A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

August 14, 2007

Alpaca Heaven!

Filed under: alpaca, Alpaca Care, Alpaca Nutrition, Alpacas, camelids, General — alpacalady @ 7:15 am

Girls with big baleHaving started to feed the new hay we recently purchased we discovered that the lower protein hay was a longer cut and baled slightly differently than the other big bales we have purchased in the past. 

The longer cut has made rationing the hay a little difficult and so we are contemplating buying another small wagon to put the hay into to get it to the pastures.  First though we thought we would try something we have hesitated to do in the past – just put one of the big bales in with the alpacas.

We decided to try the new hay method on the girls and to make things easier we decided to let the girls out to graze around the ranch while we transported the bale into their regular pasture.  The girls have not been allowed out to graze since Cinnamon had her diarrhea episode, so we are keeping our fingers crossed that we don’t have a repeat of that.  Certainly the girls were not concerned about the hay once we opened the gate, they were out like a shot checking things out and deciding where to graze.

Ric moved the bale of hay into the pasture and put it into a feeding pen to give us the option of locking the hay away from the girls if we need to.

During the course of the day the girls drifted in and out of the pasture to get water, and a couple of them sought shelter under their usual elm tree.  It was very hot today (around 101 degrees Fahrenheit) and so I also went out to hose the girls down during the worst of the heat.  For most of the day the alpacas ignored the large bale of hay sitting in their pasture.  By the time evening feeding time came around a few of the girls had discovered the big bale and were taking pleasure in rubbing up against it, rolling in any hay that they rubbed off the bale and occasionally taking a nibble at it.

It will be interesting to see how the girls get on with their big bale of hay, and how rapidly they consume it.   Yesterday evening was not really a good test of how the girls would eat a big bale of hay, as they were already full from grazing before we put them into their pasture for the night.  So today we will watch and see how they treat it, will they just pull pieces off and roll on it?  Will they actually eat it?  Maybe they will do a little of both, but surely to have access to that bale all day is going to be close to alpaca heaven for the girls!

Rosemary

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