Saturday, January 17, 2009

You know you are a farmer when.....

You know you are an alpaca farmer when......

..... when you have a day off of work and spend it at a hay auction. J warned me what it would be like, but still a culture shock for this girl who grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. Am I really a farmer now? I don't know if I can ever get the city girl totally out of me. Growing up, I would have never thought I'd find myself at a hay auction. One advantage we have is that alpacas need hay with more grass in it, hay that isn't good for horses or other livestock. There wasn't a lot of grass hay there, but what was there, there wasn't much competition for. We got some decent hay for under $4 a bale (what it is sold for at a local farmers market).

..... when you determine the temperature outside by the point the poop freezes. I haven't perfected this yet, but I have discovered that there is different freezing points. For example, there is a point where poop on the ground will freeze to the ground. This I remember from last winter. It's a pain because the choice then is to dig it out by chopping up ice and frozen ground with a shovel, or to wait until it thaws but have a soapy mess. We tried both options last year and I didn't like either. The chopping one leaves holes in the ground, the soap option is so messy come thaw time. I have discovered a new freezing point, it has to be at a lower temperature. This is where the poop freezes, but in the round ball shape before freezing to the ground (a round ball of the raisin shape pellets) . This week I have found poop frozen in balls of pellets not attached to the ground. I haven't figured out at what point this happens. I also haven't figured out if it freezes in that shape before it hits the ground, or if the ground is too frozen to let it blend into the ground (it's likely a combination of these two). Things you never needs to know!!

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