Saturday, May 29, 2010

Warm Days

On nice sunny days, even if it is really warm out, it's not uncommon to find alpacas sunning themselves. This is a good thing, in that the sun provides vitamin D, without which an alpaca can develop rickets (we give vit. D injections in the winter months because it is so dark and gloomy here). But, often when I catch an alpaca out sunning themselves, I first worry they look dead! Here is Snowstorm demonstrating the death lay:

I do wonder why they would do this on such a hot day. I was hot this morning (it was already in the 80*'s by the time I took these pictures). But they seem to love it. When I got back from the boys' barn, I found Maddie and Sancha sunning themselves:

Maddie gave me a bit of start because she looked like she might be in labor. Her tail was up and it looked like labor was starting (I swear I saw contracts on her back end). Must have been a false alarm, because after a few minutes she got up, got some water to drink and went back to the barn to munch on some hay. Oh well, this baby will be born eventually. She's on day 351, so not that late, I'm just getting impatient.

After Maddie got up, Kateri took over the sun spot:

After seeing them sunning themselves, I decided to get the hose out to cool them off. Most of our alpacas will come and stand to be hosed down. The trick is to put the water stream right between their front two legs, on their chest/belly. That spot is where they control their body temperature. In the winter, if the cush down, they can keep this spot warm and be warm. If in the summer I cool it off with cold water, they cool down. Here is Victoria getting some cool water relief:

Most of our alpacas will come to be hosed off. So far I can't get Navigator, Greyt, Cafe or Sancha to let me hose them off. So I guess they choose to miss out. The most fun is hosing down Rosco. She does a little tap dance in the water! It's hilarious! I haven't been able to capture that in pictures yet. I should get a video of it.

Looks like all weekend is going to be sunny and hot. I expect several trips outside to hose them down. It's easy work and it gives me an excuse to check on Maddie. I know, I know, a watched pot never boils. But this baby has to come at some point :)

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