Monday, December 27, 2010

A Winter's Sunset

Our ranch name Sundown Alpaca Ranch, LLC was named by us because of the view from the Alpaca pens and pastures. We get to see spectacular sunsets year round while doing our evening chores. Here is one from yesterday that my husband took a picture with his phone, as I didn't have my digital camera with me.

We are very fortunate to be surrounded by mother nature's beauty.

Saturday, December 25, 2010


Gary and I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas.

Furio playing Santa Claus.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Yummy - It's Grain Time

I have been so busy getting ready for the holidays, that I haven't posted on the blog. I have been knitting last minute gifts, shopping, getting out last minute Xmas cards and attending Xmas parties.  While we are so busy with the holidays, we still have the Alpacas to take care of.  In the winter time we hay them, but we also give them (year round) a special grain formulated for the Alpacas. It provides them with the minerals and vitamins that they require.  If you have happy, healthy alpacas, they will produce a very nice fiber blanket. Yes, stress in the Alpacas can cause the fiber to "break" and the fiber to be shorter and coarser.  So we like to keep our Alpacas healthy.  Below are pictures of Gary graining the girls. You will notice in the pictures that they play follow the leader, especially in the snow.  They don't like to walk in the deep snow, so they follow the trail that has been broken in the snow by us.

The Girls greeting us at the gate

Fame loves to be first!

They follow Gary to the feeders.

Gary putting grain in the feeders.

Our male cria eating his grain.

We grain the girls, crias and yearlings twice a day.  The males we only grain once a day.  They all love their grain. After all it is Alpaca candy!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

It's a Blizzard Outside

Well, I hate to sound like a weather person giving a weather report everytime I write for the blog, but living this lifestyle is also about dealing with mother nature.  We are in the midst of a blizzard today and it is supposed to last until Monday morning.  We had to plow our way to the animals this morning to do the chores.
We have about 8 inches of new snow on the ground now, with more to come according to the weather report.  The alpacas were all in the shelters this am, except for Cyrano & Gizmo, as they were outside eating under the tree where we also put hay for the guys.

Here is Lou (the bad boy) who is still in time out. His temporary shelter is our horse trailer that we use for the alpacas.

And here is a picture of the girls with a few rumps full of snow.

And  the guys, waiting for us to bring them their hay.

As you can see the alpacas take the storm in stride. They stay nice and warm with their fiber. We provide them with shelter, food and water.  Life is good for the Alpacas.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Brrrr...It's cold outside, but the chores go on...

Well, it is snowing and 27 degrees outside, while the wind blows from the NW at 16 - 20 mph.  It's time to wear layers of clothes to keep warm, while doing the daily chores.  Today we finished moving animals around for the the winter weather. We have to heat all of the animal's water tanks to keep them from freezing, so we always do some moving of the alpacas, dogs and now goats.  We also have a very bad Alpaca named Lou. He has become aggressive with all of the other "boys", so we had to put him in time out. (his own pen temporarily).  The picture below is my husband Gary scooping Lou's "alpaca beans" into the tractor bucket.

We compost all of the alpaca beans, hay/straw and our household compost. So that means once a week I drive the tractor out to the compost piles and dump the bucket.

Yes that is me, all layered up in winter clothes to keep warm on the tractor. I'm wearing my "extreme alpaca ski mask" that I made from one of my cria's fleece to keep my face from freezing while riding the tractor. It is so soft and keeps me nice and warm.

And here is one of the compost piles that I just dumped the contents of the tractor bucket .  My husband works all of this into our garden in the spring time.

And here are some of the girls today, all toasty and comfortable. This is their type of weather and they love it. That is why they have all of that nice fiber to stay warm. I now know just how warm their fleece keeps them. I sometimes break out in a sweat wearing the ski mask that I made, while doing chores in the cold wind.