Thursday, July 17, 2008

Early morning scene, Maine's Bellemont Farm Alpacas.

If you double-click on the image and look closely, you can just see a cria catching the early morning light and the NOISY guinea hen sitting on the fence. This is some of the best of having alpacas--the moments when things just feel right.

The guinea was quite quiet until this Spring and now I know what people mean about them being potentially annoying. He makes his terrible noise for hours almost every morning starting around 5:30.

This picture gives you a good view of our "barn." Our real barn burned in a fire four summers ago (August 4th to be exact). We were not able to rebuild both the house and the barn so we had foundation dug for our barn of the future and the alpacas have a good cool place to get out of the weather and bugs. It works for now but we both fantasize about having a traditional New England barn again some day, though not quite so big as the last time (about 40' x 70', 2 1/2 stories).

We have had a strange spring/summer with girls open we were sure were bred, and girls going loooong gestation periods. Dolores had her baby after 359 days and Mystique was at 335 days July 6 so she is up to 346 days so far--not extremely long but since she is a maiden, we would like to be here but it is close to impossible to be here all day every day.

Ebony is doing well after a bit of a rough start. It seems her immune system wasn't as strong as it should be after initial nursing even though she appeared to nurse well after birth and was gaining for the first week. Now she is growing like a weed. We named her Ebony at the request of my daughter's friend from college. Apparently, they were Ebony and Ivory on campus, so despite the fact that Ebony the cria is actually very white, she had the name "Bellemont's Ebony." She is Skye's first cria!

We have another first as well, Thunder's first cria is a rose gray male out of White Birch Alpacas Mamasan. He is stunning--all one color. No spots. Can't wait to get a picture of him.

I found the neatest website that I would like to share with everyone. Someone has set up a calculator to predict when your female will be most receptive according to the delivery date of her last cria.

It worked perfectly for Andromeda who was open all winter, spit off one day this Spring and when I brought the male in for her most receptive day, she was down before he even got to her!


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