inFocus: Keeping warm this winter
PUBLISHED: 18:13 28 November 2014 | UPDATED: 18:13 28 November 2014
Tips on keeping you and your livestock warm during the chilly months ahead
Warm up your feet...
Treat your feet to gorgeous 75% alpaca socks from online alpaca specialist Perilla. Thermal walking socks (shown here in purple) are ideal for farmers in work boots, jodhpur boots or wellingtons. They are also perfect for walking, climbing and winter sports with their all round terry looped thickness.
Alpaca fibre has higher insulating properties than any other fibre, repels odour and bacteria but gently wicks away moisture so feet remain at a perfect temperature. Alpaca socks can be worn for over a week before needing to wash! This makes them perfect for lambing time where they can easily be worn for 24 hours, seven days a week.
Perilla produce seven ranges of alpaca socks to include 90% baby alpaca bed socks in four sizes. There are long up-to-the-knee socks, suitable for field sports enthusiasts and wearing with wellingtons, and thinner socks for everyday use. The vast palette of colours includes natural colours of sedge green and mulberry to vibrant tones of raspberry and burnt orange. All socks can be beautifully gift boxed and make a most welcomed present for any age, any time. Perilla yarn is imported from Peru but dyed, knitted, hand linked and finished using three British factories.
MORE: www.Perilla.co.uk or call: 01886 853 615
Warm up your home...
Landy Vent is a family run company in the Midlands. It has been trading for 15 years in the chimney lining industry with its innovative product Eldfast.
Eldfast has proved very successful in lining all types of flues of all shapes and sizes whilst only coating the inside a few millimetres thick so keeping it as close to its original size as possible.
The company has now branched out and developed the Ecco Stove (British made). It also is unique in design and abilities; a wood burning appliance that creates consistent warmth for your entire property.
With up to 88% efficiency and only 0.07% carbon production, the Ecco Stove is one of the most energy efficient wood stoves on the market.
It has evolved over the years; now with four different styles in the range it hopes to
add to the look of your home not just save you money on your bills.
The aim of the Ecco stove is to heat your home without overheating the room. It uses very little fuel and can be used as a conventional stove or heat storage unit.
MORE: Call Debbie Langley on 01527 857814 or firstname.lastname@example.org www.eccostove.com
... and the livestock too
Throughout the short winter days (November - March) crias and weanlings should have a dose of vitamins A, D and E paste every six weeks to prevent rickets. It’s a good idea to give all your other alpacas a single dose during the winter as well.
Feed top quality hay or haylage as well as grazing, so that your alpacas can maintain good condition through the winter months. If some ends up on the ground that means your alpacas really won’t eat it, so never be tempted to put it back, just use it as bedding.
Condition score your alpacas every month and keep a record. A simple way is to feel along the backbone, and score 1/10 for a knife-edge to 10/10 for a table top! The ideal weight to aim for with a huacaya is a score of 5/10, when you can just feel the backbone. But a suri needs more muscle there to protect them from the cold and wet. Feed accordingly, and feed thinner alpacas separately.
Warm drinking water will help your alpacas digest their food better to aid weight gain if needed; also, they love it! Remember to break ice on water troughs - alpacas don’t know how, because although it freezes overnight in the Andes it’s almost always warm in the daytime. Alpacas will not seek grazing beneath the snow either.
To extend the feeding time either just for the evening or overnight an outside light, or a low light in their barn, will do the trick. Alpacas need equal times for feeding, cudding and sleeping in each 24-hour period.