Jen and Kim spent a good chunk of the weekend shifting everyone around up at the Arena after the latest round of herd health, our final one before shearing next month. As the vast majority of the 2011 crias are now weaned at this point, the nutritional needs of our adult female herd have really changed. As it was, the mild winter this year already had left the herd in better shape than coming off of a typical bone chilling January through March. The reality is you just don’t consume as many calories when it’s 50 degrees in mid February. Go figure?
A big part of our farm shift as we come into April and May each year is arranging the south side of the Arena for the expectant moms, with each consecutive group of 12 to 15 pregnant females setting up in their own area. With a few exceptions, those females will end up staying there in those same pens and feed groups with their respective crias until the babies are weaned later this year or early in 2013.
As part of the farm’s preparation for all of that, we had already cleaned out the first two pens over a month ago, hoeing out all of the bedding and then actually disinfecting the stall mats and pen panels with our power washer and steam cleaner. That area was then left open and unbedded until this past Saturday when we bedded it down with fresh straw and moved the first group of due girls into those pens. Were you to walk into the Arena, you would be hard-pressed to differentiate that feed group from any other aside from the fact that some of them are starting to “swing low,” as well as the fact that they are locked inside each night for the safety of any would-be neonates who might decide to show up before 6AM each morning. Don’t let the adorable fuzzy faces fool you: they’re small and cunning, you never know what they might try…
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