It's like living in a smelter.
Before the sun even comes up, the temperatures are already in the 90's. Finally, I'm motivated to get myself outside to do chores earlier than ever. And not just for my own survival, but for the animals who have to wolf down their food and retire to the shadiest, breeziest, coolest place they can find to suffer out the day.
I worry most about the alpacas, who are not at all designed to withstand triple-digit temperatures. We take the precautions we can - electrolytes in the drinking water, hosing off several times a day, and providing fans and shade in the barn.
The chickens even take advantage of these amenities. They may be a little more adaptable, but they're not impervious to the stress of extreme heat.
By God's grace, all our boys seem to be bearing up very well. It just astounds me. I can't even stand to be out there for more than a few minutes at a time, and they have to cope twenty-four hours a day. Our friend Cyndi D. wasn't as lucky - she lost a lovely black alpaca male yesterday. My heart goes out to her. She's fighting back with bigger fans for the stalls, and injectable Thiamin to moderate the body-draining effects of 110 degrees in the shade.
(Now, why seven alpacas and fifteen chickens need to crowd into one stall escapes me, but it's their choice.)
I've tried to keep a close eye on Ruthie and the other dogs. So far, so good. She seeks out the deep shade of the treeline in the late afternoon.
An indirect casualty of the heat, another chicken was abducted by the bobcat today, while she was getting a drink out of the faucet. That's the boldest attack yet. Broad daylight, mid-morning. I didn't see it happen, but all the signs are there. I'm thinking it's time for more fencing to block unwanted traffic from the creek.
The rest of the week is forecast to be just as brutal as today. Pray for rain.