Our Blog has Moved!

posted Oct 16, 2010, 10:17 PM by Tammy Duensing   [ updated Oct 16, 2010, 10:20 PM ]

:::::  You can check out the blog at its new location by clicking here!  :::::

Them old cotton fields....

posted Oct 12, 2010, 10:38 AM by Tammy Duensing

The cotton bolls are poppin'! Every year I plant cotton, a natural green colored cotton, and this time of year is harvest time. Natural colored cottons are great because when you wash them the color becomes more intensified rather than washed out like dyed white cotton. I save seeds, too. Interested in planting some yourself next year? Send me an email for some seeds.

Talk to you soon,  Tammy


posted Oct 12, 2010, 10:08 AM by Tammy Duensing   [ updated Oct 12, 2010, 11:11 AM ]

We would like to welcome Yahtzee to the herd at Illini Alpacas. Tabitha gave birth to him with no difficulties and is proving to be an awesome mom. He is named Yahtzee because he is boy #5 out of Sequoia this year. Five makes a Yahtzee! Stayed tuned on how he develops.

Talk to you soon, Tammy


posted Sep 28, 2010, 10:33 AM by Tammy Duensing   [ updated Sep 28, 2010, 11:39 AM ]

Roadie had an adorable little baby boy that I have named Lonestar. He has one fairly large spot on his side with a couple spots on his legs. He is mostly white, a bright, bright white that makes Allegra look beige! A brown mouth, eyeliner and footie socks round out his color. Roadie is an experienced, attentive mom that keeps a watchful eye on him. I'm very pleased with his fleece quality and as you know me, you see a white alpaca and in my mind I am seeing a rainbow of color. The babies are already making their own 'gang' in the pasture spending their time together.I haven't had this many babies at one time before and I must admit I am enjoying them. I think I'll go outside right now and play with them! 

Talk to you soon,

The First Day Of Autumn

posted Sep 25, 2010, 1:08 PM by Tammy Duensing

I had quite a surprise on Thursday night when I came home from my production of Disney's Beauty and the Beast. I went out to the barn to check on the babies I already had and found another one out there! So needless to say, at midnight I was out there doing cria care. She is a little darker than Prince and has awesome fiber. Her mother, Vidalia, is a devoted mom even though she is a light milker. This is a cria I will gladly help bottle feed! Her sire is Laredo (yes, another girl for Laredo! I can't believe it!) Of course Prince keeps pestering her wanting to play and she is too young and Allegra keeps stepping in the middle of them acting like a big sister. Its going to be quite a fun fall around here! I am anxiously awaiting Roadie to have her cria next. Talk to you soon, Tammy

Ta Da! Vienna!!

posted Sep 22, 2010, 10:31 AM by Tammy Duensing   [ updated Sep 24, 2010, 1:04 PM ]

May I present, after much anticipation, Venus' Vienna! She is a beautiful, dark rose grey female. She is Venus' first cria and she is a super, dutiful mom. Vienna was up and trotting across the barn floor in under an hour. Her sire is Laredo. Laredo is 7 for 8 female crias now. How do I not breed this guy? lol And Laredo is 7 for 8 grey crias. I have had the name Vienna picked out for Venus' first girl for a couple of years now. The name really suits her. Prince is happy to have a buddy out in the pasture although Vienna is not at happy about it yet. I told Price to give her a few days and she would like him more. Georgie, the self-proclaimed guard, is happily keeping a watchful eye on her babies now. It is a good day today. Talk to you soon,  Tammy

From A Frog To A Prince

posted Sep 20, 2010, 10:10 AM by Tammy Duensing   [ updated Sep 24, 2010, 1:06 PM ]

Last week I helped deliver a breech birth little boy. I have been trying to figure out a good name for a little guy who came into this world ass-backwards! lol As I was in the pasture yesterday I took this picture of him. It seems my little frog has turned into a Prince! And it is fitting as I am currently in a production of 'Beauty and the Beast' and I like to name babies after characters in the play I'm in. I had thought of 'LeFou', but calling this handsome guy 'Fool' just doesn't seem right. I'm still waiting for the four other girls to have their crias. They are still sucking them in. Maybe tomorrow. Talk to you soon,  Tammy

The Bellies of Fall

posted Sep 15, 2010, 10:01 AM by Tammy Duensing   [ updated Sep 24, 2010, 1:10 PM ]

These are our 'Bellies of Fall' on our farm. The grey girl is Venus and is due to cria at the end of the month. The white one is Vidalia and she is due at the end of the month, also. An alpaca's gestation is 11 1/2 months and a term pregnancy can go 3 weeks prior and after that date. I have been anxiously awaiting 'the day'! As you can see, the girls are ready to deliver. They have the usual disposition of a female right before she has her baby. Cranky and hungry. Both have milked up. I just need more        patience to get me through. Talk to you soon , Tammy    

Back From Bethel's World Sheep Festival

posted Sep 8, 2010, 10:23 AM by Tammy Duensing   [ updated Sep 24, 2010, 1:13 PM ]

We couldn't have asked for better weather for Labor Day weekend in Bethel! The temps were in the low 80's. Considering there have been years when the temps were above 100, it was incredible! and
no rain, either. Everyone was walking around smiling. I think I will have a vendor booth next year. It
seems that Bethel is on an upswing. Vendors were there selling their products and the sheep to shawl competition and the sheep sales and on and on. For a fiber person, it is like heaven. My classes went well and the students left happy and ready to do more. I recommend going next year. It is worth the time. Talk to you soon,  Tammy



Surprise Birth

posted Sep 8, 2010, 9:59 AM by Tammy Duensing

We got home from Bethel late Sunday night. On Monday, I set about catching up on things around
the house. I counted heads on everything. When I went out to feed the alpacas I noticed the odd behavior of Canela. She was at the other end of the pasture, away from the other girls. When I opened the barn to let the girls in to eat, no Canela! Now that isn't normal. She came in a few minutes late and was humming at me. She doesn't usually hum, either. She did eat her grain. I told
my husband that she was in labor, in the afternoon. Alpacas usually deliver in the morning and afternoon babies usually mean trouble. I stayed out in the pasture for about another hour waiting for her to deliver and deliver she did. I had to break her water and when I did I saw a tail where the head should be! Oh no! A breech birth. Instantly, everything I ever read starting flooding my mind. Rips, vaginal tearing, stitches, c-sections, oh no! "Maybe its an ear", I thought. Then I saw a bump next
to her vagina. The buttbone. Luckily for Canela I have small hands. I ran two fingers all the way around the outside of her vagina and put two fingers of each hand in and caught the joint where the leg and the hip meet and with each contraction I pulled. She was contracting every 20 seconds or so and it took three contractions to pull him out. I saw maybe a teaspoon of red blood. Then no more bleeding. Whew! That's good. Canela passed the afterbirth about an hour later with no problems. She is fine. He was a little wobbly the first day and I bottle fed him. I milked out Canela and fed it to him.
I'll keep you posted on his progress. What a day! These are pictures of him a couple of hours old.
Talk to you soon,  Tammy

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