"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Saturday 26 October 2013

Wet, but well fed... :)

This pic was taken 2 minutes ago and shows the
waterfalls cascading down the Langeberg Mountains
12 kms to the north of us
We had an absolute downpour last weekend (40mm), and then more rain yesterday and today (25mm) - they are probably the last of the heavy falls for this year. It topped up the dam beautifully though - oh, and the bentonite that RMan lined the dam with, is working a treat, as the dam is holding water far better, and for longer, than it has done in the past.
This pic shows two waterfalls (in the centre
between the two trees)
- these are roughly 25 - 30 kms to
the north east just above the
local town
Our rainwater barrels are all overflowing - that'll help us during the forthcoming heat of summer.
Silly girl - she got soaking wet.
And then she went under the
shelter... <sigh>
Miranda and Kris are determined not to take advantage of the magnificent stables that RMan built for them.  Perhaps that is just as well in this instance - the rain was so "solid" that I'm sure that the noise of it falling on the IBR (galvanised corrugated roofing) would have spooked the two of them.  Perhaps we can sort that out by placing a layer of shadecloth on top of the roof.  It will also help to keep it cooler in summer...

But, there is nothing sadder looking than a soaking wet alpaca.  My heart ached for Miranda - her coat is so much thinner than Kris' as all her nutrition is going to her cria.
Kris has such a thick coat on him
that I doubt the rain has a
chance to penetrate.  He looks
hysterical, though, with his
fringe plastered flat on his
 I feel that she is lonely, pining, cold, wet and miserable...
Miranda - soaked through...
  The recycled containers, (which were
thoroughly cleaned) from our eco-friendly paint
make perfect water containers :)
At least that is what she looks like...

We have discovered the cost of animal feed - the alpaca's eat a portion of 12% maintenance meal (lucerne pellets, tiny chopped grass / seeds, and crushed corn) twice a day, as well as lucerne and "long grass".

With that in mind, a local farmer friend popped passed a couple of weeks ago and said that he was going to be harvesting in a few weeks time.  When we enquired if we would be able to purchase bales from him, he was more than happy to oblige.

So, when we were running low, we gave him a call.  He gave us directions and off RMan toddled with the trailer...
We never suspect just how useful the trailer (that
we purchased for nothing) would become LOL
RMan managed to fit two bales into the trailer - the second one was perched rather precariously on the end of the trailer, but it made it safely home :)
All hands on deck to move the
bale - it weighed 180kgs
He also discovered that, inadvertently, he had made the alpaca pergola a perfect size - the bales fitted through it as though it was made for that purpose.
What is this...?
No sooner was the one bale in the first paddock than the curious alpaca's couldn't hep themselves - they had to investigate what this "foreign" object in their paddock was. 
RMan, Wayne and John rolling the 2nd bale to
Kris' future paddock
 RMan, Wayne and John placed the 2nd bale in the 2nd paddock...
This pic to give you a perspective on the two
paddocks - the 2nd one - Kris' future home -
is behind the shadecloth protected trees in
the background
... well, Kris will have to move there shortly.
Gotcha!  Guess they finally couldn't resist sampling
the meal on offer.
Yum, yum :)
Four hours later the two were spotted helping themselves to what had just been placed in the pantry.

And the birds are loving having the alpaca's around - nothing nicer than swiping the odd seed here and there from the bales.  A stocked pantry for them too :)

Life is good :)


  1. The Alpaca's are adorable! They must bring quite a few chuckles into your home. You should try barley fodder for them. This guy feeds his Aplacas, have a look at his link: http://pacapride.wordpress.com/2012/04/05/from-seed-to-feed-in-8-days-barley-fodder-sprouting-trials/ Hope this helps with your feed in the winter months. Have a great week! Love the posts.

    1. Lawrie - Thank you SO much for the link - fascinating and one that I will definitely be trying. In view of the fact that Miranda is not grazing that much, I reckon that I am actually going to try and grow some for her now to give her a "boost".

      Kris - he never stops eating... OL

  2. You really have found the perfect spot! I just love the pics of those big beautiful skies and the fluffy clouds. Perfect!

    1. Sue - LOL I didn't see the fluffy clouds - ony the alpaca's... ;)

  3. Wow, to have waterfalls to behold from you backyard, how lucky for you. You have a fabulous piece of property! Plus, those alpacas are pretty darn cute too.

    1. DFW - The waterfalls are only visible after a heavy shower - but they (all) are very special, aren't they :)

  4. Hi Dani, Love the alpacas. It looks like you finally have time to be doing the fun stuff!

    1. Linda - There's always time for "fun stuff" :) I'm aways mindful of "all work, and no play..."

      They are gorgeous, aren't they :)

  5. Alpacas are kind of fascinating creatures. You must be really enjoying having them around.

    1. Moonwaves - They are the first thing we both check in the morning, and the last thing we look at at night - I think we're besotted... :)

      All we've had in the past is a few dogs, and cats! But, alpaca's are such incredibly elegant, inquisitive, fascinating animals - I can highly recommend them to anyone who is thinking about the possibility of acquiring one, or two, or three... LOL

  6. Dani, how will you keep those 2 bales dry from the next rain? Wouldn't wet make the hay moulder? Glad you are getting such good use out of that trailer! Look at all the projects it's helped you complete. Glad to see the alpacas are acclimating. Stay dry. :-D

    1. Kris - We won't have much more rain here - normally the heavy showers end in October. All the bales here are eft in the open - they have jsut been harvested, and the heat of summer should dry them out in no time!

      Yeah - I have NO idea where we'd be now if we hadn't purchased the 2nd hand trailer! It's been a god send!

  7. Your place sure is beautiful. Every time I come by this blog I think how nice it would be to live out there.

    The bales you have are just like the ones they do here. Unfortunately, most of the hay here is just left to rot in the field because there's no market for it.

    1. Harry - As with all things there are huge positives, but also negatives to living in SA ;) But, thank you for the compliments :)

      The cost of those bales here is high, and, as an added con, most farmers are now growing canola, as the return is far greater on that than any other crop...

  8. Your paddock looks fantastic. So do your alpacas. :) I can't tell from the photos, but hopefully you're leaving the bales on their sides(?)

    1. Leigh - Thanks :)

      Yeah, the bales were originaly upright, but were turned onto their side the next morning :)

  9. Your alluring Rietkuil stories make me homesick, and I don't even live there yet - hurry on 2014! Good luck with your Alpacas, they look like interesting animals - can you milk them? ;-)

    1. Rogan - It's not long until you relocate :)

      Nope - ony harvest the wool off them - softer, warmer and more insulating than lambswool - it's amazing!


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