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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Hey Look or Hay Look

Getting the hay brought in, stacked and put away for the next year is a really great feeling. It’s kind of like putting money in the bank for any rancher. Ranchers know the importance of getting your hay load secured and put away. Having hay means security, it provides a comforting feeling even though it can be back breaking work – but all the while, worth it.

For alpaca ranchers, there is absolutely no difference. Our herd, albeit small, uses premium quality second cutting orchard grass hay from over the Cascades – where the climate is dryer and the protein content is higher than local valley hay. Testing shows it to be 14% protein which is good for alpacas. In addition to providing specialized alpaca pellets, this hay keeps our animals in good condition during the wet winter months.

Nutrition is key to good health, and we are fortunate to understand how critical it is. Jeff and I have many discussions (I’ll call them discussions for the sake of this blog) about proper feeding and adequate nutrition. Knowing this has paid off, our herd is very healthy and content.

I know our operation is small, compared to some very large farm – but – there is no difference is understanding nutrition if you are the steward of a handful of animals or hundreds. We are proud of our herd quality and in keeping health importance high on our list of priorities.

Many thanks to Drs. Jackie & Scott Waltner for delivering optimal health to our championship herd at Liberty Alpacas.