A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

November 18, 2007

Adjusting to Winter Hours

Filed under: alpaca, Alpaca Care, Alpacas, Crias, General — Tags: , , , , — alpacalady @ 7:51 am

Moonie poses beside a big bale of hayWith the time change behind us and winter ahead of us it is necessary to adjust our schedule to make the best use of the daylight hours.  The sun rising earlier and setting earlier means that we need to do chores earlier too.

Usually in the summer we start morning chores between 7 a.m and 8 a.m. and evening chores start between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., but now that the clocks have been changed morning chores are starting between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. and evening chores start around 4 p.m.  This means that we have to get up earlier in the morning to ensure that all of the inside animals are fed, watered and walked, medicines are prepared for any alpacas that need them and of course humans need to be fed and watered too.

To make things more efficient we have taken to setting up the morning feed rations the night before.  It really doesn’t seem to take long to fill up all of the hay buckets and make up the pellet rations after evening chores, but it does seem to make morning chores a lot faster.  Maybe it’s all in our heads but things just seem to move along quicker.

The other adaptation to be made is the rotation of alpacas out into the grazing areas.  During the spring and summer the boys were allowed access during the day to a larger grazing area, and the girls were let out periodically to graze the areas between the pastures.  Now, however the grass has all died down and Ric has seeded our winter wheat.  Unfortunately we have had very little moisture for the last couple of months and so our grazing areas are now down to loose sandy soil.

For the girls this means that they have to stay in their dry lot enclosure, but it is large,  and at least gives them space to walk or even run around in if the evening is cold and they are feeling chilly.

The boys though still get to go out into the back pasture every other day.  There really isn’t much out there except for the remnants of the last big bale that was placed there toward the end of summer, but the boys just love to go back there and explore.    They stand at the back gate every morning and plead with me to go out.  As their areas are smaller than the girls I feel that it is only fair to let them out once in a while to let them get some exercise.

The change of hours and routine really isn’t that bad, and even the alpacas who are sticklers for routine adjust fairly quickly.  Now if we could just train the dogs to make the coffee in the morning then that would really get the day off to a good start!  Somehow I think I will be vainly waiting for a long while for that to happen!

Rosemary

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