A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

March 5, 2009

Gathering Up The Feed

The last couple of days have been busy with feed related tasks.  On Tuesday Ric and I made the 3 ½ hour drive to Albuquerque to pick up alpaca pellets and then of course had to make the 3 ½ hour drive back again!  It was a beautiful warm, sunny day, great driving weather but that is a long drive.


Why drive so far for feed you may ask.  Well, there isn’t a local or nearer distributor for the feed we use so we really don’t have an option.  Our feed is milled at Onate Feeds in Albuquerque to a formula put together for this area by Dr. Norm Evans, DVM.  Dr. Evans is a highly respected camelid veterinarian who has formulated feeds especially for alpacas and llamas.  We could use a different brand, and have tried different brands in the past, but have achieved the best results for our herd using the Dr. Evans feed. 


Having made the drive to Albuquerque and back it was then time to clean out the feed barn and unload and stack the new feed.  We always stack our feed on a pallet to allow air to circulate underneath the feed, which hopefully will help keep the feed fresh.


The next feed related trip was to get a sample of hay for the alpacas to try.  The alpacas beloved Tiffany Teff hay is now out of supply until August, we have one bale left and so wanted to source some more hay that would compliment the wheat hay we are also feeding.  We found some Bermuda grass hay available in town and for once the grower had an analysis on his hay – progress!  Very few of our local growers provide analysis on their hay meaning we usually have that test done at our cost, but this grower had an analysis on both cuttings of his hay.  It is always important to analyze the hay that you are looking to purchase so that you can know what you are feeding.  Hay can look good and smell good, but without that analysis you really cannot tell the nutritional value of the hay.  But along with the analysis you also need to do a taste test on the hay.  Take a sample and let the alpacas try it, for it is no good spending your hay budget on a load of hay only to find the alpacas will not eat it.  That would be a costly mistake.


This hay passed both the analysis test and the taste test, granted the alpacas were not quite as enthused over this hay as they were with the Tiffany Teff hay, but they did eat it and over time will adjust to the different taste of it. 


So all that feed activity took care of two days of the week, but is was to a good cause.  To us correct alpaca nutrition is extremely important, it helps keep the alpacas healthy, it provides the nutrients that enable our alpacas to grow beautiful, healthy fleeces and it keeps the alpacas content and happy.



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