On December 9 I started the barley fodder mat growing experiment with 20×12 propagation trays and a bag of hulled barley seed from Oñate Feeds in Albuquerque. The trial tray had three cups of seed that had been soaked in water (1 tablespoon bleach per gallon of water) for twenty-four hours then drained and quickly rinsed. This was too much seed by the fourth day, so I transferred the seed to fill another 1/2 tray. Continue reading
Sprouting Seed to Feed Livestock
My barley fodder trial with sprouting seed to feed our livestock started out with a few propagation trays intent on keeping my barley fodder trial simple. This was a good idea because I immediately learned that most of the alpacas needed time to take the plunge into the fodder feed. Each day since December 9, 2012, I’ve introduced the fodder, some as leaves and some as small fodder mats with the top part of the leaves cut off. There are still two alpacas who are only nuzzling the barley leaves or the fodder, but the others have tried and some have embraced (with their lips) this new green stuff even when frozen. (The temperature is hovering during the day between zero and 18 degrees.)
Dec. 9, 2012 – The crias have their coats on now that snow has finally graced our mountain top. Mickey has one tray of barley seed growing in the garage in hopes of supplementing the orchard grass hay with highly nutritious, fresh barley sprouts. If all goes well, on day 7 (December 14) a mat of barley fodder will be ready to separate and feed to the alpacas. Stay tuned.
We were hoping for snow, and maybe, just maybe, we’ll get some. The temp is decidedly colder, more like seasonal. To Mother Nature’s credit, however, the weather was nice for the annual Jemez Springs Holiday send off December 8. This year’s choral concert was the best ever with youth choirs from the Albuquerque’s Performing Arts Charter School and The Albuquerque Boys’ Choir, both under the direction of Artistic Director Edmund Torrez. Afterwards Evelyn and I joined friends for Beef Wellington at the Hwy 4 Bakery and Cafe. The highlight among highlights was the stroll through the Jemez State Monument with the paths lighted by 1600 farolitos/luminarias accompanied by Native American music and dancing. Above the ruins twinkled a canopy of stars on a crystal clear night. The holiday spirit is alive in the Jemez.
Here’s a photo of Mickey and Evelyn taken December 1, 2012, in front of the new New Mexico Alpaca Breeders Billboard. If you’re traveling on I-25 through Socorro (south of Albuquerque) look for the billboard. We’re wearing first edition (2009) alpaca fiber felted hats from Resistol. We bought the hats at the Great Western Alpaca Show and they are signed by the developers, Tom and Judy Kania of Our Field of Dreams Alpacas in Shawnee, OK. Thanks to Kathy Richardson and David Hunter of Puerto del Sol Alpacas in Socorro for donating the billboard site. NMAB paid for the display. It took over a year to get the billboard display, but we’re pretty darn proud of it.
Kathy, Larry, and David hosted the NMAB quarterly meeting. After the gift exchange, NMABers sat on hay bales on the NMAB float. David spent hours decorating a hay wagon with carefully cut out stockings for each NMAB ranch. The lights worked just in time to join the other floats for the parade down the main street in Socorro.
Aspen Ridge Alpacas is a proud member of NMAB.
Not only alpacas are for sale at Aspen Ridge Alpacas. Evelyn has decided to sell her extensive collection of pine cones. In the early nineties, Evelyn collected and purchased pine cones from several states and countries. At that time she was making wreaths and garlands, and cone arrangements. Many of the more unusual, exotic cones came from Land of Sky Nurseries in Asheville, North Carolina. The cones were housed in hundreds of boxes in an Civil War era brick factory. Under the direction of the proprietor, who had retired from the U. S. Forest Service, Evelyn selected cones from China, Africa, Europe, Japan, and Canada. (This nursery is no longer in operation.) These unusual cones were added to her collection of cones from the States. Evelyn’s entire private collection is now for sale. (It’s taken Evelyn a long time to decide to part with her precious cones.)