Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Out in the Pasture

The grass here in Northern Ontario is still pretty brown.  However, the alpacas are neglecting the hay feeder and spreading out in search of the new grasses coming up.  We have quite a lot of pasture for our small herd.  If we didn't, I would be keeping the alpacas off all the pasture until the grass had a chance to get hold.  But I like the sight of them moving around the pasture in the spring after hovering around the barnyard for so many months. 

The ratio of alpacas to pasture is said to be 4-7 per acre.  I think that is quite high, unless you are blessed with exceptional pasture.  I currently have 19 alpacas and 2 llamas on about 22 acres of pasture.  We usually end up trimming our pastures down with the mower at some point in the summer, as they can't graze all of the grass down.  If the grass grows too high, the alpacas won't go into the pasture.  This is the alpaca's instinctive way of protecting themselves from predators that may be hiding in tall grasses.  Alpacas are very nervous of anything touching their hind legs, including tall grasses.

Alpacas like to move around in their herd and they keep a watchful eye for anything approaching through the field or neighbouring bush.  There are usually deer grazing in the hay fields beyond the pastures (sometimes right in the pastures). 

Sometimes it is difficult to get some nice photos of the alpaca group as they often move away from the person walking in the field, so that I have a great collections of retreating alpaca butts.

Well, except for Raven, who comes running to me across the field and then walks beside me, as if directing me as to which angle I should be taking the shot from.  Sometime I think that Raven is really a farm dog in alpaca clothing.
We are expecting 40-50mm of rain today and then continuing rain for the next few days.  That is a lot of rain, but I suspect that it will cause a major greening in our landscape by the weekend.
Enjoy your day!


Wooly Knits n Bits said...

I think that's so sweet that Raven follows you around.

Heather said...

Great collection of retreating alpaca butts Norma!!!

Nice to have Raven to make you feel welcome...

Love the farm photos...they feel soothing to me.
Warm this morning...already 13c, suppose to be 15c, with rain of course! :~)
Enjoy the day...

Los alpaqueros said...

You have a beautiful farm, and we see, that the animals are very happy.
Zosia and Janusz, salute from Poland.