Monday, October 31, 2011

Meet Luxor

I'd like you to meet Luxor.  His registered name is Bolivian Luxor and he is the original herdsire here at Misty Haven Alpacas, since the fall of 2002.  Luxor had been imported into Canada from the U.S. in 1997 as foundation stock for the Canadian registry.  We purchased Luxor from a farm in Saskatchewan along with four females.  We knew his was a special alpaca from the start. 

He is handsome here in this winter picture from 2003.  Luxor always loved the ladies.  Whenever we needed him for service, all we had to do was whistle out the male's barn door and hold up the halter.  He'd come running, and you would swear that as he pranced past the girl's fenceline, he'd nod his head in their direction, give a wink and ask "Which one of you is feeling LUCKY today?"

We started this alpaca gig with no experience and no fellow breeders nearby.  But Luxor turned out to be a reliable breeder who didn't need any human advice or veterinary intervention to do his job.

He also had an abundant, thick coat and long staple length, and passed his nice conformation to the cria he sired.

Luxor was and is a tricky one when we are trying to trim his tonails or get him onto the shearing table.  He knows how to very quickly hit the floor and tuck all four feet under him so that you can't grab them.  We've learned to adapt and he has learned to trust us.

When he was a young stud, he was very aggressive with the other males.  At times, we had to separate him from the other male alpacas.  He was the dominant male and definitely did not want to give up his barn priviledges.

As the younger herdsires came to the farm,  Luxor did eventually lose his standing.  He served as the "spit-checker" for a year or so.  A "spit-checker" is put with a female who is expected to be pregnant.  If she is pregnant, she spits at him and runs away.  It took Luxor a little while, but he did figure out what the deal was.  He got so that he would walk into the barn, take one look at "her", give us a look that said "If you think I'm going in there with that crazy -----, you got another thing comin'" and turn back to the door.  So, we knew the female was pregnant.

At some point, we thought maybe he had just lost the urge to try (and you could understand how), so we called another young stud in as a double-check after Luxor had refused to tease the female.  I swear, as he was heading out of the male's door and the young eager stud was racing in with his tail up....I heard Luxor snicker and whisper to him "Go for it buddy, she WANTS you!!!"  Meanwhile, the big female was aiming gobs of green regurgitated grass directly at the incoming young fool.

The picture above was taken just last week. Luxor will be 15 years old this coming February. He chooses to spend much of his time in the back pasture, either alone or with the old gelding llama. He has his favorite shady stand of trees where he has his own sandy dustbath wore down. He wants no part in the wrestling and competing with the younger males.
His fleece is now pretty coarse. As he has aged, he's had warts show up on his ears and under his coat. Some mornings I have to walk out to the back pasture and call for him as he hasn't showed up at the barn. When he sees me, he will start to walk back to the barn, doing a pretty good Tim Conway impersonation. My friend Marj says that he just does that because he knows I'll wait 10 minutes for him to make his way to me.
The textbooks say that alpacas live to be 18-20 years in North America with proper care and nutrition. I personally question whether there have been enough statistics captured to make that statement. In South America, where alpacas originate, they are usually culled before their natural lifespan. I do know that the past few years, Luxor has maintained his weight and does not seem plagued with dental issues that is often the case with older alpacas. As I have said, I have noticed him moving slower this year but generally, I think Luxor still has a good life on the farm. 


luckybunny said...

I really enjoyed reading Luxor's story Norma... and he's so handsome, he looks really good for his age, weight is great and I'm glad to hear he's not dealing with dental stuff, I don't know Alpacas but I know from Llamas that's a common trouble.

Wooly Knits n Bits said...

He's such a nice looking boy. It was nice to get to know his story.

farmer said...

What a handsome fellow!
He looks great.
It's so hard to have a faithful stud,in my case my ram,slow down.
My breed of sheep have a life expectancy of 6-7 years...not a very long time, but certainly long enough to fall in love and have your heart broken.
Wishing Luxor many more happy days with you.

Mona said...

Oh that was funny! Such a personality he has! And I'm sure he has a wonderful life and will be with you for a very long time.

Prudence Puddleduck said...

He has such a regal air! As plush and luxurious as his fabulous fur he so generously provides (oh with your help of course:)
Great tale! and its true♥thankyou

Azure Islands Designs said...

lol...what a great post Norma! I enjoyed hearing about Luxor...he still has "IT"..old or not!


Norma from Misty Haven Alpacas said...

Thanks, ladies!

I passed your messages on to Luxor. He got a little spring back in his step, then he winked and asked for your phone numbers ;)
I guess it's not out of his sytem yet!