A year apart
13 December 2011 – It has been a year now since the “big boys”- Acer and Alder - were moved out of the barn area to their field shelter and separate pastures. I was unsure as to how this was going to work out. Many people will tell me that their alpacas always sleep outside but my alpacas have always preferred to settle into their barn stalls for the night. We have 4 stalls - one for our horse and 3 for the alpacas and I think they derive some sense of comfort and security being close to each other at night. I wasn't sure how Acer and Alder would do, being separated from the main herd.
They were moved out and up the hill to a small field shelter – actually an 8 x 8 storage shed. They can see the barn but are no longer a part of the activity there. I prepared for any possible weather extremes by purchasing sufficient light livestock panels to set up a stall in the barn where they could be brought in and put under the fans during periods of excessive heat or sheltered from the wind in case of a blizzard.
I am pleased to say that not only did the big boys adjust well to their new area, but I did not need to move them into the barn at all during the past year. They seem to be very content – they have their little hut for shelter and appear to spend most nights sleeping inside.
They have plenty of room to run---
Plenty of shade in summer---
Shelter from the blowing snow in winter---
The reason for moving the big boys out was to make room in the barn for my male weanling Cosmos who has not been quite as happy this past year. He seems to have never “gotten over” his abrupt weaning by his mom Barbi and he seems to miss his cria mates Calla and Cynara.
This is how Cosmos spends his “spare time”. He is always hanging out at the gate to his stall, looking across the center aisle at the girls. The girls pretty much ignore him. They are allowed to roam through the barn while I do my AM chores and they pay scant attention to Cosmos as they walk by his stall.
I am pleased that this past year has gone well for Acer and Alder and now, as we head into winter, I will be more relaxed about the big boys as they appear to be quite happy with their little hut, their pastures, and their daily routine.