Winter seems endless this year... We've had tons of snow and some very cold weather. The alpaca have spent a lot of time in the barn, staying out of the extreme weather. If the sun is shining and the wind isn't blowing they will venture out, especially the younger ones. It's fun to watch them play in the snow. But they don't like the cold wind at all. We can sure relate to that!
We watch for signs like shivering, and if one is having a hard time we put a coat on her. We found some great dog coats in all sizes at a good price. They attach with velcro, which makes it much easier to get on and off. The two babies that were born in November and December spent much of the winter coated, until they gained enough weight. Both are doing fine now without coats. We also had some brooder lights installed above a couple of pens in the barn and that helps take the edge off the really cold days and nights.
Even though we have automatic heated waterers, when the snow got too deep or drifted over it was hard for the alpaca to get out to the water. So we used buckets of hot water in the barn. They love drinking the hot water when it's cold out! We were very grateful that we had a small hot water heater installed in the office/vet room in the girls' barn. We still had to haul hot water to the boys' barn a couple of days in the midst of the heavy drifting and then climb over the fence with it to get it to the barn, but....what great exercise!
There is green coming up from the ground now, and that is a hopeful sign. It's covered with snow again, but we know it's there!
Here are some photos from a recent outdoor play time, before the last snow!