Sunday 23 September 2012

Rainy day musings

! Autumn Gold has that light-bulb moment !
Yes, a hot air balloon went over and landed on the edge of the village a few nights ago, and the following night two balloons went by - there have been very few balloons around this year because of the weather, no doubt.

I've spent the day working out how much temporary fence we need for the little extra paddock, catching up on some much missed guitar playing, and satisfying the inner nerd with some statistics - yes, it's been raining.

I was curious as to how much poo an alpaca produces, and since our herd is of a modest size, I can clear all latrines in a session, so I weighed the bins as I emptied them. Making allowance for the tiny amount that the cria currently produce, and the small amount collected by hand each morning in the shelter, I can reveal that our adults have produced approximately 6kg each in the last week. I guess this might vary seasonally, and of course nursing mums may eat more than others, but there you have it, a statistic to use as you wish. You might also be interested to know, that I could collect it on one tank-full of petrol, with it running out with one 'deposit' to clear (0.32litres, 0.07gallons apparently).

That reminds me to mention some good service from Paul Helps - the suction hose had split, and so I requested a new one, but Paul suggested that at 18months old, the hose on a hand-pulled 'poover' shouldn't have failed, so he negotiated a replacement under guarantee. Thanks Paul

Captions on a postcard please...
I've also plotted the weight development of all of our cria on a graph, in order to compare Golden Delicious' slower growth,and hoped to include it, however, I haven't the skill to post it in this blog...


  1. I seem to remember a certain breeder once calling me a nerd for my obsession with weights and graphs...came from Somerset way if I remember correctly!

  2. I can honestly say, I haven't got time to be a nerd ! too busy counting roofing fixers ....Ive used 150 on the new bit !! ;0) haven't mamaged to start counting the ....little chocolate raisins deposited by the alpacas ....just yet !! maybe oneday...great photo opportunity ! ....Jayne

  3. Yep, I've done the graphs too...they're fascinating!

    We've been wondering about the type of poover you have...what do you reckon? We also thought of using the same supplier. Our questions are...does it suck up poo delivered into long wet grass?
    Stuff the dung beetles have begun to work on? Basically does it do as good a job as I do with bucket and scoop? (I try not to miss a single bean!!)

    1. I thought I did a good job with a trowel and scoop, but the poover is better - if you are tight for paddock space regarding numbers of animals, it's worth having to be as clean as possible. It works best when the grass is dry, and when it is shorter, though it does suck out of long grass, but just as with a scoop, it is harder work. We have a sloping field so it can be an effort to pull upwards, (I start at the top and work down) and is more awkward where it is uneven. Mine is the Trafalgar 50/35. I found once the herd was 5 in number it became necessary - it's not perfect, but I wouldn't be without it - don't fill the bucket or you can barely lift it!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Thanks for the info Dave...we have a dozen alpacas and I clear twice a day..I'm a little obsessive to say the least as, like you, we don't have acres of pasture like those folks up North do! I may be a little strange but I quite like poo twice daily meditation!! We're still umming and ahhing so thanks again for the info!

  6. Is a poover just another name for a 'dump' truck?........(Sorry!) Robbie