Jen Pietsch
Orcas Island, WA

I love spending time outdoors, gardening, running and raising my fleeced friends!
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Sunday, February 15, 2009

postheadericon Comments

By popular demand the comments section of Farmer-at-heart have been enabled. Comment away!

Friday, February 13, 2009

postheadericon Heartbreak

It has been a heartbreaking day on the farm.

After feeding our herd, I went as usual to close up the hen house for the night. I did the head count and one was missing. Martha was not in the hen house.

We all went to look for her. My son Kahana said it first... I did see a falcon... a really big falcon sitting on the porch. I thought it was kinda weird. Then Jeff chimed in with "yeah I saw the falcon, I flushed him out from under the porch."

That was all we needed to hear and we knew we had figured out where Martha had gone. She was killed by the falcon under the porch.

A very sad day, indeed.

Monday, February 9, 2009

postheadericon Feed Change

It has been yet another busy week, don’t I start every entry like that? Well this week is no exception.

I went to pick-up my regular alpaca food at the hardware store and I was told that my regular brand Nutrina Naturewise llama/alpaca maintenance pellets have been changed. The formula is the same but now instead of pellets (think guinea pig food) they have been changed into ‘crumbles’ (think cat litter). Well Island Hardware and Supply being the only game in town I thought I better give it a try. Kevin the yard and feed guy was very apologetic about the lack of notice but said he didn’t get any either. Thanks Kevin!

The switch didn’t go well. At first the girls wouldn’t eat it, and then when they did some would choke. Eventually the food was gone. The problem for me was even though they would eventually eat it all I was not sure it was all of them or just the greedy ones coming back to finish. I have so many pregnant girls and one nursing that I really need them all to be eating. I knew that I couldn’t be the only one with this problem. It was time to get on the phone and internet.

After calling around and researching on the internet I spoke with my friends Kris and Albert Olsen of Krystal Acres. They were having similar problems with the Nutrina feed, choking and refusal. They too began to call around and found a brand called Nutri-Lux from Bio-Life. This is a proprietary feed only sold by a supplier in Oregon. The minimum order is a pallet or 40 fifty pound bags. Orcas Moon Alpacas could not go through 40 bags in a year. Lucky for me Kris and Albert, who have many more animals than me offered to have mine shipped up with theirs. Yeahhhhh!

This feed is slowly being introduced to the herd mixing it in with the old crumbles. I haven’t heard any complaints yet. Another great bonus of this feed is it contains a great mix of probiotics, prebiotics, biotin, enzymes, yeast, herbs, minerals, and amino acids that the old feed didn’t. It is a better feed. Oh and even more wonderful- it is cheaper!