Elaine Clarke – 26th July 2021

21 July 2021     British Alpaca Society     BAS Board

The last few weeks have been wall to wall sunshine…a very welcome treat and something that we don’t frequently experience in Northern Ireland!

That being said, it has caused a shift in the day-to-day happenings on the farm. With midday temperatures soaring, we’ve been splitting the daily chores between the very early morning and late evening, in order to avoid the hottest part of the day.

Matings in particular have had to be scheduled for the very coolest part of the day as has my ‘daily dance’ with the poover! Although, with the drying heat of the sun, the paddocks are proving much easier to clean.

Whilst the persistent sunny weather receives no complaints from me, it does give us a timely reminder of the importance of making sure we make adequate provisions for the alpacas. Whether it be natural, or man-made, access to shade is imperative during periods of prolonged heat and sun, as is access to fresh, cool water. In many cases people also provide a sprinkler or shallow pool for their animals to cool their extremities in, I know our alpacas thoroughly enjoy the opportunity of a good cooling down.

With last year’s hay resources pretty much depleted, this spell of good weather has also allowed us to get plenty of hay in the barn. As a farmer’s daughter, I must confess that we are never short of a good bale or two, but it is always a relief to get it cut, baled and housed without it seeing as much as a drop of rain.

As we wait for the remainder of our cria to arrive and progress with our matings, we begin the annual process of ‘looking forward’ in anticipation to next year’s births, whilst continuing to appreciate and enjoy this year’s crop, as they continue to develop and grow.

Like me, I hope that you’ve enjoyed the good weather and that you’ve all, “made hay whilst the sun shines!”