Friday, November 30, 2007


Overnight we had our first snowfall that stuck to the ground (we've had some flurries but no accumulation). I was not expecting this much accumulation or I would have gotten up earlier to tend to the alpacas. As it was, we had time to feed them this morning and that was it. Friday I volunteer in Zack's class at school so we had to get going. Zack only has half a day of school so we got home by lunchtime to go out of the barn.

The alpacas seemed to be poking their heads through the gate inside the barn to reach the hay that is stacked up. There is some hay in their 2 feeders (one is a little kiddie pool and the other is a blue barrel). But seems that hay was picked over and not as tasty as the ones stacked in the barn ;) I took down a new hay bail and put that out for them, they instantly started eating it up. Zack and I shoveled the snow off the front drive to the barn so that we don't have to walk through deep snow to get in the barn. And I shoveled snow out of the pen just in back of the barn. The Alpacas tend to hang out there and often sleep there so I thought it best to get the snow out of there and let them see some grass. I can see tracks in both pastures so they have gone into the pastures today, but it doesn't look like they could get to any of the grass to eat.

The water bucket heaters appear to be working very well, the water has not been freezing. I have had some problems with hay and dirt falling into the water so I cleaned out the buckets today and put in fresh water. Fluffy's water needed to be changed as it was frozen, and her canned cat food was frozen. Guess she'll have to settle for dry food this winter. Maybe one day a week we could put canned food out for her. Oh and for the water, even if her water is frozen she will be fine. I caught her one day climbing up the fence and leaning over to drink out of the alpacas' heated water buckets. She's resourceful.

We have mats in the barn that are insulated to help the alpacas stay warm, but so far I have not found them to sit on them. Instead they sleep in the pen just outside the barn. We have not yet gotten straw for inside the barn. Most farmers do provide straw for warmth. J is concerned about how messy straw will be and we are not sure it is necessary, especially given the fact the alpacas seem to prefer to stay outside. Though today with the snow and cold wind they do seem to be standing in the barn.

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