<< Back to main

December

Posted 12/7/2010 11:10am by Mona.

We’ve been transitioning to our winter routine.  We can’t leave the house until we’re ‘loaded up’:  winter muck boots, heavy coats and gloves, hat/headband, and lots of layers.  Barn chores take much longer this time of year.  We’re trying to remember what we did last year for snow removal around the gates, what worked and didn’t work so well.  We’re so not ready for snow just yet.  We’re lucky that so far it’s just been cold and windy.  What little snow we’ve had is gone within a day or two.

It seems as if the alpacas have grown their own winter coats overnight.  Suddenly they’re all so very fluffy looking.  Those fluffy cheeks are beginning to look like teddy bear faces.  We’ve been putting down straw for them to bed down on but in the morning light we see that they’re all cushed outside!  Apparently they’re a lot warmer than we are. 

There’s hardly anything left to graze on in the pastures so we’re starting to go through more hay.  That’s normal this time of year.  I try to keep all the feeders really full and well fluffed.  We’ve been feeding them a little more pellets in the evenings too.  The boys never say no to extra pellets.

The past several days it hasn’t even reached 32 degrees so the water buckets are frozen over mornings and evenings.  So it’s back to hauling down gallons and gallons of hot tap water!  Arlo used to always greet me last winter but now it’s North.  Once he realized I’m bringing down morning and evening ‘tea,’ he runs right up to me.  I can barely get the buckets down on the floor of the barn and he’s drinking and drinking .......... he’ll drink a whole gallon of warm water at once.  Silly alpaca.

The other thing with cold weather returning is that it’s harder to rake up the alpaca poo.  I wait till mid morning to do this, hoping that with the sun up over the barn, the beans won’t be frozen to the ground so much.  When you try using the rake to scoop frozen-to-the-ground-beans, the beans develop a life of their own and sail across the paddock.  So now it’s ice pick time.  The ice pick breaks up the frozen beans easier, but it also makes it easier for the beans to sail faster and more unpredictably.  Ever have this conversation with a co-worker?  “Well I had to get out the ice pick to shovel manure this morning and whoa!  The beans went straight up!  Only had a half dozen or so in my hair.  Thank god my mouth wasn’t open.”  I don’t recommend it.  Unless they have livestock, they just won’t understand.  They’ll look absolutely horrified, possibly more so than when describing how your favorite alpaca spit in your hair.

Alpacas’ cute personalities and fabulous fiber (!) outweigh all these ..... these ..... winter oddities.

I wouldn’t trade my alpacas for any other livestock in the world!

Quote for Today

Never let the odds keep you from doing
what you know in your heart
you were meant to do. 

Coming soon!
Our new fiber store on Local Harvest!

 

Blog archives
Wheel Barrow