Wednesday 10th August 2016
Pellets and Poo!
Saturn is slowly starting to look a little less skinny and she can certainly pack her food away (watched here somewhat enviously by Jupiter). We try to give her a few alpaca pellets each day so that all the energy she is putting into feeding Mercury is replaced. Nursing mammals can get VERY thin as it can be hard for them to get enough food when they are giving so much milk. The problem with mammals such as alpacas is that their incredibly thick fleeces can often hide how thin they are.
Saturn was sheared quite recently and so her thinness (determined by looking at and feeling along her spine, ribs and back end) was fairly obvious. Nigel (her previous owner) was feeding her as we are, but until Mercury started to eat grass she was ONLY taking milk from mum and that was hard work for Saturn. Crias drink from mum for several months but also start to eat grass after a couple of weeks and certainly we often see Mercury happily grazing with the others.
As well as looking at the animals’ weight, looking at their poo is of course a good way to see if all is well with digestion etc. All our four legged stock should have individual pellet-ed poo, sloppy cow pats are NOT good. We have seen some 'cowpats' in the new sheep and alpacas which is often normal when animals move and start eating different grass etc. Hopefully in a week or so, normal pellet-spotting will be resumed!!!