Thursday, 5 February 2009

They don't like snow.

We are still snowbound here in sunny south Wiltshire, we had a brief thaw yesterday which enabled me to get out and pick up a trailer load of hay but we have had more snow overnight and all is white once more.

Someone said to me the other day 'I expect the alpacas are used to it coming from the Andes'. After a seconds thought it dawned on me that actually most of them have never seen snow before. We have two imports amongst the herd, Judy (from Australia - not much snow there) and Dee who is from Chile. Other than that they are all born in the UK.

They are all behaving as if snow is an evil thing sent by nasty people from above to cause great pain. It seems that snow is seen by the mighty Patou herd as pretty damn dangerous. They avoid it like the plague.

As a result they avoid all contact with it. I haven't seen a single flake of it on any of the alpacas.

The field shelter is currently home to 20 alpacas. Lily, Lola and Amelie are firmly entrenched in their tent and the only way I can coax any of them out is with food.

The water trough which is at the bottom of the field (we are all at the top) is checked every day and ice cleared but there wasn't an alpaca footprint anywhere near it yesterday or the day before, or the day before that!

As a result we have started putting buckets of water out up here at the top and they all pile in as if they haven't drunk for days! They simply will not go down to the trough because they have to cross the great white evil plain of the white stuff to get there. It's ridiculous!

A rare photograph of an alpaca, the lovely Fifi, out in the snow.

Food is the only thing that draws them out, once consumed they all head back into the shed.

As for halter training, well it has been put back a little bit. I know the Futurity is racing towards us at breakneck speed and training will start soon with a vengeance but it's just impossible at the moment. They'll be ready when the time comes, I'll have words.


Zanzibah Alpacas said...

Sweet doubt !..we have lots of snow also !...but it is Scotland...after lot are no better , they refuse to go out ! need, all the food they need in the shed !....and they have traded their snow boots in for carpet slippers !!...Jayne

Amiryck said...

Ours aren't liking it much either....