Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Move and New Routine

This weekend we worked hard to get the new girls' area ready. J got the fence in place for a paddock and a small pasture area. At our farm "pasture" really just means room for them to move and run. We don't have grass growing in our sandy woods, so it's not for eating the grass. But they do need room to move. I love it when they get out there pronking. And, if they are in too close of quarters, it can cause increased issues with parasites.

So J worked on finishing up fencing, and finishing touches on building their shelter. I spent an afternoon painting the shelter. I found it funny how after spending a couple hours painting, I was sore! My quads still hurt a few days later. Yet I can run 7 miles and not have pain. Guess I need more work on cross training.

By Saturday evening we had enough in place to do the move. We got all the females in their current paddock, then separated out the younger ones and moved them into their new area. For that evenings feeding, J and Zack helped me get all the girls separated into the right area. First the pregnant girls.

I had a skinny pregnant area for Tehya and Sancha (each getting a cup of grain).
I had a regular pregnant area for Maddie, Jewel and Latte (each getting 1/2 a cup of grain).
I had a chubby pregnant area for Victoria and Miss Kitty (each getting 1/4 cup of grain).
That left Bay who is the one we were so concerned about her skinny self. After some debate, we separated her by herself and gave her not only extra grain, but some calf manna.

Most of the girls cooperated, but we did have to halter Maddie, Jewel and Latte to get them in the right area. It was too different from their previous routine.

For the young girls we separated them out into two areas. They all get the same ration of grain (1/2 cup) but we were concerned that the older yearling/2+ ones might be aggressive and take grain from the juvis. So we separated them by age.

Older group ~ Rose, Twilight, Mysteria and Gigi
Young group ~ Dutch, Princess and Lady Bing

Sunday morning I again had help separating out the girls. Though this time we didn't have to halter anyone. Then Sunday evening my helpers were on standby. By Monday morning it was all up to me ~ me out there at 6:30 a.m. on my own in the dark. I not only managed but all the female alpacas cooperated!!

We aren't done with this new area, as J still plans to add in a second small pasture for them. They don't necessarily need it, but it is nice to have different areas for them to roam and pronk.


Judi B said...

Lovely to read your blog! Life without grass sounds weird to us at the other side of the world. Whilst we often worry that there won't be enough, it looks good at the momentand I can't imagine life without it! Your Bay sounds just like one of our girls, Pegassou, great mums who give their all but the cost to them is high. Hope she continues to enjoy the extra attention you're giving her soon has to move in with the fat girls!

Debbie, Barnacre Alpacas said...

I think we all have one of those girls, mine is Mary, she always produces big cria who grow so fast she ends up losing lots of condition.

I agree with Judi, life without grass sounds very strange.

oak haven alpacas said...

I probably should add that the lack of grass isn't common in our area. Most alpaca farmers here buy a farm and they have plenty of pasture grass. We built a house in the woods, which we lived in for many years. Then we decided to become alpaca farmers (it wasn't in the plans when we built our house). Due to the current housing market, it was not possible to sell our house in the woods and buy a farm. So, we made our woods into a farm. We tried growing grass, but with such sandy soil, it's not practical. It was costing us more to try to grow than it would be to buy hay year around. So that's what we do, dry lot by feed hay year around. The alpacas roam the sandy woods, so they get exercise.

I have pasture envy! Anytime I am out driving around I see beautiful pastures... I wish and dream :)


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