A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

June 4, 2009

And We Do This Because…?

Carissima and Glow

Carissima and Glow

I find it a little amusing that sometimes the alpacas and llamas decide that our good management practices are not really for them.  Too often I have seen one of the herd toss some hay on the floor beside the hay feeder and merrily munch on the hay on the floor.  We do put grids over the hay in our hay feeders but sometimes they still manage to pull a clump out and deposit it onto the floor where apparently it just tastes better.  The llamas are perhaps worse about the alpacas for doing this.  They think nothing of overturning a hay bucket to deposit the contents on the ground, often destroying the bucket in the process. (Note we are now trying flexible rubber hay buckets to see if they stand up to llamas better).

Yesterday morning I was greeted by the site of Carissima (that’s her on the left of the picture that was taken prior to her being shorn) happily drinking out of a muddy puddle that lay just a foot or so away from the automatic waterer.  We had a pretty good storm the night before and as often happens on our hard, dry ground the water accumulated in puddles.  To Carissima this puddle was tasty, she stood and drank heartily from it, while close by stood the Nelson automatic waterer full of cool, clean, fresh water with not an alpaca or llama close by except for Carissima.  I shooed Carissima away from the puddle but later in the day caught her drinking from it again.  Perhaps the dirt gave it some added flavor or better mineral content, whatever the reason Carissima thought the puddle water was worth drinking.

In any herd management seminar you will be told to make sure that alpacas and llamas have fresh, clean water and that their hay is put into above ground feeders.  We are advised to do this to help keep parasites at bay and to make sure our alpacas and llamas have the best and most sanitary feeding conditions possible.  The trouble is that the alpacas and llamas are smart enough (within reason) to rearrange their feeding and drinking arrangements to their wants.

Of course we will continue to put the hay in the hay feeders to keep it off the ground and we will continue to have lots of fresh, clean water available to the herd, but as I watch the alpacas and llamas happily tossing their hay on the floor or drinking from a muddy puddle I do have to wonder “and we do this because…”


January 23, 2008

Whatever Next!

Well yesterday was pretty eventful, so much so that it took me 5 ½ hours to do morning chores.  I think that has to be a record!

It was just one of those days with one thing going wrong after another.  Frozen faucets, a leaking automatic waterer, two male alpacas with bloody ears (in separate pastures and fortunately nothing serious, just the result of frisky wrestling boys on a cold morning), a female alpaca with a grungy eye (again thankfully nothing serious, just an inturned long eyelash, but still requiring the eye to be bathed), and a 40 lb sack of beet pulp shreds that split open as I lifted it out of my truck to put it in the feed shed.  It just seemed that life was determined to challenge me yesterday.  The good news of the day was that my dental appointment for a filling was cancelled due to the dentist coming down with stomach flu.  I hate to think of the poor dentist being ill but at least it meant I didn’t have to rush to that appointment on top of everything else.  I did chuckle though as I thought of how many dental patients were overjoyed at the news that their appointment had been cancelled for the day!

I think there were two causes for yesterday’s mayhem; first Ric is away for the week (a sure way to ensure everything is going to break down in his absence) and also a full moon.  I need to remind myself to never let Ric leave town during a full moon again, the combination of the two is too much to handle!

That full moon was spectacular last night at Sunset, it was huge and golden as it rose over the horizon and I couldn’t help but admire it despite the problems it had caused during the day.  

Oh well, I survived the day and am now more educated in the inner workings of an automatic waterer, plus the dogs and I had a great walk in the beautiful moonlight.  Fingers crossed the gremlins will be worn out after yesterdays mischief and today will be a quieter day.


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