Saturday, 31 July 2010
It all gets very complicated, but numbers were reduced due to the very strict bio-security requirements of the show committee, the show was only open to animals from a 3 or 4 year TB testing area which had had no direct or indirect contact with animals from a 1 or 2 year testing area. This basically meant that anyone that had been to another show this year could not enter.
Sandstorm, our junior fawn male came 1st which was great news as we have high hopes for him, and so did our stud Golden Guinea in the senior brown class. Loki (Adult Black) and Hughie (Gelding) both came 2nd. Tenzing came 4th in the junior white class - he did better than we expected, once he is a little older and his second testicle drops he will be castrated and sold as a very nice pet boy.
We met some very nice members of the public over the two days, shows are always a great excuse to talk alpaca.
After all the preparation for the show this weekend I am ready for an early night so please forgive me for this short but sweet update!
Thursday, 29 July 2010
The first job on the list when I got back was to top the back field, so I'd got Paul to help me attach the flail before he went to work. It is far too heavy even for me to lift who can usually manage most things Paul can.
The girls decided to take advantage of an open gate whilst I was feeding Geena's baby, I'd obviously not shut the gate properly and someone spotted it and were straight through on to the the grass I was about to top. After well over half an hour of trying to shepperd them back with no success what so ever I managed to get some help from my neighbour.
After making a poo brick from the deposit I was left I got the field topped just in time for my parents arrival. They are here to keep an eye on things whilst we are at Kelso show tomorrow and Saturday.
The car is loaded with all the fleeces, score cards, manuals and everything else for the fleece judging is ready so hopefully Nick Harrington-Smith's plane will be on time and all will go according to plan.
The babies are continuing to gain weight nicely, in fact Layla (Willow's baby) is positively rotund at 19.34kg. It took Willow's first cria, Chiquita, nine months to get to that weight and Layla has made it in 8 weeks, which is great news.
Wednesday, 28 July 2010
She gets milk in her front two teats but the back ones are empty, so at least she has some milk for her baby. Despite mum's lack of milk her baby has gained weight on day one which is a first for Geena, it usually takes me a few days before I can get her cria gaining weight.
He has had four bottles from me today, Genna gets so stressed when you are trying to feed her baby it makes things rather difficult but by this evening she was slightly more relaxed. Hopefully this little chap will be easier to feed than Guassian Geena's previous cria, he never liked the bottle.
Minimus has now outgrown his coat I made last week so I have made him a new one today, hopefully after this one he will fit into the ones I already have, he is 6.3kg now.
Carol and Dave popped round this evening to bring some knitting, collect some poo, see the new babies and bring me some buttons a local woodworker has made. The are fabulous, I love them. We are now thinking very hard what we can use these prototypes for. I will keep you in suspense, you will have to weight until we have used them to see them!
Tuesday, 27 July 2010
Ursula and Pearson
Imala and Wynfor
Chiquita and Minimus
Little Miss Irraquoy and Niveous
Monday, 26 July 2010
I'm never too sure how much to skirt as so many points are given for weight, take too much out and you can lose lots of points but leave too much in and you lose marks for consistency of micron, character, staple length and contamination. I think the Great Weston Region Fleece & Fibre Show have the best idea.
Anyway after a lot of deliberation I decided that if I took out all the contamination in Tenzings fleece there would be nothing left! His fleece looks like it came off an animal in two halves, one relatively clean for a cria fleece and the other covered in all sorts. I wouldn't mind but I spend hours trying to keep the fields clean.
Denise, one of our stewards for the weekend popped round to see what was needed of her, thankfully she is looking forward to it! It was also a great excuse to go and have a look at the girls and their babies, many of which came straight over to say hello.
Minimus and Wynfor have gained weight again today, in fact Minimus has now almost out grown the coat I made him last weekend. That's another job to add to the list; make a new coat.
Paul asked me to thank you for sponsoring him Dave, very kind of you.
Sunday, 25 July 2010
Then it was the turn of Midnight Star, she has been desperate to be mated since the spring, but we had told her she had to wait. Star is just over 14 months, so younger than we would usually mate, but she is a big girl and mentally rather advanced for her age so we decided that we would give her a go today.
Loki enjoyed himself and it ended up being the longest mating of the year to date, Star enjoyed it that much she ran after Loki wanting more! Hopefully that will be her lot until next year. It will be interesting to see what she produces with Loki as Star is actually a multi.
Both Wynfor and Minimus have gained weight today which is good. Wynfor is back to where he was before he lost weight earlier in the week. I am now even more convinced that he'd taken a knock from someone as he is much happier today.
We have managed to stock up on our straw for the year, Alan (farmer friend) stopped us this morning to day he had done some small Barley straw bales so we could go and collect some from the field. Small bales don't get made too often so we were straight over to fill the little trailer.
Saturday, 24 July 2010
We have had another busy day, it started off with some matings, Gabby had a date with Mr Guinea, we have repeated her mating from last year as her cria, Lady Godiva is fantastic so hopefully we will be blessed with another next year.
At the same time Legend of Spartacus was working hard with Little Miss Irraquoy, another repeat of last years mating, in the hope of a female version of Niveous (he is a little stunner, with a big attitude).
Simultaneously Gianmarco's Masterpiece was on the case with Ursula who decided after a little complaint that she would let him do his stuff. The three boys were all orgling away to see who could get the loudest and who could last the longest, as we'd predicted Marky took that crown!
Whilst the matings were going on Chiquita and Imala sat in hope. It's only a week since they gave birth so they will have to wait a little while yet. Chiquita was so desperate she was trying to climb in the pen with Golden Guinea; maybe she is letting us know that is who she fancies this year.
We had a job and a half getting Guinea back into his field as he refused to leave the ladies, he sat down and would not move. It took almost half an hour and various persuasive tactics, at this rate I can see we will have to put him in the trailre when his services are required. He is usually ok when he has worked but he knew that Chiquita wanted him and didn't want to miss out!
We had some Lambivac injections to do for some of the cria which all went well. The two big boys and two little boys have also been weighed. Kazuo (10 weeks old today) is 24kg and Ochre (8 weeks old yesterday) is 24.2kg, the two littlies are also gaining. Thankfully Wynfor has put on a small amount today, 110gms so hopefully he is getting back to normal, whilst Minimus weighed in at 5.69kg.
Friday, 23 July 2010
Thursday, 22 July 2010
I decided that after his weight loss yesterday I thought I would offer him a bottle. He wasn't in the slightest bit interested so I decided I would give him some jumpstart gel which he didn't seem to keen on either; he tried to cough and spit it out. It did make him go and get a drink from mum though to get rid of the nasty taste so at least I know he is drinking.
I have seen him drinking a few times but he's never on for very long, Imala has plenty of milk so I will keep a close eye on him. He seemed to be walking a little stiff this morning so I'm not sure if he's been knocked by someone and is feeling a little sore. By this evening he seems to be moving better and is a little livelier so we will see, he hasn't lost any more weight and has gained 40gms.
Minimus is now over 5kg, he put on a huge 310gm today which was 6.4% of his body weight in one day!
I'm off to pick up some Lambivac from the vets tomorrow so I will mention Wynfor to him and see what he thinks.
Other than on baby watch I've been working on the computer most of the day, so I now have square eyes - I certainly don't miss my office job that's for sure! All the cria weights are now up to date, I fine it fascinating how different family lines follow certain trends. It is also a great way to compare cria from one year to the next. This years youngsters are growing faster than in previous years.
I have also been updating the shop which was rather out of date. I've been marking all the sold items and have almost finished, next job is to photograph the new stock and get that on there. I may need Paul's help with that though - website work gets a bit complicated for me.
Wednesday, 21 July 2010
Minimus's eye drops seem to be helping and his eyes aren't looking so sore. He is continuing to do well and is now up to 4,88kg. Here he is in between Pearson (on the left) and Kazuo (right), they are only 4.5 weeks and 9 weeks old respectively but look massive in comparison.
We weighed most of the babies tonight and the are all gaining nicely with the exception of Wynfor who has lost a little weight since he was weighed yesterday. I will keep a close eye on him over the next few hours.
Tuesday, 20 July 2010
Chiquita's son, who we have named Minimus (from the Shakespeare play Midsummer Night's Dream) continues to do well. I have got some eye drops for him as the flies are being a real pain, I have also dabbed a little Crovect on his head to try and keep the flies off.
He has gained weight again and is now 4.66kg so we are very pleased with him, Chiquita seems to be loving motherhood and is taking very good care of him. This evening they are shut in the shelter with Imala and her baby Wynfor as the rain is really coming down.
We have had a couple of visitors today, a local lady reserved one of our jumpers at the weekend and came to collect it today. Whilst she was here with her children they admired they girls and their babies who came over to see if there was any extra food on offer!
Then I had a visit from another lady who came to buy a unique gift for a friend, I wont mention what it is as I'm not sure if said friend may be reading my blog.
Monday, 19 July 2010
Sunday, 18 July 2010
I was up early so I could check on Chiquita's little man, he is doing well so far happily running round joining in with the much larger cria. I think he is giving Chiquita a dose of her own medicine as she is running round after him in a panic, just like Willow did when Chiquita was born!
He has obviously had plenty of good milk as he has gained 240 grams in 24 hours, he is now a whooping 4.28kg. His has the most adorable face and his fleece is already looking nice, it is so bright and quite long.
As in previous years Otterburn was much busier today, and the alpacas and our products proved very popular. It is so nice to see people appreciate your hard work - thank you.
Saturday, 17 July 2010
Friday, 16 July 2010
Thursday, 15 July 2010
Wednesday, 14 July 2010
Paul manged to get the girls previous field harrowed before the heavens opened so hopefully that will have a real growth spurt now.
We had visitors this morning too, I forgot to ask permission to mention them on the blog so they will remain nameless. They were keen to see our cria, most of whom where happy to come over and show themselves off apart from the new Legend babies Casiphia and Niveous who were far too busy playing or running off.
They then had a quick skirting lesson on a very nice fleece they bought over from one of their boys. Hopefully I was able to guide them in the right direction.
Carol and Dave popped round with goodies tonight, Carol with a load of knitting she's been working on - she really never ceases to amaze me how much she can churn out. Dave came with the remaining Mary fleece fully carded, and even asked for more. He didn't need to offer twice he has gone home with Nefertiti; thank you Dave!
They also bought a huge (it obviously liked the alpaca poo) lettuce that had been freshly dug from their veggie patch,; yum yum.
Tuesday, 13 July 2010
First up was a batch of routine vaccinations for the girls and some toe nail trimming, there were a fair few in need of trimming which is unusual so soon after shearing.
Most of the girls were well behaved with a couple of exceptions, both very predictable really. Kate was due a spit off but by the reaction we got when it was time for her toe nail trimming I knew what was going to happen when the boys came visiting! As soon as Paul tried to get hold of her so I could do her nails she went mad, half was through she managed to kick me so hard she pushed my hand through the crush we were using. It was so painful it sent me dizzy and I had to sit down, I thought I was going to pass out!
Thankfully I just have a sore grazed and swollen hand to show for my troubles and I was able to complete all the girls pedicures and injections.
Next was spit offs, as suspected Kate gave poor Loki a face full of green and Mary kicked him in
disgust at even trying to sniff her back end. They are Loki's first two conquests and its looking like both are pregnant on the first sitting. Both girls took first time last year too.
All the other girls spat off as well, Willow, Nefertiti, Veruscha, Alice and Molly. Unfortunately Ursula also refused to sit, despite having not been mated since she gave birth almost a month ago, it looks like she is going to take after her mum Mary and prefer about a 6 week gap in between birthing and mating. I will try her again in a few days. LMI was very keen to get a go, she only gave birth 9 days ago so she has a few more days to wait until she gets her turn.
Next on the list was moving the girls to fresh grass which went down a treat as you can imagine.
Whilst the youngsters were exploring I managed to get 8 of the 9 cria in one shot - aren't you impressed, I was. From right to left we have Casiphia, Niveous, Pearson (facing to the left), Layla, Lucia (black bum), Ochre, Kazuo and on the far right Meketaten. Lady Godiva is missing, she was too busy having a drink!
After we'd watched for a while it was clean, cut and harrow the field they'd just got off. This is where we ran out of hours, we did the clean and cut bit just didn't quite get to do the harrowing. Now it is raining so hopefully that will start to kick it back into life so the girls can get another chance to go in there.
Monday, 12 July 2010
Following the sheep's move at the weekend Paul has been topping the bits they'd not eaten and harrowing, so the field can now rest in readiness for the alpacas over winter. I can't believe we're thinking about winter already. The grass is hardly growing though due to the lack of rain so we really do need to be careful.
I have been doing a spot of felting as I was almost out of felted stock, I need to get some more Hughie and Loki bits done ready for their trip out at the weekend. People usually like to buy things from the animals on show!
The babies are all growing nicely, I'm still trying to get a shot of all nine together without much success. Lady Godiva is really friendly, she is Gabby's daughter and the most gorgeous colour. Carol will be dying to get her hands on her fleece for knitting next year.
Talking of fleece I need to get some skirting done ready for Kelso show at the end of the month, maybe that can be added to tomorrow's job list.
Sunday, 11 July 2010
The wind was really blowing so rather than set up the gazebo for all our Barnacre produce I decided to set up shop in the trailer after I'd taken all the mats out so that they boys didn't have to sit where all those people had walked.
It worked quite well and despite it being the middle of summer and the sun shining we sold a fair bit and received numerous compliments which is always nice.
I now need to get on with replenishing the stocks as we have a two day outing to Otterbern Festival next weekend. My mum is up at the end of the week and Carol is back from her holiday so I'll get cracking the whip!
Saturday, 10 July 2010
Following on from my sheep shearing earlier in the week, today they have been dosed, had their feet trimmed and moved onto fresh grass. It took slightly longer than anticipated as we had an escapee. One of Mia's lambs ran through the fence into the woods and wouldn't come back.
We are at a village fair tomorrow so the alpacas will all get done on Monday; after the house viewing!
This evening we have been down to the Thompson's for a barbecue, very nice it was too, thank you Margaret.
Thursday, 8 July 2010
Colin & Sarah have been out for a meal at our favourite Italian restaurant to celebrate their wedding anniversary this evening leaving me to babysit Faith. We've had a great time and she was still bathed and fast asleep in bed before they got back - not bad eh!
Once they were back I decided that I'd go and weigh the babies as it has forecast a wet day tomorrow. Little Miss Irraqouy was not at all impressed when I got hold her her son, Niveous, not impressed was an understatement, she went mad. Stamping spitting and squealing at me I was green from head to toe and as the the smell, words can not describe it.
Paul and my brother thought it highly amusing - that will teach me to laugh at my brother I suppose.
Wednesday, 7 July 2010
Tuesday, 6 July 2010
Monday, 5 July 2010
My brother kindly offered to help by bringing the coats, I forgot to mention to him that Little Miss Irraquoy was rather protective. I walked straight over and caught LMI's son, much to her disgust and she began screeching at me then turned to my brother who was crouched down about 8 feet away and spat full in his face and all over his top!!!
I know I shouldn't, but I just couldn't help it, I was in hysterics his face was a picture. He was covered in this putrid green gunk, I wished I'd got my camera. Irraquoy calmly turned round and watched me put her baby's coat on then they trotted off. I'm still laughing now as I type - sorry Colin! As you can imagine I now have his clothes to wash.
This evening we had a couple of spit offs and a mating to do, funnily enough my brother was nowhere in sight. Willow made her thoughts on the whole mating situation quite clear and was off like a shot, so hopefully she is pregnant to Legend.
After carrying our his spit off duties Gianmarco's Masterpiece was rewarded with a date with Veruschka. I thought we were going to be there all nice he was thoroughly enjoying himself.
Sunday, 4 July 2010
All the excitement has obviously worn Faith out.....
Saturday, 3 July 2010
It's a good job she decided to birth this morning as her cria had one of it's legs sightly stuck and needed a little help. Once I had got the second leg in the right position Gabby popped her (yes its a girl) out.
She is a lovely dark fawn girl weighing a healthy 7.63kg. She was very early for Gabby, she usually prefers her cria well cooked with an average gestation of 355 (based on her previous five pregnancies), however this year she was only 340 days.
This latest cria is our last for this year from our brown stud Golden Guinea, he had blessed us with some lovely cria this year, we are very pleased with his results. Overall he has produced 3 boys and 3 girls for us and clients this year.
Her is Gabby with her new daughter, yet to be named. As you can see best friend Imala is still at her side. Imala has already resumed her baby sitting service for Gabby, hopefully she's just reminding herself of the ropes before she has her cria this year.
Friday, 2 July 2010
I thought I'd better get the lawn mower out and cut the back and side lawns. These get used as emergency grazing later in the year so I am hoping to get them to thicken up a bit before the end of the growing season, but without much rain it's not growing let alone thickening up.
Whilst I was driving round on the mower all seven cria were charging round playing chase, typically by the time I'd come back into the house to get the camera the younger members of the gang were having a milk break.
Seeing as I had the camera I thought I'd take a picture anyway. Leaving the pack is Ochre followed by Kazuo, Meketaten and Lucia heading up the rear.
This evening Casiphia needed her second antibiotic injection, she is a real live wire so I decided to wait until Paul got home rather than try and do it on my own. She was a good girl and behaved, her navel does now feel slightly different so hopefully whatever the problem was it is going, she still has the thick shrivelled up umbilical cord attached but hopefully that will drop off soon.
We are off to Cambo Village Fair tomorrow so I've been busy getting my stock ready, there were lots of new items that needed pricing up. I really must get all the new stock shown on our on line shop. That can be on the job list for next week!
Thursday, 1 July 2010
We have had Imala 3 years now, but in all that time we have only had one cria from her. Her 2007 cria had to be helped into the world by the vet, he had both legs back and I couldn't or maybe wasn't confident enough at that point to rearrange the legs. Sadly over winter 2008 she aborted her cria and when we took her back to be remated (she was one of only three outside matings last year) despite two attempts she did not take. She wasn't happy about sitting on either occasion so it came as no surprise when she sat each time we spat her off.
As the other two girls had taken on their first visit to the stud it was decided that we would leave Imala's outside mating until this year. Anyway towards the end of our on farm mating Imala decided that she wanted to be mated after all and kept sitting at the pen when the other girls were mated so we decided to let Legend do his stuff.
She has spat off ever since, however when the vet scanned everyone he scanned her empty! Imala is acting pregnant however she hides her pregnancy well so it is difficult to tell, in 2007 she didn't look pregnant even to the day she delivered Aodhfin.
So is she pregnant or isn't she................... time will tell, if she is she's 336 days and went 351 with her previous cria; so watch this space.