Tuesday, September 13, 2011

New Routine

Last week marked the beginning of the school year for the kids. While we try to stay on some scheduled over the summer, it's never quite the same as the school routine. And it always seems like the longer summer goes on, the further from "normal" our routine gets. None of us do well with change so the last couple of weeks have been a bit of an adjustment for us.

I've found alpacas are very sensitive to routine. They get stuck in a typical routine so much that they know when I typically feed them grain. I've seen them line up at the gate when it was a usual grain feeding time (like a Saturday morning when it's raining and I have no intention on rushing out there to give them gain, but it's the time I usually go out there, they are ready). While we do stick to a typical routine with the alpacas (they prefer it), we do some adjusting due to the season. In the summer it is so hot during the late afternoon and early evening hours that I don't like to feed them grain then. They would eat it, but I would think it would be better to feed them once it's started to cool down. As the temperatures gets warmer, I move back their grain time. Usually by the hot of summer we are feeding them their last grain meal around 7 p.m. Now that summer is passed and fall is starting, I look ahead to the days when it will be dark at our house by 5 p.m. I won't want to be feeding them so late then! This week I slowly started feeding them earlier, moving to 6 p.m., just an hour earlier than they had been fed over the summer. I will keep moving their grain time up until I get it to about 3:30 / 4 p.m. (which is when the kids and I usually get home each day). In the cold dark winter months I prefer to feed them the moment I get home and then not have to venture outside after that.

Changing routines within the house with the kids and outside with the alpacas has me very tired!

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