Posts Tagged ‘winter’

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.

Spring

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Officially, the first day of Spring! Which was heralded, overnight, with torrential rain – in a winter characterised by high rainfall, this was the heaviest of the lot. However, along with the dawn, came sunshine, and it has been a beautiful day, even if wet underfoot.

Some of our girls have found the weather conditions very trying, particularly those with cria at foot. We discovered a local farm supplies retailer who was selling bright blue calf covers made out of heavy duty vinyl – and the medium siz one fit our average size adult alpaca very well ! These are designed to slip over the head and are secured by a soft elastic strap around the haunches – so they don’t interfere with feeding cria. After a few minutes intial panic, our girls settled into wearing the cover, which by keeping out the wind and rain, helped them keep warm, too. Some of our younger cria got to wear the small size calf cover, we have found them a great boon.


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!