Saturday, June 7, 2008


Along with summer is warmer weather and that means over heating alpacas, stinky summer heat and flies.

Alpacas are extremly vulnerable to overheating. Their fiber is so warm that in the winter they do well. Summer is rough on them. Even shorn, our alpacas are feeling the heat (it's been in the 80's and very humid). We have fans going in the barns. I filled a pool and put that in the girls pasture (so far only Sancha has gone in it). And we frequently spray their bellies with cold hose water. Most of them love this! (Maddie and Sommerfield run away, they do not realize what they are missing).

The hot humid weather makes one wonder how stinky it is. Alpaca people told us Alpacas do not smell (not like other cattle). And I agree that there isn't a smell you would notice driving by. But I do think there is an odor. The barn just smells like warm hay. The compost/poop pile out in the woods doesn't have a scent. But the poop piles in the pasture have a mild smell. I think it's their urine that has the mild odor. Since it drains into the ground it doesn't last or get worse.

I have started sprinkling lime on the compost/poop pile as that is supose to help neutralize (not only get rid of any odors but also limit weeds).

Flies are a big pain. The flies we have are smaller than house flies, but bigger than knats (they maybe what people call barn flies). The alpacas have fly bite marks on their ears, which we put a lotion on to deter the flies. We also have taken a three prong approach to combating the flies. We have sticky fly tape for those buzzing around:

We have jugs that are supose to attract the flies but then trap them (they worked so well we bought more):

And I'm using Stall Dry that I sprinkle it on the poop piles in the pasture. It is supose to soak up odors and kill fly larva (it has DE in it - diatomateous earth ?sp?). Suposedly the DE is sharp and cuts up the fly larva before it can turn into a fly. I'm not completely convinced of this but I do know the flies were all over the poop piles in the pasture before I was using the DE and now there are only a few flies. I also clean up the poop piles 2x a day which helps a lot too.

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