"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

Monday, 2 December 2013

Beating the heat...

We've already had some pretty warm days in the early to mid-30's - even thought the heat only really hits us in mid-January to mid-April.

But, it has been hot enough to make us concerned that the alpaca's may be getting too warm, because they still have their winter coats - and that can't be pleasant.  It's a bit of a mission to get them sheared - until we find a shearer who is prepared to travel to our smallholding, we have to borrow a horsebox from our electrician in town in order to transport them to the shearer at Helderstroom Alpaca's - roughly 170kms one way.

I've read that some alpaca's like to take a dip, but, as we have them booked for shearing on Wednesday, we didn't want to lead them to the (dam) water to cool off.

So, RMan made a plan.
"Oh, yes - I like that.  I like that a lot..."
He pulled out the hosepipe...
"...So much so, that I think I'll just cush right next
to it."
... attached our old impulse sprinkler, connected the hosepipe to the nearest rain water tank, flipped on the water pump, and gave them a shower.

Alpaca's are very curious, inquisitive animals.  As soon as something out of the ordinary happens, they have to take a look - whether it's happening inside their paddock, or outside.  So, their toddling up to the sprinkler was a given. And standing in front of it ensures that a soaking occurs :)
Then we put the spray sprinkler on - but Miranda
promptly sat right on top of it.  That won't help!
Bless her - Miranda so enjoyed the wetting that she promptly cushed right next to the spinkler.  But, naturally, the sprinkler only got her upper body...
Clever girl - once she had her under belly wet,
she stood up and allowed the sides to get
a soaking.
As the old sprinkler wasn't turning - it was rusted up - poor Kris didn't get an eye in...
"Might as well catch a meal whilst I'm getting a soaking"
So, RMan removed the sprinkler, and did it by hand.
Now that is what I call a proper wetting!
We purchased a new sprinkler head, and today, Kris got there first, and had a private shower - all to himself.
Kris - having his (mid) morning shower LOL
In order not to completely waste the rain water, RMan is going to plant some fodder seeds - that way, as they get a cooling off, the seeds will get watered at the same time :)

And, hopefully, once they're sheared, they won't feel the heat quite so hectically.

Stay tuned for a before and after photo... :)


Quinn said...

I'm enjoying your adventures with the pacas! Hope the shearing goes smoothly.

African Bliss said...

Ver y cute Dani

Harry Flashman said...

Funny, you are wetting down your animals there to keep them cool, and I'm putting extra straw bales on my animals houses to keep them warm. I think yours are having much more fun at the moment.

Dani said...

Quinn - So do we. We have to be at the shearers by 8.00a.m. so that means getting up at 4.30a.m., catching the two, getting them into the horsebox we've borrowed, and finding the alpaca farm in an area we've never been before...

Wish us luck...! ;)

Dani said...

AB - They are, aren't they :)

Dani said...

Harry - LOL - yeah, different seasons have different requirements in far flung places in the world.

I agree - farm chores are definitely more fun in summer :)

dreamer said...

Happy alapacas, they look like they are having a great time with the sprinkler.I wouldn't like to be in that heat with a big woolly coat on :)

Leigh said...

I love your alpacas! When we visited an alpaca ranch in Florida, the gal had huge fans set up for them. They would line up to catch a breeze! Then when I bought my llama, they suggested keeping a kiddie wading pool filled with water nearby. Apparently llamas, at least, will lay down in it for a cooling spell!

And thank you for your congratulations on my new book. I'm beyond excited as you can imagine. Please do drop by to see the official "announcement' and do consider entering my giveaway. It's open to all the world!

Dani said...

dreamer - My thoughts exactly :)

Dani said...

Leigh - Yeah, I reckon in those few weeks before they are shorn they must get incredibly hot.

S'funny you should mention the paddling pool. When we arrived at the shearing farm today, there was one of their alpaca's cushing down in a shallow indentation of water. I spoke to the shearers, and they said that a shallow trough is a good idea, especially for the warmer months... ;)

Leigh said...

I just wanted to say thank you for your kind words about my new book! That means a lot to me. I know you can relate to all the work that goes into it.