Wet alpacas litter the place here at the moment, it has rained for the last 4 days and despite the odd dry patch the alpacas are pretty wet. It's warm though so Angus and I have been outside getting the herd into shape. We have decided that they didn't really run around much at all during winter and some were getting a little bit lazy. We have been feeding them throughout the winter and some of the girls are getting a trifle podgy. Time to act and sort out the general fitness level of the herd.
Angus drove down to the shed on his tractor as I gathered the girls in for a bit of a pep talk. I started off cautiously by saying that they were all doing very well and that we were looking forward to some lovely cria being born this summer. There was a general hum of approval as they all started nodding.
I asked them how they were enjoying the latest batch of hay and there was some enthusiastic reponses, it was going down well, nice hay, I was thanked for sourcing it and making it readily available.
I then decided to bite the bullet and we moved onto the fact that as the new spring grass was now coming through the hard feed rations would need to be cut back.
There was a sharp communal intake of breath and some general murmuring started at the back. The mood of the herd had now changed somewhat. I noted a general feeling of disatisfaction. Angus and I stood firm and waited for the herd to settle down once more. Angus sat on his tractor motionless, arms crossed with a stern look on his face whilst I snapped a photograph.
The girls moved closer and eventually calmed down. Fitness levels were then discussed and quite a vigorous and lengthy argument broke out. Bobby protested that she was due 'any day now' and couldn't possibly be expected to run anywhere. Fifi marched to the front of the group and stared at me whilst grinding her teeth in a very sinister manner. There was a general tutting and a few under the breath spits. We were getting nowhere as negotiations faltered and then ground to a halt.
A compromise was needed. I suggested that if they upped their excercise regime a tad we could discuss the food rationing. Backwards and forwards the argument went. On their side Priscilla fronted up stating that basically they wanted to do very little excercise and actually increase the hard food levels. I was arguing for a decrease in rations and a minimum of six laps of the field a day. There was uproar, six was not going to do it. They suggested one lap, I countered with five and we eventually settled on two. They refused to discuss anything higher than two and they only had to run the first one. Ridiculous.
Anyway with the promise of breakfast when the got back, off they went.