Friday, August 26, 2011


It seems all our alpacas do is eat.

I know in their native land in South American, they spend their days searching for grass to eat. In the morning they walk down the mountains to find grassy areas in the lower lands. In the evening they walk up the mountains so that overnight they are less vulnerable to predators.

In some ways it's sad that we've taken away their daily goal of seeking out grass. I wonder if our alpacas are bored? They seem happy, and love to dive head first into our hay buckets. I often will see some of them happily wandering the back areas of our pasture (I use the term pasture loosely here as we don't actually have grassy pasture land, it's been too big of a challenge to grow good grass in our woods with such pure sandy soil). I think some of our alpacas have more of a drive to wander and find grass. There are ones I almost always find wandering the area. There are others that park themselves by the hay buckets and don't move all day. Some even eat hay out of the bucket while cushed down (I equate that to a human couch potato).

We have several different hay buckets so that everyone has a chance to get hay.

There can be problems when some alpacas hog the bucket and chase others away, and often it's the heavier girls who hog the hay bucket so the skinnier ones get less hay and remain skinny. We make sure there are places they all have access to hay because the skinny ones need the hay the most.

Here is Sancha (the white one) and Maddie (the black one) at one hay station. Maddie is one who will frequently wander our pastures and eat anything green she can find. Maddie has always been more of a loner than typical, I wonder if that wandering searching instinct is more pronounced in her.

At this bucket there is (from left to right) Miss Kitty, Jewel and Latte (they are all a shade of fawn):

There were quite a few at this bucket ~ our hay wagon (Kateri, Victoria, Snickers, Rose, Tehya and Thunder):

I find some of the girls have a favorite bucket that they go to just about everyday. Others wander from bucket to bucket throughout the day constantly searching for the best hay. And some pick a bucket (a different one each time) and settle in for quite a while.

The yearling boys have their own area and do not have to deal with the ornery girls. The boys eating in their hay bucket:

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