Sunday, December 10, 2006

Winter on the ranch


Here is a picture of my kid's Celtic group, The Rosebuds. This was at the Scottish Games in Bakersfield two years ago, where they have been invited to play for three years in a row now. The beat out several adult groups for this honor. Cool beans. I can't find the picture for this year, I think it went the way of my crashed computer :((

Tonight, snow perhaps! Not here probably, but up higher into town.
I love snow, and hate the rain.

Winter brings additional challenges to alpaca ranching. Frozen waterers, ice on the fencing and silly pacas who stay out in the wet until they get soaked and start shivering are just a few things that come to mind.

Every morning I go out with a hammer and break the ice, and sometimes I make them all a 'hot cup of cider'.
Their special cider consists of nice, warm Gatorade with apple slices on top!

Like people, alpacas don't like to drink water that is really cold, and dehydration is a real possibility in extreme cold. So we always make sure they have access to tepid water.
They love their 'cuppa tea' and the bucket is always empty at the end of the day.
Alpaca coats take care of the silly pacas who don't know enough to get in out of the cold, wet weather.

My son's "favorite" thing is the fact that the pacas poop pile grows exponentially the wetter the weather. Alpacas poop all in the same spot. Usually they average two piles per pen, but when the weather gets wetter, all bets are off! Some of the boys HATE to get wet! They will run for shelter the minute the first drop of rain comes down, and don't leave except to hang their butts just barely outside the shelter to go poop. Thus the pile grows...
Crias on the other hand, don't learn the rules of the poo pile until about 3 weeks of age. They go wherever, including IN the shelter and right next to the hay feeder.... okay, they ALL go right next to the hay feeder. We have to move the feeder about twice a season to get it away from the poop pile. Then, they start going right next to the feeder again. Why do we do it? Because we keep hoping we will prevail. Silly humans.
Lazy pacas!
Well, got to go sing in our Christmas program!
Slainte~
Rachelle

5 comments:

tookoi said...

Rachel,have you never heard of heated buckets!!!Very necessary.Of course this ain't Ca.Elko,Nevada,been in the teens for weeks.A pick works great for frozen poop!Three little boys a'weaning right now.Rastus,Ronin,Sparky.Oldest in that order.Rastus is the boss only Sparky doesn't know it.He is deaf as a post so unless Rastus bodily moves him,Sparky just ignores all the argles,squeals,and grunts.So funny to watch.Aren't they fun?Haven't yet found a way to make them poop where I want.My paca partner keeps devising obstacles meant to deter them from using certain areas but with no luck.Also funny to watch.Keep warm!

Rachelle Black said...

Tookoi,
LOL, yup, heard of heated buckets, but don't have electricity down in the pens!
I have to run an extension cord down there for anything like lights, or the Tooth-o-matic :))

I like making them their 'tea' and enjoy the brisk ice breaking ritual, Okay, most of the time I like breaking the ice. Too bad I can't do it with a good joke! HA! -insert mental picture here-
Someday I would like some Nelson waterers, and a barn, and about 10 more $40,000 alpacas.....
HAY! A girl can dream can't she??
-- wink-wink --
Slainte~
Rachelle

Gattina said...

Gee, you made me laugh with your poop mountain ! I would put a flag on it. But that's really pratical if they all go to the same place ! I love these animals, they have such a funny face ! As it is very stormy and rainy here in Belgium it's nice to have a good laugh !

Why can't you put the little cat (on toilet) on top of your post ? Just copy and paste it or maybe I should put the html ? Yes that's an idea ! Mr. Linky is on my blog tomorrow, you just have to put your name and click ! that's it.

Gattina said...

I tried to put the logoin the text and then here in the comments, but Blogger refuses !

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