Keep them cool, but they're livestock! Is what you are thinking after reading the title. Too true, they are livestock, but not in the traditional sense. These creatures are pretty new the United States, having been brought over from Peru during the late 80s until 1998.
Alpacas naturally dwell in the cool Andean mountains. They are not accustomed to the Nebraska heat-fest that is July.
So how do you keep them cool? Amy has been opening her bag of tricks (the internet and books) and has devised two neat-o methods of cooling:
-Using 175 feet of hose she tied a garden rod to the fence post and set it on 'mist'. The Alpacas can mist during the times of the day. We are trying to keep their fiber nice so we can't dunk them in water, thus a nice mist gives them a break from the heat.
-Running over 100 feet of extension chord from the barn she connected a fan into the enclosure. We found some old carpet remnant upstairs, soaked it, and combine that with the fan the alpacas have somewhere nice and cool to lay for a while. I don't think they have figured it out yet, but this option is fairly new.
Other updates: the boys are starting to lower their guard and will get pretty close to us. When food is brought they almost let us touch them! In the corner of our fence that we share with the neighbors they have befriended some miniature cows. The four of them are always "talking over the fence"...I wonder what they are talking about...?