"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 27 January 2014

In the heat of the day

Yup, we're in the midst of the hottest time of year here.  January, February and March are v-e-r-y warm in our area.  My poor gem squash, butternut and pumpkins are taking strain...

Last week, the temperature hit 36oC in the shade.
According to the pool thermometer
which I have hanging outside the kitchen
door it was 36oC in the shade
As this is the first summer that we have had to care for alpaca's we have been concerned as to how they would handle the heat.  They are of the camelid family, but, unlike their northern african relatives in the Sahara Desert, they originate from the much cooler, higher ground of the Andes Mountains in South America.

RMan, in particular, has been constantly checking on them through the worst of the hot weather.  (Have I told you that he is besotted with them...?)

Thankfully, both Miranda and Kris have realised what those two funny "buildings" are that they both have access to.  They are not only there to offer them protection from the rain (which they still have to realise) but they are an excellent source of shade LOL

Even with their IBR (galvanised) roof sheeting.
As you can see, the gaps in the walls make the
stable pretty "airy" - that'll still be good for
winter, as they will have their new fleece to keep
them warm, whilst the walls and roof will keep
them out of the rain and dry.
Due to the "airiness" of the wall structure (a.k.a. the gaps between the wooden slats which make up the walls), a good draft flows through them - so cushing down inside ensures that they are out of the sun, and that there is a cool breeze to assist with their comfort level.

But, last week in particular, RMan felt sorry for them.

I reckon it's a case of RMan's maternal instincts coming to the fore...? <grin>
RMan to the rescue...
So, he pulled out the hosepipe and proceeded to give them a sprinkler session.  Spraying them with water on their backs, especially when their fleece is long and thick, makes their heat discomfort worse, as the heat gets trapped under the wet layer of fleece on top.
I think she's telling Kris on the other side of
the fence that he'll have to wait his turn...?
Miranda literally came running out of her stable at the sound of the water.
"More ,I want more..."
Okay, then I'll just cush in / on it...
She promptly stood over the spraying water and allowed it to cool her down. We had been told that their tummies act as their radiators, so thoroughly wetting their tummies cools them down. 
"Ah, heaven!!"
Poor Kris - he had to wait 10 minutes for
his turn. He won't cush in it, but he loves to have
his lower chest and tummy soaked by the
hosepipe in RMan's hand...
But, not being satisfied with that, she then lay down right on top of the sprinkler.

Poor thing.

10 minutes sorted her out, and then it was Kris' turn.

How do cows (especially the black ones), sheep and goats handle the heat, I wonder?  There are certainly too many in the average herd to give them individual sprinklers to cool off in... LOL


  1. Oh we are having 30 something degree here in Dar es Salaam. I always wonder the same question too, but all the sheep, goat, cow and chickens seem fine.

    1. nihal - Welcome - and thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

      I am amazed at the animal owners here to place their animals on vacant land that has no water available for them. How on earth do they survive?

    2. the flocks and herds around us always have access to water. A tiny perennial stream, a farm dam, or a trough from the borehole or a water tank. Busily felling the invasive Eucalyptus trees, which is sad as there's no shade for animals. Perhaps one day they'll encourage the renosterveld bossies - which would provide light shade, and something to eat.

    3. Diana - I WISH we lived in an areathatt has access to "lei water" - that would solve a lot of problems!

      I feel for those animals in fields with no water nor shade on our hot days - how on earth do they cope?

  2. Ooo I feel for you guys as we are experiencing the same thing here. I am so glad that you guys love your animals so much.

    1. African Bliss - Love our animals?! You have no idea...

      Stay tuned LOLOLOL

  3. I like those Alpacas. Sometimes I confuse them with Lama's though.

    1. Harry - They are very cool :)

      The difference between alpaca's and lama's is basically the size of their ears and their fur. Also, lama's are bred for their strength and alpacas are bred for their fur.

  4. Your man is kindhearted as are you. Would planting a tree near their crib help? Or do they chew the bark?

    1. lotta joy - RMan says thank you :)

      Nope - alpacas eat the leaves of trees - so any trees near them have to have a protective shadecloth barrier...

  5. Whew, poor things. Very clever about the water spray. When I bought my llama I was recommended to get a kiddy wading pool and fill it with water. I know alpaca breeders in Florida keep huge fans in the barns. Extremes aren't happy for anybody, are they?

    1. Leigh - We tried provide them with a plastic lined paddling pool, but the water became too hot from the sun, and we don't have a shady spot to relocate it to.

      They seem happy most of the time - but, given their origins, we are concerned for them when the temp is over 30 - 32oC


Thank you for taking the time to comment - it makes my day and removes the "loneliness' of sitting at my screen blogging supposedly to myself ;) I try and reply as quickly as possible so please forgive me if sometimes my response is delayed.