We're Farmers Now!

On Tuesday we got our first alpacas, Oak and Chris. Now we have stock, I guess we really are farmers! Pictures will come, as soon as we get them downloaded.

We have them in the dog-run for now, as it makes a nice little enclosure where they cat eat, chill out, and get used to us. This weekend we will probably move them up to the Gallop paddock, where they will have lots of room to romp, explore, and feast on various grasses until they are nice and plump. Some time after Christmas we will get Pointer, our third. He is currently in detox for Ryegrass staggers.

Woo!

2 thoughts on “We're Farmers Now!

  1. name mom says:

    comment
    What is Ryegrass staggers? Like drunk maybe?

  2. Tam says:

    One of the main pasture grasses is ryegrass, which has been deliberately infected with this”epiphyte” stuff that protects the grass from a kind of weevil that would eat the roots and kill the pasture.

    Only the epiphyte can cause neurological damage in the livestock that eats it along with the grass. Alpaca are apparently slightly more sensitive to it than other kinds of livestock.

    Symptoms of poisoning include wobbly heads, poor balance and coordination, and if it gets bad enough, staggering around like a drunk. Unfortunately, it can kill the animal if it gets too bad. Fortunately, it clears up if you feed them on other things (usually hay made of other types of grass) until the toxin gets out of their system.

    Some things that help:

    1) the epiphyte usually stays around the bottom of the grass, so it only gets eaten if the pasture is being grazed really short *or* if a lot of rain makes the grass grow really fast.

    2) We’ve got ryegrass, but we’ve got a lot of other grasses and herbs and things, too, so hopefully Pointer won’t eat enough of the stuff to get sick on our place.

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