Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Grain Routine

In addition to hay, we also feed our alpacas grain.  We do this to make sure they get all the nutrients they need to keep them healthy.   Some farms have wonderful pastures that have the right nutrition and they don't need to add grain, but for us we feel it's the right thing for our alpacas.

We have our alpacas separated into four groups:

- big boys up in the "boys' barn" (right now there are 2 up there)
- young boys in the yearling pen (we have 5 in this pen now)
- dams and cria (moms and babies - we have 13 in this area right now)
- yearling and maiden girls (7 in this pen)

Some of these have already been sold, but I counted who we have here right now.

Now with grain, we do separate them out further.  This way we can give more grain to those who are skinny and less to those who aren't.

For the yearling and maiden girls, we separate them into two pens for grain (one group gets 1/2 cup of grain, the other 1 cup):

For the moms and babies we have several pens.  Here is Miss Kitty, our full figured gal, in her own pen (she gets a very small amount of grain):

These others are separated more so to keep competition down, since they actually do get almost the same amount of grain:

Alpacas are very routine animals.  They not only seem to know what time it is and when grain time is, but they also know where they are supposed to go for their own grain bowl.  However, if I do anything different with the routine, they are a complete mess!  They can't handle that.  I have had to start over with grain time if anything messes up the usual routine.  Routine is everything to them.

1 comment:

Kathryn Ray said...

haha... I've noticed that with ours as well. The order is very important... but we don't always feed them at the same time, so they are less concerned about the time.

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