Monday, January 14, 2008


Everyone on our farm is adjusting since the addition of Sancha, Sommerfield and Maddie. Feeding time has been pretty much chaos. I think we make it more difficult in that we measure out the grain specifically for each animal. Some of the farms we have visited do it this way. But others just set out grain and let them eat, no set measuring for each animal. When we did a "free for all" type arrangement, Victoria ate more than her share and Kateri got less. That is what lead to the weight issues here. I do remember it taking a few days for us to get into a good routine with Victoria, Kateri and Snowstorm. It's expected there will be an adjustment now too. Especially since these 3 came from a bigger farm where there was a free for all type arrangement.

I was happy to see that no one pooped in the barn. I was worried someone might decide there needed to be a poop pile inside. They did start a new one in the pasture (up to this point there was only 1 pile, right outside the door of the barn in the pen area). That's fine with me that they started another pile (as long as it wasn't in the barn ;) ).

Sommerfield and Maddie seem to be confused by the cats. They watch the cats, and sniff the cats and seem to be puzzled by what the cats are and what they are doing. The cats have become good buddies and love to wrestle so that adds entertainment for the alpacas. Sommerfield seems very dependent on her mom, Sancha. Sommerfield is 9 months old and is weaned but follows her mom everywhere and has tried to nurse (though Sancha fights her off and won't let her). We are concerned this could be more of a problem when Sancha's new baby is born (due in mid-April). We don't want conflict between Sommerfield and the new cria. It would be ideal to separate Sommerfield and Sancha but we do not have enough pastures to do that. Maddie is almost as big as Sommerfield, though she is younger. We are not sure on her exact age because we haven't gotten all her records yet. We believe she was born in October, so still really young, around 3 months old. She is doing great considering she was taken from her mom and weaned cold turkey when we picked her up. I feel bad for her. I know it's nature, but still sad to think about. She is doing great, holding her own with the other alpacas (I've seen her spit the big ones off when they push her too much). She seems to follow Sommerfield around (who is following Sancha).

J said he got Sommerfield and Maddie into the holding pen this morning to get a good look at their fiber. He said based on their behavior it does appears that they have had hardly any human contact. It is going to take some training to get Sommerfield halter trained for shows by this spring. It's never too late to train them, but we need to start working hard on it. He did the morning feeding today and said it was chaos again. I haven't come up with a good idea of how to handle it. It's my turn to do the feeding tonight, so I need to come up with a game plan.

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