Wednesday, August 14, 2013

So long, farewell, until we meet again...

 Today I said goodbye to two of my beautiful alpacas.  Sue Ellen doesn't look too beautiful here with all of the dust on her back, but trust me!  She is beautiful!  Sue Ellen (nicknamed "baby") was a favorite for her fleece, but even more so for her personality.  Sue Ellen loves kisses!  She likes to hum along every time you come out to greet her, too.  I believe she thinks she is a dog... man's best friend.  Oh how I will miss her!
 Okay, right about now you are probably thinking that my alpacas died.  Nope.  They didn't.  A wonderful couple purchased them to join their herd of animals.  They have all kinds of animals and had only a few alpacas.  So, via a friend of a friend, they heard I was selling some of my animals.  They are a wonderful couple and have promised me I couldn't find a better home for my beloved animals.  Here is Nisha, standing alongside Sue Ellen.  Nisha is sweet from heat to toe!  She's often seen "smiling" in pictures.  And her fleece, well get a load of that color!  I'm going to miss knitting with that color!  I'm going to miss her pretty face, too.  Farewell my friends!  Thank you for the fleece you've provided me over the years and for your sweet personalities!  I'll miss you, but am so happy you've found a new place to gain friends.

Okay, so before I start to cry again, I'll move on to the next topic of interest for us here at the ranch.  We've hooked up with All Season Greens to get a "trial run" of their hydroponic greens.  These greens take six to seven days to grow in this trailer before they are a lush, green carpet of "grass".  This trailer is climate controlled, has variable lighting, and a mister system that periodically keeps the seeds moist for the near-perfect, growing situation.  Every night, I take three scoops of barley seed and soak them in a bucket overnight.  In the morning, after scrubbing down a tray, I spread those seeds into a plastic tray that is then set on a shelf in the trailer. 
On the back side of the trailer, in about six or seven days, I will be able to pull out 50 lbs of food for my animals.  When the system is at full capacity, it can produce almost 100 lbs of food.  Mind you, this seed can be organic, non GMO seed, and no artificial junk or pesticides added to it.  I'm super excited!  This will replace our current feed that we purchase at the feed store.  It also should cut our hay bill in half!  Oh yeah!  That's what I'm talking about!  We feed approximately 50 lbs of feed per day, so I've already talked to a couple of people about the possibility of purchasing the remaining 50lbs per day, if we choose to purchase this system and do this ongoing.  It is an expensive start up, but we have laid out the numbers and figured with the cost savings and selling the 50 lbs per day, we can have this baby paid off in 4-5 years.  Plus, it gives us the option of feeding our animals absolutely fresh, organic, non GMO feed!  That makes me feel good!
 Here is the tray after a couple of days.  I'll have to post later in the week when we've reached the final stage and are ready to feed it to our animals.  All Season Greens has been dropping off little "pallets" of grass for a few months now and my horse and alpacas LOVE IT!  The chickens will eat anything, so that wasn't too much of a surprise, but the alpacas!?!  Awesome!  We are still trying to coax our cow into eating the stuff.  She likes the top of the grass, but it's the sprouted seed that is the most beneficial part.  It holds the majority of the nutrients.  If we decide to do this ongoing, we'll need to do a histogram on our animals fleece to see if there is a difference.  Also, we've heard you can actually TASTE the difference in the chicken's eggs after they've been eating this.  Time will tell.  I'm excited!  I've been wanting to do this for some time now.  I've been watching other farms do this in climate controlled rooms on their barns.  We figured that would be just too expensive to build onto our existing barn.  So, this is a nice alternative.  I'll keep you posted on the results!

Happy Hump (Wednes) Day!

No comments:

Post a Comment