Alpacas in the Summer

Like most of the U.S., we’ve had a warmer than usual summer at the farm.  So, how do the alpacas cope with the heat?

Cinnamon and Tequila in front of the fans

In general, they seem to prefer cooler weather, but they have some good strategies to deal with the hot weather.  Early mornings and late evenings are the times that you are most likely to find the alpacas grazing in the pasture and the crias running around and playing.  Once it starts to warm up, the alpacas head for a shady tree or into the barn where we have multiple fans set up to help them stay cool.  There you’ll find them chewing their cuds or munching on hay.

Fancy Girl and Trixter Sunbathing

Occasionally, though, they just can’t seem to resist absorbing some sun rays (and vitamin D) by sunbathing.  You will look out and find one or more alpacas sprawled out in varying degrees of modesty.  Most will lay on their sides as seen here in the picture of Trixter, who was joined by our dog Fancy Girl.  Occasionally, we get a funny alpaca who really gets into her or his sunbathing and wants to make sure that every inch of their belly is sunny side up.

I think the favorite way of almost every alpaca on the farm to cool off is to play in the hose.  Usually, turning on the water is enough to  draw a crowd.  In the pictures below, I went out to fill water buckets and spray down the alpacas.  Lance was the first to notice what I was up to, so managed to get the hose all to himself for awhile.  The others quickly figured out what was going one and ran over to get in on the fun.  Several of the alpacas enjoy drinking right out of the hose.  In general, the alpacas’ most successful strategy for dealing with the heat is having well-trained farm hands.

Lance running to play in the water

Lance enjoying the water

Everyone else comes running

Now we've got a crowd

A drink from the hose tastes great on a hot day

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