Posts Tagged ‘alpaca’

by , Keeper
I've been at the museum since 2010. I love to read and learn; it's rare that a day goes by at work when I'm not suppressing the urge to spew out something cool I just learned to my coworkers. In my spare time, I play the 'cello, snuggle my dog and reminisce about snowmen and Nor'easters.
I work Sunday through Thursday. You can find me raking the Farmyard in the morning or training the donkey and dwarf goats in the afternoon.

Update: Frog Eggs

July 29th, 2014

A few weeks ago, I wrote up a post about some frog eggs we found in the alpaca pool and the tadpoles they hatched into.

I’m sorry to report that none of the tadpoles made it into frogs. However, only a few days after the last tadpole disappeared a whole new batch of eggs was laid in the alpaca pool during a night of heavy rainstorms. I collected the eggs up and the new group of tadpoles have already hatched and started swimming around. I’ll post new photos when these guys get a bit bigger; which is likely soon as this group is growing a lot faster than the first bunch did!

An interesting fact to leave you with:

It’s entirely possible that all of the tadpoles in this new batch are siblings! A single female Grey Treefrog (which is what we think these tadpoles are) can lay as many as 2,000 eggs at once!!

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by , Keeper
I've been at the museum since 2010. I love to read and learn; it's rare that a day goes by at work when I'm not suppressing the urge to spew out something cool I just learned to my coworkers. In my spare time, I play the 'cello, snuggle my dog and reminisce about snowmen and Nor'easters.
I work Sunday through Thursday. You can find me raking the Farmyard in the morning or training the donkey and dwarf goats in the afternoon.

Frog Eggs

June 18th, 2014

The alpacas found themselves with quite a number of visitors in their yard one evening last week. I was in the farmyard with Jill and Kent when they called over to me to come see the frog eggs in the alpaca pool.

The substitute “vernal pool”

The neighbors

I rescued as many eggs as I could and moved them to a 5 gallon bucket. I say rescued only because we drain and scrub the pool daily and these eggs were soon to be “thrown out with the bathwater.” Generally, wild animals are very rarely in any need of actual rescuing and human intervention often causes more problems for the animals than it remedies.

Look closely. See all those tiny black dots clumped together? Those are the eggs!

After our newly laid egg masses were removed from the pool and settled into their new home, Jill called Ranger Greg to help us answer my “what now?” question. He assured us that there’s nothing more we can do for the eggs but wait and once they hatch, they should be just fine eating the algae in the water for at least a little while. One source I looked at said the eggs will hatch into teeny, tiny tadpoles in anywhere from 4 to 14 days.

So now we wait. I am terrible at waiting -really, I’ve checked on the bucket at least a dozen times today, just to make sure they’re okay-.

In the meantime, do you have any ideas as to what kind of frogs these will grow up to be?

 

Quick Edit:

In the time it took to write the first blog post, our little eggs have hatched! In 3 days, many of the eggs became tiny tadpoles, each a maximum of 1/4 inch long.

There are four tadpoles in this photo, can you spot them all?

 

 

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by , Keeper
I've been at the museum since 2010. I love to read and learn; it's rare that a day goes by at work when I'm not suppressing the urge to spew out something cool I just learned to my coworkers. In my spare time, I play the 'cello, snuggle my dog and reminisce about snowmen and Nor'easters.
I work Sunday through Thursday. You can find me raking the Farmyard in the morning or training the donkey and dwarf goats in the afternoon.

Alpaca Hair 2014

March 18th, 2014

Will it be a re-run of 80s themes, fancy up-dos for everyone or something a little weirder?

 

In roughly 3 weeks, our fluffy foursome will be getting a new hairdo! The exact date’s not set yet –we’ll let you know when that is– but now is the time to get your vote in on what the girls’ hair should look like. So add your ideas to the comment section however funny or serious your idea is, we’ll consider them all!

 

Here’s the wool we’ll be working with this year. The two babies are almost full grown now! From left to right: Equinox (way in back), Emily, Ray, Retro.

 

As a refresher, this is what the girls looked like last year.

And here are the alpacas’ predecessors, the sheep –who have recently been reported as all doing quite well at their “retirement” home, if anyone was wondering– being sheared two years ago in 2012.

 

Join the conversation:

  1. APRIL 7 is now the date (as long as it is not raining and the girls are dry)

    Posted by sherry
  2. How about a comb over for Retro.
    Of course who’s up for a poodle cut?

    Posted by HRvdB
  3. I vote for at least one to be totally bald. I loved the mohawk and Retro’s fade is pretty great.

    Posted by Ranger Ro
  4. Ditto on the bald suggestion and the poodle cut on head. legs and end of tail. Glad to hear the sheep are enjoying retirement.

    Posted by djcronce
  5. No further suggestions…but added thanks for the sheep update…my 3 year old was just asking about them today.

    Posted by Libby
  6. What time on the 7th? My 6yo son is a big llama/sheep fan and would love to attend, but doesn’t finish kindergarten until 3:30ish. I really wish the shearing could have taken place on a weekend day, when older children would be able to attend!

    Posted by Norton
  7. Director Comment :

    Hi Norton:
    We’re shooting for 10:30 start on the 7th.
    we’ll try to get some video taken so that those who cannot make it to the shearing can see it on the Blog.

    Posted by Sherry Samuels

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by , Keeper
I've been at the museum for many years now. I spend most of my time behind-the-scenes in the Vet room. You might catch me out and about with one of our many veterinarians checking on the animals.
When I'm not hanging out with one of our vets I'm usually in the Vet room running a fecal looking for intestinal parasites! If I'm not up to my elbows in poo you'll find me at the computer updating the health records of our animals or preparing for Vet Rounds.

Snow Pictures 2014

February 22nd, 2014

More snow pictures of the most recent storm to hit NC.

 

Join the conversation:

  1. nothing like a goat in a coat.

    Posted by sherry

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by , Keeper
I've been at the museum since 2010. I love to read and learn; it's rare that a day goes by at work when I'm not suppressing the urge to spew out something cool I just learned to my coworkers. In my spare time, I play the 'cello, snuggle my dog and reminisce about snowmen and Nor'easters.
I work Sunday through Thursday. You can find me raking the Farmyard in the morning or training the donkey and dwarf goats in the afternoon.

Who Weighs More? Round 2

December 15th, 2013

Who weighs more?

Ray, the Alpaca

or

Auggie, the Pot-bellied Pig

Put your guesses in the comment section!

Join the conversation:

  1. Ray is pretty big and solid. I’m picking him for the upset.

    Posted by Adam
  2. I’m picking Auggie because I always like seeing him in the Farmyard and maybe Ray has lots of Alpaca Fluff.

    Posted by dj
  3. I’m betting on Auggie, with at least 22-34 kg difference.

    Posted by Colet
  4. Ray!

    Posted by Shawntel
  5. Keeper Comment :

    And the winner is:

    Ray!

    Auggie was in the lead for a really long time, but just recently, Ray has had a pretty big growth spurt and has jumped ahead.

    Auggie weighs around 42kg (about 92lbs) and Ray is currently 47kg (about 102lbs).

    Auggie is a small adult pot bellied pig but Ray is still a growing girl. When she’s full grown, Ray will probably be around 70kg, like her mom, Retro.

    Posted by Sarah Van de Berg

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by , Keeper
I have been a keeper at the museum since May 2012, but I was an intern back in the spring of 2011. I am very passionate about animals and my favorites are native species with the exception of sloths. In my spare time, I am working on a Bachelor's degree with OSU online in environmental science. I have two dogs, a snake, and a cat.
I work Tuesday through Saturday and you will usually see me somewhere in Explore the Wild. I love giving keeper talks, so hope to see you at 2 pm for our meet the keeper programs in Explore the Wild.

Back to the Farmyard

December 1st, 2013

It has been awhile since I was last in the FarmyardAll the changes that the animal department has had for the past few months has kept me in Explore the Wild most of the time.  Last week, I got to go back to the Farmyard.  It was great to see all of the farmyard animals and catch myself up on the duties of farmyard keeping.

Keeper Jill helped me reacquaint myself with the Farmyard tasks plus gave me some tips on time management when it comes to getting tasks completed.  Getting this information is vital when keeping in the Farmyard since there is a lot to do in the mornings.  Now that I got a refresher in the Farmyard, you should see me there most Fridays.

After lunch, I went up to the Farmyard and checked on all of the animals.  Once done with the tasks,  I was walking by the Alpacas and saw this…

 

Ray on top of the mountain.

Ray looked very stoic with the sunlight in her hair but the picture does not do her justice.  So, come by the farmyard and hopefully you will see Ray on the mountain.

 

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by , Keeper
I graduated from NCSU(go pack) and have worked in the animal department for about 8 years. Some of my favorites include ferrets and birds. I am also known for my weird obsession with Boba Fett.
I work Tuesday-Saturday in either the Farmyard or inside the main building behind the scenes.

The Quick Difference Between Alpaca and Llamas

August 11th, 2013

A lot of the times when I am in the farmyard and next to our new Alpaca exhibit, I get asked whats the difference between an Alpaca and Llama.

EARS:

These are LLAMA ears

Photo

These belong to ALPACA

 

Photo

SIZE

 

A llama is about twice the size of an alpaca

Image

Even though they are in the same family Camelidae, they are used for different purposes by humans.

Alpacas are used for their fibers and Llama are used as pack animals to carry things or in meat production. Some llamas are bred genetically for different fiber qualities.

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by , Keeper
I graduated from NCSU(go pack) and have worked in the animal department for about 8 years. Some of my favorites include ferrets and birds. I am also known for my weird obsession with Boba Fett.
I work Tuesday-Saturday in either the Farmyard or inside the main building behind the scenes.
Tags: , ,

Alpaca Pool

July 26th, 2013

Recently, we added a pool to our alpacas yard. We had a good feeling that they would use it because we kept finding a lot of dirt in their water buckets and evidence of water being splashed around. It took a while to be able to capture it on film, but we finally did.

 

YouTube Preview Image

 

Join the conversation:

  1. Too cute!! Do the Alpaca’s also like watermelon and will they get some watermelon treats during the upcoming Museum’s Water Melon Day August 2nd?

    Posted by dj
  2. It has been my experience that the alpaca are not too keen on watermelon like our sheep were.
    They more or less are starting to get picky and want Lightnings special treats only.
    They used to be easy because they liked a variety of things.

    Posted by Jill

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by , Director
I've been at the Museum sooooo long - longer than many of our interns have been alive. I do a little bit of everything as part of my job: care for the animals, work with the keepers and other staff, spend time with guests. Lucky me!
I spend a lot of time behind-the-scenes, or here after hours, but if you really want to see me, you'll have to sign-up for a behind-the-scenes program.

Naked Alpacas

April 23rd, 2013

We used to have naked sheep once a year- check out last year’s sheep shearing. The four of them lost about 21 pounds of wool. Much less than the 35 pounds the 4 sheep took off last year This is our first year shearing alpacas and today was the day. They no longer look like this:

 

Ray experiences her first complete shearing

Jonathan lays the alpacas down, straightens them out, and ties their legs. It goes pretty quickly and easily.

 

come look how skinny Emily is!

 We’ll get some video and more photos up in the near future, but do come by and check out the girls. I am sure the keepers will want to talk about hairdo options and more!

Join the conversation:

  1. Awww- Ray was so fluffy before! Now they all look like drenched crazy giraffe poodles.

    Posted by kelly
  2. What’s going to happen with the wool?

    Posted by Wendy
  3. Director Comment :

    We divided the wool into “good quality” and “bad quality”. We’ll use the latter for enrichment for other animals as well as educational programs. We’re not sure yet what we will do with the “good quality”. Sell, make things…

    Posted by Sherry Samuels
  4. What’s the difference between good and bad quality wool?

    Posted by Wendy
  5. The good stuff is taken strictly from the body. The neck, legs and head isnt really good enough to use and its not as long as the hairs on the body

    Posted by Jill
  6. Sounds like a good fund raiser.

    Posted by Hans
  7. They are so skinny now. Imagine what our bears would look like if we shaved them!

    Posted by kimberly

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by , Director
I've been at the Museum sooooo long - longer than many of our interns have been alive. I do a little bit of everything as part of my job: care for the animals, work with the keepers and other staff, spend time with guests. Lucky me!
I spend a lot of time behind-the-scenes, or here after hours, but if you really want to see me, you'll have to sign-up for a behind-the-scenes program.

QuikPic: furry alpacas…last chance

April 13th, 2013

The girls are going to be sheared on April 23 (weather permitting). Get a last look for now at ful coats. Make any hairdo requests in the comment section.

back row L-R: Emily, Equinox.
front row L-R: Retro, Ray

Join the conversation:

  1. Mullet!!!!

    Posted by Jill
  2. Dreadlocks for Retro

    Posted by Sarah's Dad
  3. I agree with Jill. I think a “mullet” in the crowd would add the needed cultural diversity to the group.

    Posted by Ranger Greg
  4. Poodle

    Posted by Wendy
  5. Sorry Dad, we don’t have Suri alpacas; they’re the ones with the dreads. Our 4 girls are all Huacayas. I’m voting for at least 1 mohawk.

    Posted by Sarah

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