Monday 3 February 2014

Toffee Farm

The alpacas have been mainly indoors this winter because of the terrible wet weather here in the West Country but the last couple of days it has been possible to leave them out to get some exercise and enjoy the winter grass (not the best).  It also saves them from going stir crazy and getting grumpy with each other.

They are very keyed in to their daily feed now, and this afternoon I went into the barn casually for some reason, only to be  joined suddenly by galloping sheep and alpacas all hoping to get there first.  I had  the dogs out and they were rummaging in the straw in the barn and so the herd was quite surprised to come face to face with four collie dogs in their living quarters, so they all turned tail and galloped back out.

Of course the sheep, who are very careless and pushy, managed to knock down one of the hurdles, breaking the stabilising loop at the bottom in their haste.  Mike will have to weld it eventually but I expect we can manage with good old binder twine in the meantime!!

It did not put them off and later on when it looked as though promised gales and heavy rain were coming, I just called them and they gave a repeat performance.   This time there was food and no dogs were present.
The males in the adjacent field took the hint and rushed to their shelter and were calmly waiting for me to deliver their buckets and shut them in for the rest of the day.

Needless to say this photo was taken in the morning when the sun was out!!

The area around the goat house and the chicken house is just like toffee with my wellies nearly coming off at times.   Whenever Dolly, the dog, helps to round up the chickens or just comes into the area with me she gets absolutely smothered in mud.  Mike took pity on me and filled the tractor bucket with a load of scalpings to help cover the mud and it is now much better.  He also dug a small gully to try and take some of the excess water away.  It should help keep the eggs clean when the hens are not paddling around in mud and will certainly make it a lot easier for mucking out and feeding.   Dolly might miss her freezing cold daily shower, but I am sure she will get over it.

No comments: