Sunday, August 31, 2008

Hot weather, pastures and fall

It's the end of August and that means the last hurrah of hot weather. Alpacas do not handle hot weather well. If you imagine wearing a sweater outside in the heat and humidity, that is about how they feel. We do what we can to cool them off. We have fans going in the barns.

Here is Sancha in front of a fan:

We also hose them off, getting water on their chest/arm pit area. If you get their fiber wet that actually makes it worse for them. Imagine wearing a wet sweater in the heat! But on their chest/belly area they have less fiber so you can get the water right to their skin. Most of ours do like to be hosed off - Max, Snowstorm, Victoria and Kateri. Mattie is starting to let us hose her off. Sommerfield wants nothing to do with it, nor does Sancha. But Sancha will go for a dip in the pool. This we fill on an as needed basis. That way the water is not sitting around with who knows what in it. It's filled when we have a hot day, then emptied that evening. Only Sancha will go in the pool, and since she won't let us hose her off, it's her only way to cool off. The little girls do like to drink the pool water before Sancha gets in there:

I do not know why but for some reason Nala seems to think when it's hot she should lay in the hay bucket:

The alpaca are so use to her being there they eat anyway!

Fall also means it's the time to plant grass. The best time of year for this area of the country is late August into September. We started getting the boy's pasture ready. Thankfully J's back is a bit better and he was able to help some.

J set up the plan to reseed the boys pasture. He had several things that he tried that did not work (like mulching the poop and hay). He spent more time on the attempts which unfortunately did not work out. In the end the plan was simplified. Move the poop to the pasture, rototill it into the ground.

We underestimated how much poop we'd use, we ended up running out! This is the empty poop pile:

We put it in strips in the pasture to rototill then spread in:

This is the pasture mid-rototilling:

Since we are having some really hot, dry weather we will put off seeding the boys pasture until a couple weeks into September. We'll focus our watering on the girls pasture instead (more on that to come).

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