Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Creep feeder creeping

Okay. I have a half dozen baby alpacas and a herd of over 60 animals in their area. The competition is fierce at grain time, and only Naomi, offspring of my Sophie, manages to squeeze in on the end of the gutter feeder for grain goodies.
So my friend, Tammy, talked about her construction of a creep feeder for her crias. It's a smaller, penned area that has a "munchkin opening" for only crias to get into. Once inside they can munch grain and hay to their heart's content -- without the big boys and girls stealing all of the food.
Great idea. Last Wednesday the homeschool kids and I went about the business of building a creep feeder.
It involved cattle panels, a corner feeder, t-posts and such. Not terribly complicated.
We promptly caught Hadley, one of the fall crias and put him inside so he could see what wonders awaited him. He totally figured it out and, as a matter of fact, goes in there daily now to eat peacefully alone.
Here's the problem. Llamas are crazy smart. Within the first hour, my Cherokee, original female llama on my farm from 1993 -- was INSIDE the creep feeder. Honestly people. I could barely fit through the opening when I crawled through. How the heck did a gi-normous llama get IN there? How? I ask you?
We had to dismantle the thing to get her out. Geesh.
So we made the opening even smaller with the use of yellow baling rope. I still have Piper going in there (smallish adult female alpaca) but at least no more llamas have gone in. Yet.
The best laid plans of mice and women . . . I suppose.

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