Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Helping the alpacas beat the summer heat!

Alpacas tolerate the cold temperatures much better than the heat so when temps are soaring along with the humidity we take extra measures to keep them as cool as possible. One of the first things we do is to be sure all of our alpacas have been shorn, their fiber is extremely insulating and would cause an alpaca to over heat very quickly. If you have ever worn alpaca socks you would understand why it is so important that all animals are shorn before the dog days of summer take hold. We also run fans in the barn to help circulate the air and be sure the barn floor is clean of hay as hay acts as an insulator. It is a must that they have access to shade and are not forced to stay in the beating sun. When we clear woodland for pastures we always saved some of the bigger trees so there would always be shade available. Lastly and the most favorite is to give belly hoses. Alpacas love the water and when it is extremely hot they come running to get their turn in front of the hose. When doing belly hosing it is important not to wet the top of the backs as the sun will create steam and this will make the alpaca much warmer. We only wet their undersides which they truly love.
Keep cool everyone!!

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