Saturday, 31 October 2009
I always try to let him feed when he's here so he doesn't just get the restraining jobs when I need to do something to somebody. He wasn't quick enough at putting the food out and a bit of a squabble broke out between Oonagh and Ursula and I just happened to get in the way so ended up wearing the contents of Ursula's mouth - great!
Next on the list was spit offs. Milly needed spitting off and I wanted to spit Imala and Geena off too, both were spitting off before they were scanned negative by the vet a week or so ago. All three girls went absolutely mad when Gianmarco made his move. Imala tried to flatten ham and spat like crazy - great to go with the food Ursula spat on my I was now green and yes you guessed it rather smelly!
So we now have to wait and see who is wrong, the vet who scanned the girls or the girls themselves. I'm not sure about Geena because she spat off all last year despite not being pregnant and we had to use Estrumate on her to get her cycling properly. Imala on the other hand has been easy to read in the past so I'm more included to think she might be pregnant. The vet was so sure though; time will tell.
Friday, 30 October 2009
Weighing is something that we do continually from birth until the cria are too heavy to pick up. It is just another way to keep an eye on the youngsters to make sure all is ok. The five I was able to lift are all growing nicely and had gained weight. Tenzing and Duke weigh exactly the same at 25.1kg. That just shows what a good appetite Duke has as he is almost a month younger than Tenzing!
I am glad I weighed them actually as it has just started to rain so they would have been wet in the morning and always try to weigh when they are dry.
I have also been printing off some garment labels today, they had been piling up a bit as we were waiting for some new cartridges for the printer. The weather forecast is not good for Sunday so I intend to attach said labels then.
Thursday, 29 October 2009
The postman delivered Kate's yarn at lunchtime, I love it. It is a lovely shade of grey and I am looking forward to knitting something in it next. Unfortunately there isn't that much of it and it has cost a fair bit so all items will be very carefully chosen before knitting commences.
Now for the next bit of exciting news; the sales girls. In a bid to assist other like minded people looking to own top quality alpacas, for a short period we have some very tempting offers which should really get you thinking.
As regular readers will know it will shortly be time to wean the first of this years cria, this will include Palm-Olive who is currently for sale with her mum. Palm-Olive is from the very successful sire Accoyo Remarque and is a very well grown mature youngster who we would expect to be ready to mate next year. Her mum Molly, has been scanned pregnant to one of our elite white studs, Gianmarco's Masterpiece. At a price of £6,750 + VAT for these two girls and the expected cria this is stunning value for money and will only be available for three weeks.
In addition, we have girls that not only have fantastic fleeces but they also have top quality genetics including NWA Ltd Ruffo, Jolimont Gianmarco, Jolimont Sculptor and Jolimont Conquistador in their pedigrees all scanned pregnant to either Legend of Spartacus or Gianmarco's Masterpiece.
Wednesday, 28 October 2009
Mum and I decided to brave the Metro Centre and make a start of our Christmas shopping - bad move we forgot it was half term. At least we have made a start although we have been out most of the day.
Typically because I wasn't in the postman has tried to deliver a parcel, so I missed it. Was it my tissue paper that I use for gift wrapping my knitwear or my grey yarn that I am expecting back. It's all very exciting, especially if it is Kate's yarn as I can't wait to get knitting with that.
My Barnacre ribbon has arrived, so if it is the tissue paper I am all ready for a sell out day at the Morpeth Farmers market on the 7th November.
Finally I have some very exciting news on our sales girls, more on that tomorrow though.
Tuesday, 27 October 2009
Mum and I have been hard at it with dad cracking the whip; I'm sure he must be on commission or something. After the lovely comments Rosemary left yesterday I felt all inspired and have started a pair of leg warmers in Hughie's own yarn. I think it is the softest I've knitted with yet; adorable just like him.
We have one girl, Mary who has always been a skinny girl, in fact when she first arrived freshly sheared, just over 2 years ago she looked half starved, as they sometimes do when they come in from abroad. She is looking much better now and has a very good appetite and is healthy, obviously one of those girls who can eat what they want and not put on any weight.
Today Mary decided that she was rather hungry, which she does from time to time. I had a couple of carrots in my pocket which she immediately sniffed out and tried to pinch them whole. After a bit of a wrestle I managed to break them up and she demolished the lot in seconds. Incidentally she is the mother of Ursula - need I say more!
Monday, 26 October 2009
Sunday, 25 October 2009
Yesterday was a very long day, I was up just before 4.30am and managed to kick Paul out of bed shortly after. With Heidi (bottle fed cria) fed and the six animals loaded into the trailer we were on our way by 5.30, bang on target.
As you can imagine there was nothing on the road so we were at Thirsk in just over two hours and ready for inspection in plenty of time. Hughie was recognised immediately, he seems to have developed a bit of a fan base. My parents drove up from Nottingham and met us there.
It was a very good show with in excess of 100 animals and I am delighted to tell you that all six of ours were awarded rosettes, not only that we have two championship sashes and a reserve champion sash - what a result eh!!
The running order was black through to white, so Loki was first in the ring for us, and was awarded 3rd place adult black and received some very positive comments from judge Tim Hey, an expert in black alpacas.
Next up was Barnacre Sienna, and what a star she was. First place intermediate brown female, with the comments that this girl was a clear winner. That was just the start, she was then awarded Champion Brown Female!
Princess Mallika was next in, as you would expect the fawn class was a large one. After a very long time comparing and contemplating she was awarded 2nd place. A very close call between first and second was the judges comments. The girl who came first went on to win Female Fawn Champion and Mallika won Reserve Champion.
Barnacre Lualeni, our white intermediate girl was the last of our girls to enter the ring and definitely didn't want to be outdone by her friends. As I'd taken everyone else in the ring it was Paul's turn this time and I watched from a distance. It was another large class, but we had high hopes. 1st place Intermediate White Female, well deserved it was too; even if I do say so myself, she has a fantastic fleece. Lualeni went on to win Female White Champion.
Hughie was 4th Adult Fawn Male and Gianmarco's Masterpiece was 3rd Adult White Male in another large very competitive class.
This was a very successful end to our showing year.
Saturday, 24 October 2009
Friday, 23 October 2009
Thankfully the weather has been dry most of the day, so the show team that are heading down to Thirsk tomorrow have dried out a bit. They are all still rather damp but I have shut them in this evening in the hope that they dry out some more. Although it has started to rain again so I doubt there is much chance of that.
The boys got very excited when I walked the three girls past them, they are all open (not pregnant) and the boys always seem to know. Mind you the way Mallika was swishing her tail and fluttering her eyelashes they weren't going to miss her!
The girls are shut in down the road in one resting paddock and the boys behind they house in the big shelter. I didn't dare chance shutting the girls in one half and the boys in the other Gianmarco would have jumped over in the night I'm sure.
Well I must go and get the final bits together for our very early start in the morning so wish us luck.
Thursday, 22 October 2009
I'm not quite sure where today has gone, we don't seem to have achieved much at all!
We did a bit of toe nail cutting this morning. The boys, Legend and Gianmarco in particular were looking in need of a trim. It is amazing how quickly their nails grow in comparison to everyone elses.
Legend was a very naughty boy, he doesn't like his toe nails cutting, to be honest he's getting worse. This is probably because he is now a very big boy full of lots of power and muscle so when he decides you are not cutting his nails it is difficult to persuade him otherwise!! It took as long to do his nails as it did to do all the other boys put together. Typically he's the one whos nails grow the quickest so needs them doing the most.
Other than that I've order some more Barnacre ribbon ready for the various fairs and markets we are attending in the run up to Christmas; the first one being Morpeth Farmers Market on the 7th November. It is actually the 10th anniversary so hopefully it will be busy.
This brings me nicely onto the outbreak of CKD....................... Compulsive Knitting Disorder. Carol who recently started knitting for me emailed me to tell me she'd caught it and so have I, it must be highly contagious. I'm hoping that mum will have it to as we always need more stock at this time of year. People always want something in a different colour or size or more pairs than you have.
Wednesday, 21 October 2009
Tuesday, 20 October 2009
Monday, 19 October 2009
We nipped into Morpeth this morning for a few supplies, mainly milk for Heidi and to buy Paul a sausage roll (to shut him up!). As the weather was not so good this afternoon Paul has been working on the website and a few other bits of paperwork whilst I have been knitting.
The cria video I mentioned the other night can now be viewed on the movies page of our website, it is so cute, well worth a look even if I do say so myself. She if you can work out who is who. Mum if you are reading this I expect you to get them all right!
Paul has also been talking to Lawrence Waller regarding this weekends alpaca show at Thirsk. We were having second thoughts about going but Lawrence has been very accommodating and been able to do what we've asked so we will be there. So much hard work goes into these event it is such a shame when nature throws a spanner in the works.
Sunday, 18 October 2009
Heidi is also obviously filling up on grass because both yesterday lunchtime and at lunch today she has not wanted all of her bottle. She has had breakfast and tea though.
I know this is an alpaca blog but I just have to congratulate Jenson Button on his fantastic Formula One Championship win. What a race it was too, he had me worried on a few of his over taking maneuvers and as Paul & I yelled at the TV, poor Smudge (the cat who was snuggled up in front of the fire) was woken with a startle!
Saturday, 17 October 2009
First on the list was the weekly cria weigh in and they needed their second Lambivac injection. They were all very well behaved including Midnight Star who is extremely hyper and always has a trademark back kick when you let her go; but not today.
They were all on their best behaviour because they had been promised fresh grass, they were all keen to get their heads down.
Shortly after the youngsters all got very excited and had a good chase and pronk round, the tail end of which I managed to catch on video. I can't get the video to upload onto the blog for some reason I'm afraid, I will try and get Paul to put it on the website instead.
After all that excitement we got on with cleaning the field they had just come out of. Poo picking, harrowing and cutting some of the tufty grass round some of the poo piles. We have actually left some of the poo in the field as a bit of an experiment and harrowed it in to see if it helps. This is a rented field which we are not allowed to fertilise so we need to get some goodness back into it naturally.
Friday, 16 October 2009
Wednesday, 14 October 2009
It is has been a rather damp miserable day today so I have been doing some shop updates which were long overdue. I was hoping to get some photo's of the new stock, but the weather was not nice enough for that so it will have to wait for another day.
I have also been doing some knitting, at this time of year I am busy working out what needs knitting and getting on as fast as I can. We have a few fairs booked in so I need to make sure I have plenty of stock.
I have been keeping an eye on Star over the last couple of days. Kate seems to think that it is time she was weaned and she is rationing her milk. She is not letting her have much milk during the day, although she had a very large milk moustache this morning so breakfast is obviously allowed.
Star is enormous and was well over 30 kilos at four months old so she is plenty big enough. She has just turned five months so we are toying with weaning her however I was hoping to do four of them together and the younger two, Duke and Tenzing are not big enough yet.
Tuesday, 13 October 2009
It turned out really well and had me in fits of hysteria again. If you weren't luck enough to hear it live here is the iPlayer link. It should take you straight to the right bit, but if not you need to fast forward to 1.34 hrs.
I hope you enjoy it. Just for the record I would like to point out the the sneeze culprit was not Loki but Gianmarco.
Monday, 12 October 2009
Carol & Dave (our regular manure collectors) called round today. Dave to collect manure and Carol to bring her first batch of knitting, it's fantastic. She must have had smoking knitting needles as she's knitted two hats, two scarves and two pairs of fingerless mittens in two weeks. If you are reading this Carol; thank you.
I had to smile this morning. I had braved the supermarket (which I hate), and as usual managed to pick the slowest queue, so began talking to the old lady in front of me. She was intrigued by my 12 litres of goats milk, particularly seeing as she asked me if it was nice and I told her I'd never tasted it.
I explained that it was for Heidi a baby alpaca which I was bottle feeding. She then told me that she saw some local alpacas on Countryfile some months ago and they made bricks from poo. I told her that it was me, which rather embarrassed her. Why is it people remember the poo brick but not me!!
I have another opportunity for stardom tomorrow. My radio interview is going to be aired on Jonathan Miles morning show on BBC Radio Newcastle. I hope it is ok as it was a very entertaining recording.
Sunday, 11 October 2009
Saturday, 10 October 2009
Needless to say after I had recovered said stitch I did the pots, loaded the washing machine and headed off to bed for an early night.
It was weigh day for the youngsters today and I am pleased to say that all are heading in the right direction which is good.
I noticed last night that Tenzing looked like he had a sore foot so before I weighed him I checked it out. There was a little sore in between his toes so after they were cleaned I have sprayed them and will keep a close eye on him.
The big boys had some fresh grass today. Golden Guinea has been pushing under the fence eating the neighbouring grass more and more so I thought that it was about time to move them. They field they have gone into has no field shelter though so they are back to their old field for bedtime.
Thursday, 8 October 2009
I have been doing a spot of knitting again today, you may recall I mentioned a lady who had purchased a hat from my which had been mauled by her puppy. Well today I have fixed said hat, I had to unpick it to about half way and knit it back up in new yarn.
Customer service and satisfaction is something I take very serious and was therefore happy to do what I could. When I rang the lady this evening to tell her the good news she was thrilled; one very happy customer.
This even I have had a visit from an old work colleague and friend. She and her husband are having a holiday up in Durham so came to say hello. It is three years since I finished paid employment, and to be honest it seems like a lifetime ago.
Wednesday, 7 October 2009
This morning we had our first frost of the autumn. There were no signs of it at the house but in the fields it was a different story. Because of the extra hay I gave everyone extra hay this morning, which was certainly greatly received.
Twiggy has been back to the vets today for a check up, she is doing well. Although I hadn't realised that they had only actually found one of her thyroid glands during the operation. The left gland could not be located so she still has it. Hopefully this will not cause any problems in the future but we will have to keep a close eye on her.
She is back for another check up next week and all being well the stitches will be removed.
I'd best go now Paul is hovering with his coat on!!!
Tuesday, 6 October 2009
As it was raining last night I put it on when we went to give Heidi her supper. As usual Paul was late home from work so by the time Heidi got her supper it was getting dark. I shouted her and she came running but stopped dead in her tracks; I sounded like me, but I had been smothered by this big blue thing. In the end Paul had to feed her as she wouldn't come near me.
The weather was terrible this morning so I put on the same waterproof coat and hoped for the best. Heidi came running and stopped short of me, but after talking to her for a little while she realised I was in fact me and she happily guzzled her milk. They do make you laugh don't they.
As the weather has been yuck I spent the morning catching up on some paper work, I've been putting it off for a while so it was starting to pile up. This afternoon has been spent knitting, I have finished one of the hats that was ordered.
Monday, 5 October 2009
I have finished the ordered scarf and am a good way up the hat; just another four hats and a cardigan to go and we have completed the special orders. We then need to get building up the knitted and felted stock in readiness for Christmas.
Mum saw a red squirrel this morning on a tree stump so she was really excited. It's the first one she's seen for ages. It was actually in a completely different place to where I have seen them in the past so I will keep a look out for him again. They are such cute little creatures.
Sunday, 4 October 2009
Next on the list was spit offs, as I suspected Milly decided to sit, the other four appear to be holding nicely so I will have them scanned towards the end of the month. Gianmarco's Masterpiece took full advantage of the situation and did the business with Milly. Hopefully she will take this time.
Whilst I was attending to this job Paul cleaned the boys field, he only did it because I said we could have elevenses when we'd finished!
The alpacas have had visitors this afternoon. Jean and Wesley Turnbull who organise the Otterburn Festival, came over with one of their daughters and her children. Everyone enjoyed it, alpacas and visitors alike.
We also had a visit from Alan and his manitou (forklift), he was carrying part of a bridge! In the floods we had in Morpeth last September our nearby rive bridge was washed away. The council have finally replaced it and the remains of the old one recovered. I had said in passing that the steps would be handy so Alan kindly delivered them - I now need to work out what handy job they are going to do!!!
Saturday, 3 October 2009
She has been eating all day, obviously making up for lost time. The poor little thing has a bald patch on both front legs and a bald patch on her neck with a few stitches. She has got to go back for a check up next week but thankfully seems just fine and dandy.
On the alpaca front it has been tremendously windy today and the girls have been camped down under the trees all day. I can't say I a blame them because at one point both Paul & I were struggling to walk up the road.
I was worried that the shelters might have taken a battering as I herd lots of crashes and bangs during the night. I am pleased to report that all shelters still have roofs, however the wind was so strong it had blown over one of the hay mangers and the trailer had moved almost a foot from where it was parked!
Friday, 2 October 2009
I am pleased to say that Twiggy is doing well, although she has had to stay in overnight which was unexpected. She is on a drip, but hopefully, fingers crossed she will be able to come home tomorrow.
More good new, Loki's eye had made a full recovery this morning. It was completely normal and I didn't even need to bathe it. I have been told that it was probably a bee or wasp sting on his lower eye lid. Anything else and it is unlikely that the swelling and redness would have gone so quickly.
Thursday, 1 October 2009
The youngest of the group, Kealani, is a real little character. She is a month old today and really coming on, she is going to be a big girl like her mum, Oonagh.
On one of my trips into the paddock with Heidi's bottle I noticed that Loki had a sore eye. It was fine this morning and lunchtime, but when I walked past the boys at about 2.30pm I noticed his right eye looked sore. The bottom of his eye was red and puffed up, it looked like he had scratched it.
I thought maybe he had something in his eye and had scratched it on something trying to remove whatever was annoying him. Back to the house to get a halter and some water to bathe it. After washing it out and removing a bit of gunk (technical term!) he seemed much better at tea time.
By this evening when Paul got home the redness had gone and it was looking much better, although still slightly puffed up. Hopefully it will have gone down by the morning, if not I will speak to the vet.
I have got to take Twiggy in tomorrow, unfortunately as I suspected her blood test yesterday was not good. So the poor little thing has got to have surgery tomorrow which I am very worried about. She is already complaining about being hungry, she will be a nightmare by the morning.