Let it Snow, Let it Snow , Let it Snow!
By this time of year their fleece has grown enough to protect them and keep them warm and dry. I am amazed when I part their fleece and they are completely dry and warm at the skin. When they get up off the ground there is always a melted spot from the warmth of their body.
Alpaca naturally insulates and repels water. That is what makes it perfect for clothing like hats, scarves, coats and socks.
When winter approaches we begin to prepare the barns for the colder weather. We have heated water buckets in every barn. These buckets keep the water temperature just right. It is important for the alpacas to have fresh water in the winter so they do not get dehydrated. If the water is too cold they will not drink it and they could have problems.
We always make sure their hay boxes are full. They do seem to eat more this time of year. They need the fuel to keep their bodies warm.
We tend to feed more alpaca feed this time of year. This allows us to check on the herd and notice if someone is cold or needs more attention. We have a few older girls that we did not shear this year. We felt it was better to hose them off in the summer to keep them cool and let them be warm when the temps get low. We also give them beet pulp to help them get more calories. They patiently wait for me every morning and if I am late they stare at the house!
We try to make sure the Cria are born early enough in the year so they have a good amount of fleece on them before the temps get low. This year everybody seems to be doing well. They all snuggle up together in the barns and keep each other warm.
We had our first snow storm today. It was fun to take pictures and to hang out with them. I only wishes they would let me snuggle up,with them. I guess I will have to be satisfied with a hat and scarf to keep me warm instead.