Friday, June 17, 2011

Yes, it's hot enough for me, thank you

It's hot in Texas.  Very hot.  Excruciatingly hot for the past few weeks.  The heat index is around 105.  A month ago we were complaining about the constant wind.  Now we hope for the wind to cool it down a bit.

Everything in the books say that alpacas can withstand the heat up to a heat index of 120.   All of our new animals were shorn the first weekend in June, just after the heat wave started.  A few days after shearing, Lightening, one of our new grey boys was spending a lot of time just laying flat out in the sun.  We have shady areas where most of the animals took cover, but Lightening insisted on sunbathing.  His respiration was rapid and shallow.  He was on his way to heatstroke.   I had to go out every couple of hours and get him up and moving and get him cooled down.  I truly thought we might lose him, but he survived.

An alpaca's cooling system is on the surface of their belly, armpits and groin area.  Chet put a sprinkler in the pasture so they can cool themselves as needed.

Nothing like playing in the sprinkler on a hot day.  Lightening is front and center!

On the other side of the fence, mamas and babies come to get cooled off with a belly squirt from the hose. 

Mama Stephanie and baby girl.

And once they get their bellies wet, they cush to keep the cooling effect as long as possible.

A little boy in the dirt, imagine that!

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