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.
Well, got to go sing in our Christmas program!