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Carolina Pride Pastures, LLC

Fun...Fiber...Family It's What We Do!!!

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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Long Winter

It has been a long winter for us in the South we were are not use to this cold wind, snow, sleet, and freezing rain. Our pastures are not enough for the pregnant girls. They are eating more hay than ever. Ready for the green pastures of Spring.

As a new alpaca farmer, I have learned a few things quickly over this long winter. First, do your research and be prepared before the weather comes. I have found that AlpacaNations website and community forum is excellent for advice and tips.

Secondly, water is key. Since we don't get freezing weather for days on end normally, so we initially did not buy heated buckets. Before the first cold snap, my husband bought us one. It has been a great investment. For about a week, the only bucket that would stay thawed was that one. I would boil water in the morning to thaw the buckets but by evening, they had frozen again. The girls were using the heated bucket almost solely. I was refilling some times twice a day. The dog liked it too!!!

Another key element with water is temperature. It is cold so you would assume the girls would drink less. In fact, they drink as much on a super cold day as they would on a super hot day. If you want keep health alpacas in the winter, keep water available. The key is the water needs to be between 50 degrees and 80 degrees. I observed their liking of lukewarm water first hand. I had one bucket that was thawed by the sun. I had another bucket that I had thawed with boiling hot water. That bucket was emptied first.

Extra hay is not going to hurt them on cold days. I have found that giving them a little extra before the super cold weather comes helps in their ability to stay warm. They may not eat it all but use the extra as bedding. Sure it makes for a messy barn but Spring will arrive soon.

If you want, to invest in some bedding straw, that is great. Our barn floor is red clay. It gets cold if the sun does not hit it. A cold floor makes a cold alpaca. Leftover hay or bedding straw is a great item to have down to prevent a chilly animal.

Finally, our biggest battle is the wind. I was so worried about the cold temperatures that I did a lot of research on the weather. The biggest thing I found is an adult alpaca can hand the cold temperature as long as the wind is not screaming. Their fleece is at almost full blanket so they are very warm. If the wind is blowing, the cold weather can penetrate the blanket and make them cold. A shivering alpaca is not good!! Get an old sweater on them ASAP. We have wrapped our open area of the barn with plastic so that when we put the girls up at night, the wind is off of them. A cheap solution to a dangerous issue.

Spring is coming soon Thank God! We have a filled ready for planting and are starting to see a little green in the pasture. The crias are due April 30th. Watch our website for updates and pictures!!!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Herd Health Day!

After terrible cold and then rain this past week, it was a beautiful Sunday! The warm sun was a welcome for our herd health day. Weights and body scores were taken. A shot of Ivermicin was given and toes were trimmed. Fecals were taken as well. The barn was cleaned just in time for the girls to come in and dust to dirt it again!!

As we enter the last trimester of their pregnancies, we have started Dr. Evans fiber supplement. I will be getting our calendar ready for boosters prior to birth. The next few months will be busy but we are awaiting the birth of 4 health and fiber rich crias!!!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Certified SC!!!

Working on getting our Certified South Carolina membership completed. First step complete (paperwork)! Now awaiting final approval! So far an easy process and it means a lot to the consumers of the state!

Friday, December 20, 2013

First sale!!!

We did it!!! We made our first sale today! We sold an alpaca tea bag!!! Ok, not a huge sale but in business, a sale is a sale. We did get some good feedback on some changes to our marketing ideas.

We will be completing our Certified SC application this week. We have several peach, apple, and pear trees planted on the property so we are adding that to our application. Our goal is to have a small farm store that offers seasonal fruits and veggies as well as our alpaca products which will be available year round.

And doing some research, found another use of alpaca fleece.....dryer balls. Those will be available in our store very soon!!!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

My first injury!!!

The first of the month, we do herd health. Herd health for us consists of a shot of ivermectin, checking weight, toenail clipping, and general look over. During the check of Katherine, I noticed one of the pads on her foot was swollen. The other pad on the same foot was not swollen. There seemed to be a cut or tear between the two pads. There did not appear to be anything in it or puss. I noticed her hopping on that foot once she stood about a week after she arrived but she would stop after a few minutes and walk normally. I didn't think to check it then. Hindsight 20/20, right. I cleaned it with betadine.

I have been using betadine and blue kote for about a week now. The swelling is half what it was!! I can now see a much longer cut, about 2 inches. I still don't see anything in it but with the swelling going down, I am feeling better!!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Getting ready for open house!

Spent the afternoon getting prepared for the open house next Saturday (12/14/13). Every time I go in the barn, it seems all five girls come running!!! While I clean their stall up, they love to dust. Dusting in the open is fun to watch. Dusting in a half enclosed barn, not so fun! DUSTY!!! And they all love to try to dust at the same time. Large, pregnant bellies and hooves going everywhere. Needless to say, the barn table is red clay colored...again.

Katherine has a new habit. She likes to knock over the water buckets if I don't change them out first thing in the morning. I will be visiting Tractor Supply to get some hooks for the buckets. More on the list of things to do!!

Next on the list, craft kit and tea bag making. If you are a regular reader, hope you can visit with us on the 14th!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

They have arrived!

It was exciting day yesterday! The five girls arrived. It was like having your first newborn again last night. I cannot lie....I checked on them twice during the night. I am sure the worries will settle over the next few days!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Arrival draws close!!

Our 5 pregnant females arrive Friday!!! We are ready. The fence is complete and the barn is ready for the females. Still working on the final touches of everything but we are ready.

We are scheduling a Welcome party for the girls on December 14th. Hope everyone can join us.