March Thaw, Freeze, Repeat ?

I am exploring a new site for my blog.  WordPress will allow me to have more than one page so I can show off my alpacas and shop offerings on the same site.  I would appreciate any feedback!  Currently the site is a work in progress and I hope to fill in missing pages in the coming months.  My previous blogs are still available at http://alpacasinthefield.blogspot.com/

March has provided us with a rollercoaster weather pattern.  Last week  with our unusually warm weather the alpacas  (and chickens) were enjoying the freedom to graze and forage in the pastures.  Our snow rapidly melted exposing brown grass and mud.  No mind, the critters were content!

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Dolores working hard.

The chickens are back to egg laying, with a vengeance.  They are averaging 3-4 eggs a day.  The only one not laying so far is Phobe.  She molted later in mid-Feburary and perhaps is still recuperating?  I’ve been feeding the chickens a mash of chicken crumbles mixed with water and warmed up in the microwave.  I started doing this because they weren’t interested in eating the new bag of chicken feed I had invested twenty something dollars in.  I couldn’t let it go to waste so I started this bad habit and now have created chicken mash eaters!

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Faith
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The chunky monkey, Sting Ray!

The crias are growing and will soon be weaned.  I’m thinking the end of this month or the first part of April.  Their fleece is gorgeous!  I have decisions to make and I’ve been wrestling with the best course of action.  I’ve requested a first part of May shearing date.  I have to decide if I want the babies to be sheared or just have a belly cut.  I’m considering showing the three of them come fall and don’t know if showing them “full-fleece” or sheared is the best choice.  I will have histograms done on each of the if I shear them.  A histogram will give me important data on the quality of their fiber.  A small section of their fleece (a 4″x 4″ sample) is sent off to a lab to be analyzed.  I have not had an opportunity so far to keep an alpaca in  full-fleece.  To see their fleece almost touching the ground is breath-taking, however, I worry that the summer heat will be hard on them in full-fleece.  To be determined.

With our snow melted and sunshine the alpacas have been stretching their legs, so to speak.  Daisy and Andraya took the blustery wind as encouragement to have a romp.

Finally another of our striking sunrises.  Looking forward to no new snow and the first day of spring!

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