Monday, August 20, 2007

Alpaca Introduction #1

But first, check out the smoke that moves in every afternoon from the Zaca Fire in Santa Barbara.

It is crazy!! We are rained on by ash, and are breathing this stuff every day and we are about 35 miles away from it..... Yucko. And, it is creeping closer every day. Poor folks in the middle of it!Now it is almost to Highway 33, and our mountain communities are on alert. It is only 75% contained, and is burning about 20,000 acres a day. 100% containment is not expected until the end of next month- perhaps.
God bless the firefighters who are battling this!!



And now, an alpaca who needs no introduction - Osita!


Osita- Aka: Dancing Girl - is my favorite alpaca. You might remember her from this post: http://pasturemusings.blogspot.com/2006/12/twas-night-before-christmas.html Where she was featured as the 'wise' alpaca. This is my very favorite post ever, because I got the chance to write from my Osita's perspective. I know she loves me! She is the one paca who runs to greet me every time I go out to the pens. She is the only paca to give every visitor a 'paca kiss' and she herds over her newest cria to meet me every year.


Osita is one of my best friends. She is sweet, gentle and kind. She is laid back, and yet spunky- the perfect alpaca. In fact, when we were investigating buying alpacas way back in 1999- we had already picked out who we were going to buy, and Osita wasn't on the list. After meeting her, we just had to buy her, so we scrimped and plotted until we could. And Osita is the one alpaca I will never sell, no matter what. Osita is a very easy keeper- a fatty (I can totally relate!) and is very content eating and sleeping :))

Here is Osita's first girl- Lady Galadriel - and her big (and I do mean BIG) entrance into the world! Lady G was huge- really. When I saw this head, I knew we were in for a big one- and she weighed in at a hair over 20 lb. Very big for an alpaca! Osita won't deliver unless I am outside with her. I am serious, she will wait for me. Out of seven crias, I have only missed one birth of Osita's. She lays right at my feet while in labor, and because of this I was able to help this giant get out while Osita lay calmly and let me do what was necessary to help her.


Here is Lady G at about 3 weeks old. Osita's crias have all been bouncy from day one- momma has plenty of milk, enough for three I think, and births without any trouble. Lady G is now three years old and pregnant with her first cria, due the end of September. Her girl cria already has a name- Narya! (I am thinking pink here.... LOL) She is much like her momma, but not as comfortable as Osita with humans. However, she is easily handled and likes us well enough.



Osita loves water!! She is a total water hog, and as you can see, between her and Hally (and now Hally's cria Rosie Cotton) there isn't any room at the watering hole until Osita is done- you can see the line! That is Lady G BTW in white there, can you see the family resemblance?

Whenever I am feeling down, I can go out to visit with my homegirl Osita, and I always feel better. She stands with me, blowing her cud breath in my face, and if I am sitting her favorite chair, she will sometimes stand behind me and put her chin on my head. If she could, she would climb in my lap. She also plays with me. I click and clap and run, and she leaps and clicks and runs too! I don't know what I would do without her. She loves scratches, on her chest, back and rump. I often take the grass rake out and she runs up, so excited when she sees it, knowing she is going to get a good scratch! She stands still and I run the rake over her. We also have a street sweeper brush mounted upright that everyone scratches on. Osita practically knocks it over!

We fully realize that Osita is one of a kind, and feel blessed to have stewardship over her. This year, Osita lost her cria. Whenever we have a loss, it is devastating. But to see my lovely Osita lose her baby, it is like a knife in my gut. She is such a good momma, and loves her crias so much- it was heartbreaking to have her go through this. She and I grieved together, and she showed me how to forgive myself.

While Osita is easy going most of the time, she is easily stressed when confronted with unusual situations like shearing in late term pregnancy, and heat, traveling off the ranch, etc. We are always mindful of that. This year she got too hot during a weird weather week we had early in May, and before we caught it- it was too late. She is being kept open and won't be rebred until the fall, so she won't have to deal with that again. I don't send her off the ranch for breeding, she stays here to minimize her stress. She really loves us so much, she does very poorly when away from home.

I hope you enjoyed meeting Osita, she would love to meet all of you I know, and give you kisses I am sure! I will go outside now and give her a scratch on all her favorite spots, just for you!Slainte~
Rachelle

33 comments:

B.T.Bear (esq.) said...

Oh! I think Osita has adoptid yu as her Mummy.
I adoptid my Mummy an carfter her wen she is down, like Osita carfters yu. I giv her hed-hugs as well.

Furry anmols ar best at comfert. An very good at hed hugs.

I wud luv to meet Osita! I like alpacas an llamas. They mayke me smile!

(Exsept fer wen they spot my choklit peanuts)

:@}

silfiriel said...

She's black, and I don't wanna be labeled as a racist, but she just doesn't look that cute. I am sure she's got great personality though.
But i gotta love her , she is the grand mother of my godson hopefully goddaughter:))

Catmoves said...

Rachelle, Alpacas are apparently like our run of the mill domesticated pets (cats, dogs, horses, etc., etc.)
They are most comfortable when their surroundings are consistent and non varying. Cats and dogs have a need to reinvestigate everything when we rearrange the furniture or move a pile of stuff from one place to another.
But here's a challenge for you: Write a post describing what sounds an Alpaca makes. You know, cats maiou, dogs arf, arf, and so on. Tell us about the Alpaca's communications methods?

Rachelle said...

Dear B.T.,
I think so too! I am very glad you are there for your mummy, she needs you!
Someday I hope to meet you and get a head hug too :))

I understand about the choklit peanut worries, I have the same problem when I go out there with baby carrots.... it's a mob scene!
Slainte~
Rachelle

Rachelle said...

Dear Silfiriel,
*GASP*!!! Not cute????
**Rachelle faints**


Yup, she is more of the "good personality" genre, but she is a good mother, makes wonderful crias, and is healthy as a horse. All very desirable traits in an alpaca.
You shoulda seen her when she was a youngster. Cute city!

And black alpacas, as well as gray, are the most sought after and highest valued of all the 22 colors in alpacas.

And yes, she is the grandmama, and you know what they say, "Don't mess with my Grandmama..."
Hmm... they don't say that? What's wrong with people anyway???
:))
Slainte~
Rachelle

Rachelle said...

Dear Catmoves,
RUN OF THE MILL DOMESTICATED ANIMAL????
This is the second time I've fainted in one day.......
Ha!!!

I'm kidding. It is really funny, whenever I wear a hat out in the pens, Osita runs up to me and acts all distressed until she gets to check it out and pronounce it safe.
She is a hoot!

I have a cat who gets all stress ridden whenever I start boxing anything- moving anxiety
and my dog gets stressed whenever I start packing- separation anxiety.

Can you say- Animal Prozac?
Anyone.... anyone.....?
Slainte~
Rachelle

it's the little things... said...

They are so adorable!

B.T.Bear (esq.) said...

Do alpacas like to frolic?
Elbereth menshunned pronking. I think that's the sayme sort ov thing. We had a good frolick today cos the rayne waz gettin us down. I videod it to inspire others. Arsk Elbereth to pop over an see it an do a good pronk in tyme to the mewsik! HAHA!

Chewy said...

Rachelle,
Off Topic and a High Five; Solidarity Sisters!

I look forward to September's "The Big E" here in eastern Massachusetts to see the alpacas and other farm/livestock animals in competition.

silfiriel said...

How's the fire putting off , going on? Just two weeks ago my entire country was in flames because of the heat, luckily now it's all over. We're a small mountain , forestry country and hundreds of acres of wood was lost...it was terrible. it never reached any town or settlements , but all those forests...
I hope some rain will come down on you soon, lots of rain

Victorya said...

Wow, more fires? Let's hope it's not a repeat of the other scare!

And I LOVE that story of your little girl, animals are such gifts to us and you sound like a wonderful steward. I think she's just beautiful and amazing.

And, honestly, who doesn't prefer their own surroundings? It's much more comfortable.

I love the birthing story, how she waits for you.

A friend of mine beleives soul mates don't have to be humans, perhaps she is one of yours? A connection on a higher level.

Rachelle said...

Dear Its the little things,
(I am going to just call you sister from now on LOL!!)
They are so cute, I know. It is hard to sell, it was the hardest thing ever to sell my first girls in 2001. I sold a total of 8 animals, 4 boys, 4 girls from 2001-2002 because my hubby got laid off. It was so hard to see them go!!
Slainte~
Rachelle

Rachelle said...

Dear B.T.,
Yes they do! Alpacas 'pronk' or what Elbereth likes to call it: Bouncing!
All over the pasture as the sun sets, it is an evening ritual much enjoyed by the crias.
I am glad you got to frolic- I'm on my way over to see your video!
:))
Slainte~
Rachelle

Rachelle said...

Dear Chewy,
Yup, high fives all around. I just couldn't take it anymore!!

You know me, shy.... retiring....
NOT!!
Carol doesn't deserve a weirdo like that hanging around. Probably though he won't even read it....

I wish I could go the The Big E!
Hope you have a blast, and I want to see pictures!
Slainte~
Rachelle

Rachelle said...

Dear Silfiriel,
Wow, I am so glad to hear that you were not hurt!
Fires are so scary, they are so unpredictable.

So far so good, it has burned over 210,000 acres, most all of it National Forest.... I agree- poor forest!!
And poor animals. The big Day Fire we had here last year pushed big cats into our area, and forced bears out of their dens. We have seen a 90% increase in scary wildlife this year! :^O
Take care, I'm going to send you the pictures soon! Just got some more taken.
Slainte~
Rachelle

Rachelle said...

Dear Victorya,
I believe we knew each other before we were born, totally.

I am lucky to have found my human and animal soulmates both!
There is a God, and he is an animal lover, I just know it :))
See you soon!
Rachelle

Victorya said...

Ah Rachelle, why stop at saying God is just an animal lover? I say he is one (I'm partial to cats myself, lol. And I love the idea of a purring God)

Perhaps God also has a wooly coat and a long neck though ;)

Gattina said...

How terrible this fire in Santa Barbara ! Poor people !

I love your stories about your alpacas they are so cute and to me quite exotic. How lovely that Osita is such an affectionated animal !

B.T.Bear (esq.) said...

Watchoo talkin bowt, Victorya? God is pure Ursine.

:@}

Rachelle said...

Oooh!! A theological discussion!!
I think I'll jump in by saying....... I know nothing....
:))
I just know that He loves animals, because of my dog Lumpy, and because of Osita!

Ursine or feline- I always think of this poem:
All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.

Another set of books I love!!
Slainte~
Rachelle

silfiriel said...

He is what you make of Him, but mostly he is what you make of yourself.

karoline said...

thankyou for sharing..what beautiful animals..i only ever saw a lama up close, once, as it spit a luvely wad of green goop all over her owners face..lol

k
:)

Mousie/Paisible said...

your photos are amazing...but that fire so scaring...are you allright ?

Shrink Wrapped Scream said...

Oh Rachelle, that photo silluette is breathtaking - truly captures her essence, doesn't it? Of course she loves you, she is wise and knowing! These damn fires.. stay safe, bonny lass, we're thinking of you. ((x))

Victorya said...

Oh Bob - feline or Ursine God is fuzzy. And purrs ;)

That used to be my FAVORITE sunday school song Rachelle! I haven't thought of it in ages.

"Each little flower that opens up
each little bird that sings
he made their little petals and
he made their tiny wings."

B.T.Bear (esq.) said...

Rachelle, re yor lessidge, I carnt understand wy yor pacas ran from the pants. Maybe yu need to trayne them ferst, by tying sum nearly-pants (thongs!) to their eers, like they do the llamas wen they go in the carnivals.

:@D

Rachelle said...

Dear Silfiriel,
You are so right my friend!
That is a beautiful thought, I am so glad you come and visit me :))
Slainte~
Rachelle

Rachelle said...

Dear Karoline,
Yup- llamas do spit more. I think it is the size thing, they are much taller than we are.
That said, MY llamas never spit at people!
It is all in the training as well.
:))
Slainte~
Rachelle

Rachelle said...

Dearest Mousie,
We are all okay, in fact the fire is not blowing smoke over us anymore, and is about 86% contained now.

I have been having some neck issues that have kept me off the computer lately, but I am back now!
Love to you,
Rachelle

Rachelle said...

Dear Carol,
Well, I am so glad to see you have a puter again!!
I've missed you :))
Thanks for the thoughts, I like to think she loves me :)
Slainte~
Rachelle

Rachelle said...

Dear Victorya,
I love that poem, and the Herriot books were some of my favorites growing up.
I survived my childhood mainly by escaping into books.
Did they help you at all?
Hugs,
Rachelle

Rachelle said...

Dear Bob,
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!

*falls off her chair chuckling hysterically*

If I ever try that, I'll post a picture for sure!!!
Slainte~
Rachelle

somebody said...

酒店經紀人,菲梵酒店經紀,酒店經紀,禮服酒店上班,酒店小姐,便服酒店經紀,酒店打工,酒店寒假打工,酒店經紀,酒店經紀,專業酒店經紀,合法酒店經紀,酒店暑假打工,酒店兼職,便服酒店工作,酒店打工經紀,制服酒店經紀,專業酒店經紀,合法酒店經紀,酒店暑假打工,酒店兼職,便服酒店工作,酒店打工,酒店經紀,制服酒店經紀,酒店經紀