Wednesday, 11 February 2009

A Red Letter Day

Today was the day the alpacas moved into their new paddock. Ann came over to help and see them go in – she has been wonderful in helping me to finish all the fencing; I couldn’t have got all of it fixed as tightly or as quickly without her. And I’ve not forgotten all the help G, M & C gave with the posts last summer; thanks guys.

Dragging buckets of water over there is going to be a bit of a drain so that should spur me on to finish the roofing of the shelter and install a rainwater collection system there.

Moving the alpacas was nearly thwarted by the rain; yes folks yet more rain. Nothing torrential but just a few millimetres every day or so and seven millimetres last night just for good measure. Reversing the trailer became impossible, it just skated over the mud but by going round the block I eventually got into a position where we could load them up and take them over to the field. Once there they couldn’t believe their eyes, grass and space, it was then heads down and munch away.

Having got them into the field, Ann and I decided it was time for a celebratory tea. I mentioned that since finding the nests where the chickens had laid the last lot of eggs, they’d moved and I’d not had any eggs for 3 days. While I boiled the kettle Ann went for a hunt around and finally found the last few days haul. They were hidden away in the bottom of an old straw bale. Only one of the chicken is using the nest boxes I made. I don’t think my animals appreciate my carpentry skills; the alpacas never went into the previous shelter I built them.

I now have a mini glut of eggs so I’m thinking about trying to dry some as a method of preserving them for next winter.


Anonymous said...

I'm most curious to hear about the egg preservation goes :-) Hope your alpacas enjoy their new space!

Olive said...

My alpacas don't shelter from the weather either. Popeye built a great shelter for them and I use it for a place to store their supplementary food and that is the only time they go inside...for breakfast. When it's cold and raining they stand around, drenched to the skin, looking like drowned rats !
This has not been a good year for us, one cria dying after being born prem. and one stillborn. Two more to go, so here's hoping they will be OK.
Rain ! I wish we had some. Every thing is extremely dry here.

aims said...

Maybe you should just quit building them nice places Deborah. If they are going to snub their noses at all your hard work - well then!

Have never heard of drying eggs. How odd. Have you researched this?

Barbara Martin said...

Shunning their shelter sounds like the horses I had that lived outside with two nicely made shelters. The only time they used them was if the winter wind was blowing.

Please post about your egg drying, I would be interested to know how.

dND said...

HI Olive. I've heard from quite a few alpaca owners that they had a lot of problems last year, I certainly know that alpaca's aren't the breeze to look after that the sales blurb gives out. That said I do love mine and am hoping for a more successful year with them.