with easily, who raises alpacas of their own, who is willing to teach (and a good teacher). They will sell you one or more and be your mentor.

So then we decided to build a shed on the property for storage, then a house. Some time this winter we hope to be able to take our alpacas to Utah and move into the house. (They, of course, will move into the barn.)

Wish us luck, we’ll keep you posted.