Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Oak Haven Leaves

Our farm is named Oak Haven due to the fact our alpacas live in a haven of oak trees. This means we have a ton of oak leaves. I remember when we first were researching alpacas, I read how the tannins in the oak leaves are toxic to alpacas. The first year they were here, we diligently raked every pasture area free of leaves. It was so much work, but we were sure we had to do this. Now, three years later, we've come to the conclusion that while the oak leaves may have some toxic effect, it would take a lot of oak leaves to create such a scenario. Alpacas much prefer to munch on their hay. As long as we have plenty of hay for them to graze on, they only eat the very rare oak leaf. The leaves would never make up the majority of their diet (which is what it would take to reach even close to toxic levels). They are more likely to eat fresh green oak leaves, than the brown ones that fall this time of year. I do make sure leaves do not clog up their water buckets, as that would leach out the tannins into their water.

Over Tuesday and Wednesday we had a pretty significant wind storm blow through our area. This made many more leaves blow off the trees. I was worried how many branches might blow down on the alpacas. Thankfully no damage was done. The trees are wonderful to provide shade in the summer, shelter from the wind in the winter, but not great for leaves in the fall, and broken branches in a storm.

Here is how bare the trees got after just one day of wind blowing (these were taken on Tuesday evening):

1 comment:

Ertman-Trowbridge Family said...

Did you survive yesterday's wind? We got pretty lucky. Nothing major fell down (trees) and we were only without power yesterday afternoon. How did the alpacas do?

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