Monday, February 8, 2010

winter shelters, roving and yarn, dogs,alpaca

Brrrr 20 degrees out this morning, there is a wind, so who knows what the wind chill is--we have about 1 inch of snow on the ground, and of course another cloudy day!

All the goats were in their huts when I went out to do chores--for you Arizona folks, who wonder what we do in the colder climates to keep our animals warm, I have attached a few pictures below.
We were told that all you need in Colorado is 3 sided shelters, but we don't think that is enough. The alpaca shelters we have added 4x8 sheets of plywood to close off the fronts and made doorways. For the goats we have the huts that we made, plus their 3 sided shed. For 4 goats we have 2 huts, we have them in the openings to the 3 sided shelter and they face the back wall. So the goats are out of the wind. Also we have a straw pack--about 1-2feet pack of straw in each hut. The reason for the straw is it keeps the girls off the ground, the manure and urine fall through the straw and the pack is warm due to the waste underneath. And it keeps them warm.
We also did this up in Minnesota, however, you need good ventilation as ammonia smell builds up and will cause respiratory problems with the animals. In a 3 sided, with much ventilation we don't have to worry about this. The goat, with their big barrel(ie gut with rumen) they need all the lung capacity they can get.

You can see the feeder we put as a divider in the 12x24 foot 3 sided shed. Goats can be bully's at times, this way the little girls can eat on the opposite side of the big girls, if trouble arises.
This is Roxie, as you can see she probably slept outside last night. She has a blanket of snow on her back, now if it stays below freezing and the sun does not come out, the snow will not melt off her back. Alpaca fiber is a great insulator, her body warmth will not melt the snow.

Dennis and I doing our evening perimeter walk with the dogs. Our dogs have free range of 7 acres and can come and go out of the alpaca pens at will--Lucky Dogs!!!

Note our neighbors horses at dusk, these are the draft horses.

This is some alpaca roving that I died with koolaide, a turquoise and orange color.And it is also shown after I spun it. This is the color of Arizona sky at best.
More later.......

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