"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

Friday, 10 January 2014

Eager suitor- part 1

My apologies for the delay in replying to all your comments on my previous posting - things have been a tad hectic here.
Very unseasonal rain has filled up our dam again.
Firstly, from roughly 1.30p.m. on Monday, 6th up to 9.00a.m. Thursday 9th, we had the heavens open.
The alpaca paddocks were underwater...

125mm of very unseasonal, but nonetheless very welcome rain fell, drenching everything.    There was water, water everywhere.  Including the alpaca paddocks.  And that created a huge problem.  But, looking on the positive side - thank goodness the heavy rain fell now, and not during the icy cold of winter (which should be in May / June-ish), for it highlighted the area's which needed urgent attention, and rectifying those when you have to cope with nasty weather at the same time would not have been pleasant.
In the centre of the photo there is a smaller
silver and a green shadecloth roof visible.  That is
the shade pergola we made for Kris, and is
right next to the main gate through which we
access his paddock.
Can you see the two of them?
I mentioned in my first posting of this year that Kris had been misbehaving. Amourous advances from a male alpaca when the female is already en ciente are not welcome - under any circumstances!  Unless the male is keen on having those powerful female hind legs curl up prior to smashing him in the face.  (It would have been a bit of an amourous kick in the face so to speak - and given that he's got roughly 45 minutes once a year, I think he derserves to be in a prime state physically LOL)

Alpaca's have incredibly powerful kicks - in fact their legs are even stronger than we suspected, as RMan found out when it came time to lead Kris to his separate paddock.  Kris' legs locked in, the hind ones spreadeagling to provide more resistance, which meant that RMan had to literally drag him roughly 40 meters!  And injured his achilles tendon in the process.  Since Kris moved to the other paddock he has been whinging (humming) constantly at the gate through which he entered his paddock - pining for Miranda.

Miranda, being a typical female - warm-hearted, caring, and above all else the mothering sort - deserted her waterproof pergola in order to join Kris at the dividing fence in order to provide him with support and consolation. Which meant that she was out in that heavy rain.

As you can see from the photo above, the new area which Kris (and thus Miranda) now frequent is slap bang in the path of the gravity driven ground water runoff.
A close-up of the two of them - poor, sodden,
miserable looking, shorn alpaca's - huddled
together for emotional support and
And when I went out to check them at 6.30a.m. both of them were cushing in a puddle which was ankle deep to me.  But, sopping wet doesn't even begin to describe her state.   I swear I saw both Miranda and Kris shivering.  I put that down to the loss of their magnificent fleece.

RMan and I couldn't, in all fairness, enjoy the cosiness of our weatherproof brick structure, whilst our alpaca's are shivering and miserable outside.  

Especially, when you add the icy winds of winter.  Do you where this is heading...
We have never seen that many waterfalls falling
down the mountainsides.  The noise of the wateralls
could be heard from our smallholding - roughly
12kms from the mountains - and that is a first
for us!
But, before I tell you what solution we came up with, here are a couple of photo's of the aftermath of the storm.
The grass is not as long here, and you can
see how sodden the ground is.  It is literally
oozing out of the ground.
There is a marking on the rainwater guage
which states that 1mm of rain = 1 litre of rain
per mtr2.
We had 125mm in 3 days, so that
equates to 125 ltrs / mtr2
Our rainwater tanks are all overflowing again...

Which begs the question - can one ever have too much rain water storage?


Quinn said...

I found that my goats will do the same thing - if the herd is divided for some reason, they will forego shelter only feet away in order to keep each other company on opposite sides of a fence. When I realized they were doing this in heavy rain - NOT healthy for goats to be in rain or wind - I had to go out and move them for that night, and the next day go out and reorganize the shelters and dividing fences (again). It's a learning experience, livestock!

Harry Flashman said...

Taking care of animals can be really hard. Sometimes it seems like they are willfully trying to make things hard on themselves. I built this palatial straw bale house for my two big outdoor dogs. It would fit six dogs easily. But whoever is in there tries to keep the other one out, and I have to go get them by the scruff of the neck and make them share.

Dani said...

Quinn - It sounds like goats and alpaca's have similar needs / requirements. Yeah - and RMan and I aren't exactly spring chickens anymore, so the learning experience is... "interesting" LOL

Dani said...

Harry - Yeah, I have a feeling that perhaps we (ahem RMan) may have to strong arm the alpaca's in winter - they're not exactly following our bidding / understanding what we are trying to assist them with.