Saturday, October 27, 2012

Feeding Time

Early this morning I went out to the barn to give our alpaca girls their supplemental feed. They don't eat much of it because the pasture is still lush with grass and that is apparently as good to them as ice cream is to me. It was misty, windy and bitter cold out there this morning and I was wishing that I had worn a heavier jacket. When the girls heard me open the barn door they stood at attention like they do whenever something new appears on the scene. By the time I had filled the bucket with food and entered their boudoir Took had started toward the barn. I dumped the feed in three of the four feeding troughs and tapped the bucket to get their attention. Took and Mango came closer to the door but seemed reluctant to come all the way inside as long as I was there. I stepped back through the gate and latched it firmly but leaned on the top of the gate watching. All the while, I was talking softly and humming to them encouraging the girls to come on in to breakfast. Took was the first to come in. She began eating at the trough farthest from me. Mango followed her mama and instead of eating came up to me at the gate and started sniffing and nibbling my sleeve. Leeza, still more reluctant to voluntarily come close to us, edged into the feeding area on the far side of Took. The far bin is the one I left empty. Leeza nosed around in the empty bin and made a whining noise, clearly because she wanted in on the action. She attempted to feed in the bin occupied by Took who nosed her out of the way gently. Took eventually moved to the center bin closer to me at the gate and Leeza took over eating whatever Took had left in the first bin. Mango eventually left me and nibbled a bit of feed in the bin closest to the gate. After they had eaten they glanced at me with a bored look and meandered back outside to the pasture. They are becoming more used to me and do not get so nervous when I am around. I wish I had taken the camera with me. My only excuse is that it was very early and very cold. I didn't linger long.

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