Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mr. Lonely No More!

Mr. Lonely isn't so lonely anymore. In fact, I think he's a bit overwhelmed!

We were waiting for the call from the post office all day for the chicks to be picked up. The hay lady called to say that the hay was probably going to be baled for pickup off the wagon that night.
And you know how that goes.
The post office called at 6:00pm saying that the chicks were in North Bay for pickup before 7:00pm. The hay lady called to say the bales were ready to pickup...30 minutes in the opposite direction of North Bay.
I picked up the chicks, hubby and daughter picked up the hay.

Can you hear it now? "Oh, sure, we're unloading the hay and you're taking pictures for your blog!"
We are done one load of three. We usually ensure we have about 375 small bales of hay for 20-24 alpacas and llamas. Alpacas only eat 2% of their body weight in hay. That means that a 150 lb alpaca will eat about 3 lbs hay a day. Not much, is it? Some farmers weigh out the exact amount, to optimize costs and to keep the alpacas lean. Lean, healthy alpacas have finer fibre than overweight alpacas. The trick would be to ensure that each animal gets his portion. We choose to offer extra hay and much gets wasted. We have always had around 80-100 bales left over, but it's always good to be prepared with extra, in case of a late spring.

Lucy is our 12 year old husky cross. She's a sweet, sweet dog. Lucy had a very hard time getting over the absence of her buddy Molly, our 14 year old dog who recently passed. Lucy had never been alone for longer than 30 minutes. We are giving Lucy extra attention these days. Many people suggested that we get Lucy another younger dog or puppy for a companion. I think Lucy will enjoy her final years as an only dog who gets all the attention.

That black box that you see at her throat is the transmitter for our radio-controlled invisible fence. Huskies like to run and we live in a fairly populated area on a fast road. Having an invisible fence means never having to tie your dog up to keep them safe.


Azure Islands Designs said... the chick photos!!!

Some how eating only three pounds of hay a day doesn't seem enough for such a large animal...maybe that is the secret to staying lean & slim...:0)

Lucy looks rather lonely...animals feel the loss just like we do...I like the idea of the invisible fence, but I never needed one so I didn't know how they worked!

Enjoy your week Norma...

ms lottie said...

I found your blog through a comment you left over at Down to Earth and thought I'd stop in for a looksee (I'm partial to Alpacas!). I love raising chicks but it's winter here now and this morning I was feeling a little fed up with all my halfgrown roosters and only a few eggs from my big hens - but your chicks have given me a lift. Winter will end, mud will go and there will be more chicks again in spring!

Norma from Misty Haven Alpacas said...

Who knew the chickens would be such a hit!

Heather - alpacas are very efficient users of food. And really, they only average 150 lbs...which is 3 times my dog's weight. Not all that large.

Ms Lottie - so nice to hear from you, so far away.