Posts Tagged ‘hay’

Brrrrrr . . . winter’s on its way

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Today its cold and wet, the first signs that our New Zealand winter is on its way! Alpacas are very stoic and so long as they have tree or fence shelter from our cold southerly winter winds they tolerate winter very well.  But keeping them well fed and warm is paramount if you want them to keep their good health.  Make sure in cold weather that they have meadow hay available – this will keep them warm!  We have small hay sheds in each of our paddocks.  We place bales of hay on old forklift pallets to keep it off the damp ground and top it up every weekend over winter.  That way the alpacas can choose when to eat hay instead of grass (which lacks good nutrition in the winter months).

Soon our ‘boys’ (a mix of stud males and youngsters who have not been wethered (castrated) will be moved off farm for the winter.  This gives them a change of scenery, and allows their paddocks to recover without being grazed for a few months.  Even though they live separately the ‘girls’ notice their absence and there’ll be quite a bit of excitement when they return in spring.

Cheryl and I (and Gordon) are all busily knitting alpaca garments for ourselves.  There’s nothing warmer than alpaca when it comes to clothing.  If you’re after socks, scarves, hats etc check out our online shop here.

Shelter from the storm

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

The recent bitterly cold weather and gale force winds saw us move our ‘girls’ to the back of our farm to paddocks with plenty of tree shelter.  The newly weaned cria and their ‘aunties’ (who were awarded the babysitting job)  in the adjoining paddock were pleased to see them all,  and probably hoped it was a permanent arrangement,  but today with clear skies and only a  little wind,  we have moved the adults away again as the paddock they were in is small and quickly runs out of grazing.  However they had plenty of hay to eat while they were there and they were able to eat it under the trees where it remained dry despite the squally weather.    

Wet Winter Woes

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

What a quiet winter it has been. We have suffered almost non-stop rain since mid-May, and our only news has been, more rain = more mud! Our poor alpacas have had wet ground underfoot for weeks, with little grass growth. Just as well we have lots of hay to feed out!
The last couple of weeks have seen the return of the sun, interspersed with rainy days, but at least everything is starting to dry out.
Liz and I plan to go to the NZ National Show and Expo in early October, so now will be desperately trying to prepare our show team – we plan to take about 7, with a couple of Intermediates (over 1 year) ,and the rest Juniors (last years cria). Most are now starting to walk on a halter, but one young boy has only just been weaned, and wore a halter for the first time today. With all the rain we have had, their fleeces are not in good condition, we can only hope the weather contiues to improve now it is Spring, and that they will be presentable on Show Day!

Rain, Spit Offs and more rain

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Now that we are into winter proper, and given the incessant rain over the last few weeks, we have now cancelled all scheduled spit-offs – those girls we are still unsure of (as regards pregnancy status) will now be given an audio scan approximately 7 weeks after mating to see if they are pregnant or not. If not- we will hold these girls over until late spring before remating.
Because of the excessive rain, and now cold, our alpaca have been very appreciative of their hay feed. Because we have covered feeding sheds in nearly every paddock, they can free-feed right through the day – and no-one misses out. We have found this a very successful method of feeding hay as not only do the alpacas like dry hay available all the time, but it reduces the time spent feeding out, as we can often put out several days feed at a time and know the rain will not spoil it.