Tuesday, 31 August 2010
I got some very useful pressies, welly warmers, welly socks and a penknife to name but a few. My new penknife has a screwdriver on it which could be useful as the last one suffered 'an injury' whilst being used as one. I didn't dare tell dad how I'd broke it or I'd get told off for not using the right tool for the job!
My parents arrived bright and early this morning, I think my mum got my poor dad up far too early as he's been yawning all afternoon. Mum & I nipped over to Carols this afternoon to pick up another pair of gloves she'd knitted and some beetroot and when we got back dad was asleep.
Rory has been a good boy and happily taken his bottle from my mum. I was hoping he would as she is alpaca sitting in a couple of weeks for the weekend whilst we are at a show in Berwick with our knitwear.
Monday, 30 August 2010
Sunday, 29 August 2010
Friday, 27 August 2010
Carol and Dave popped over this afternoon with some friends, they were wanting to show them the alpacas. It's great that some of our enthusiasm has rubbed off on them, Carol even managed to pick out Pearson, their names sake.
Dave was saying it is two and a half years since they first came over to collect some manure following one of my Freecycle adverts. If only they had realised then that they'd be knitting, carding, making buttons and spotting new babies in the field two years later they may have stayed away!!
We have friends coming up for the Bank Holiday weekend tomorrow so I have already informed Rory he will have a new bottle provider tomorrow, I'm sure Becky will be wanting to do that job.
Little Minimus reached another milestone today, he is now over 11kg, and almost outgrown his coat again. He still looks tiny though, but checking the weight gain chart he is doing as well as those born around the same time and considerably better than his mum did, so I'm hoping he will catch everyone up eventually.
Thursday, 26 August 2010
I've got to say I'm amazed Lisa at Willowbank has burst with all the excitement, not only have they got two cracking girls with their babies heading down they have also got a new stud boy for next year, Wellground Relentless heading up. Well done, you've made some great choices there!
The weather has been glorious here today so I've been out cleaning all the fields, so they are all spic and span again. I hate it when I don't get chance to do them. It was really quite funny when I was doing the boys field, Hughie was supervising. He stood right next to me watching my every move, he moved with the quad and stopped at each pile as if to make sure I didn't miss any.
This evening Paul & I have been doing some fleece rummaging, I just love it. We were admiring Tenzing's fleece, it has great character, is bright, dense, extremely long staple length and has a nice handle. It is coming back wonderfully, I'm now not sure if I should be selling him just at the minute.
He got good fleece marks at the recent Kelso show (he was second on fleece score) but got marked down in the conformation because one of his testicles hadn't dropped down, so was placed fourth overall. Said ball is now on it's way down so I'm no longer worried about that!
Tenzing is from one of our best girls Veruschka whose fleece does well in the fleece shows, so maybe I should hang fire a little longer and see how this second fleece develops. He is also not related to anyone else in our herd, so another good reason to wait and see.
Wednesday, 25 August 2010
Tuesday, 24 August 2010
He had lost 90gms today, which bearing in mind he's only had one bottle from me in the last two days isn't as bad as I was expecting. He's drinking from Geena who does seem to have more milk this year than in previous ones. Hopefully his supper that he took tonight is the start of normal feeding again!
Poor Loki had a spit off job to do today, I did feel sorry for him I feel really mean when they don't get a girl at the end of it. Thankfully both Chiquita and Imala refused his advances so hopefully they are holding. Oonagh came over to say hello but she has another week to wait yet, we're hoping that she will be the last mating of the year for us. We try to get all our births complete by the end of August.
Well I must go and do some spinning as Carol is knitting Mary's black yarn quicker than I can spin it. I don't want to give her an excuse for stopping knitting!
Monday, 23 August 2010
Sunday, 22 August 2010
I received an email from Angelus's new owner today to say that she had delivered her cria which is great news. Paul & I had only been saying over a cup of tea on the bench she shouldn't be long. I will ask permission to share the photo with you tomorrow.
Now for the quandary, do we or don't we mate Palm-Olive now or wait until the Spring. She has now decided that she would quite like to be mated and has become a bit of a flirt, which as you can imagine Golden Guinea is lapping up.
Palm-Olive is a 16 months old, well grown girl. Generally we don't mate our young girls until they are at least 18 months, although they are all considered individually so there have been a couple of exceptions to this unwritten rule.
Palm-Olive is from Accoyo Remarque, so as you can imagine has a very nice fleece. So the next question, if we decide to mate her, who do we use? Legend of Spartacus, our Supreme Champ who has Peruvian Spartacus and Jolimont Commisario in his pedigree or Gianmarco's Masterpiece who is from Jolimont Gianmarco with Jolimont Sculptor and Jolimont Encantador as Grand sires.
Both boys have produced us some stunning cria this year ..................... decisions, decisions. Palm-Olive is actually one of only two remain girls we have for sale. It is likely that these girls will be the only ones we have for sale for the foreseeable future.
Saturday, 21 August 2010
Friday, 20 August 2010
Thursday, 19 August 2010
Wednesday, 18 August 2010
This photo was taken at lunchtime, by which time after being bathed a few times the swelling was beginning to go down. Hopefully with bathing and eye drops he will be back to normal in no time.
We have had the vet round today to carry out some vet checks on the two girls we have sold and their cria. All passed with flying colours as we would expect, these are two cracking girls with fabulous cria at foot. Sam, our vet was very impressed with the condition scores of both girls especially Alice as he thought Kazuo was 'very well fed'!
This was before the girls got on the new grass, we had been waiting for the vet to come before we moved them as we know what Katia is like and there is no way she would leave the lush grass for a few days.
The youngsters have been chasing round like crazy in their new field. I did manage to get a video but I think it must be too large to upload on the blog as it's not working - I'll get Paul to put it on YouTube and post the link so you can see it.
I caught 12 of the 14 cria in one photo, hopefully you will be able to enlarge it as I have labelled everyone, I know you liked it when I did that last time!!
Tuesday, 17 August 2010
Monday, 16 August 2010
The girls were due to go on fresh grass today but we thought we would let Freyja find her feet before she goes in the nice lush green grass which will do wonders for everyone milk supply and cria growth.
Sunday, 15 August 2010
Yesterday the weather wasn't great so Paul was doing some website updates whilst I was sewing labels into knitwear and trying to keep the kittens in order - that bit wasn't working very well! He was working on the meet the herd section which was out of date and the sales page which shows the latest comings and goings. There are still pages in need of attention so keep your eyes peeled.
I haven't done much of the shop yet but that is because I couldn't get on the machine as Paul was hogging it. I will get there though, honest Carol, bear with me.
Today we have been busy with herd husbandry jobs. Everyone has been given the once over, condition scored and toe nails trimmed where needed, which it has to be said was almost everywhere, even Geena who hardly ever needs hers cutting.
Many of the cria were due their second Lambivac injection and the youngest few were weighed again, which they just take in their stride as it happens so frequently. We also weighed Lucia who is now 28kg and isn't three months old yet.
Katia's little girl is growing nicely she has gained 1.76kg in a week. I will hopefully have a name to share with you all soon, in the meantime I thought you might like to share this photo I took this afternoon.
We also had some spit off's and matings to do, unfortunately Chiquita sat so she will have a meeting with Golden Guinea tomorrow as he was needed for Geena today. We decided that we would try and get some colour our of her next year! Imala had an appointment with Gianmarco's Masterpiece which he thoroughly enjoyed.
We have a quandary with Palm-Olive, one of our last remaining sales girls but more on that tomorrow.
Friday, 13 August 2010
Rory hasn't wanted his bottle today, he didn't like me wearing my waterproof coat. Thankfully by bedtime he'd got used to me in alien clothing and happily drank his bottle.
The day started with a lovely conversation with someone who is very lucky and shall remain nameless at the minute as I didn't ask for permission to mention it. All I will say is watch this space.
In fact thinking about it, I spent most of the morning on the telephone talking alpaca, great topic of conversation don't you think.
The rest of the day has been spent in front of the computer, I don't know how I used to do it all day everyday!
I've started to update the on-line shop and all, well most, of the photo's are re sized; yes I managed to do it all by myself, and ready to be up loaded. It is such a slow job though it takes ages.
Paul is on holiday from his day job next week so he has a 'to do list' being prepared and general website updates are on there. I'm not allowed to do those, he doesn't trust me.
Thursday, 12 August 2010
Wednesday, 11 August 2010
Hopefully the family liked the house, I know the daughter was very impressed with the two kittens and then even more impressed when they went to have a look at the land and Lady Godiva came over to introduce herself, closely followed by Ochre - you can tell they are both Golden Guinea progeny.
Since the boys moved onto fresh grass at the weekend the field shelter has become a bit of a trophy possession. What once had room for all five boys now seems to struggle to fit more than one! Gianmarco seems to have taken over it and refuses point blank to share, although when I went out this morning Loki had managed to squeeze himself in.
Anyone who has read the meet the herd section of our website will know that despite being a big girl, Veruschka holds a very low ranking within the herd. I have noticed the last few days Kazuo seems to have taken a fancy to her and is trying to mount her whilst orgling. Needless to say as Veruschka is (hopefully) pregnant to Gianmarco's Masterpiece, who is actually Kazuo's dad, she is not at all impressed and runs off . The only problem is this then makes the rest of the youngsters think it's a game so she ends up with about 10 cria chasing her which puts her in a panic.
Tuesday, 10 August 2010
I have been busily updating alpaca seller today, it was a little out of date following the birth of the Aussie girls cria. If only I had the space (and some spare cash) I really would like to keep at least one of them, if only.............
I received a lovely letter of thanks from the Border Union Show thanking me for my Chief Steward duties at the show, Paul also received one so hopefully the rest of my stewarding team received one too. It's nice to knew you are appreciated.
Talking of appreciation, someone has been reading my ramblings. I had a call from a fellow alpaca owner yesterday who had an issue with an abscess on one of their alpacas. My blogging about the problem we had with Gabby's jaw last year will hopefully help her out - good luck.
PS. Whoever left the anonymous comment about Paul seeing the kitten photo it's too late!
Monday, 9 August 2010
We weighed the three youngest cria all of whom are doing well, Minimus is still slightly heavier than Katia's daughter, who we have not yet named as she is for sale, and it is nice if they get new owners soon they will be able to name her.
I was feeling rather annoyed this afternoon, so took it out on a tree that was overhanging one of our fields. It provides a nice bit of shelter but it was far too low, not any more. It was quite funny I had an audience, typically at the front of the gathering was Ursula.
As a bit of a wind down I thought I would do a bit of spinning as my two young apprentices were not getting on with it very well!
Carol has knitted a lovely black hat in Mary fleece which I am spinning at the minute. I took her a bit over last week as Dave carded it all for me I thought she might like to knit a bit. It never ceases to amaze me how quick Carol knits, since I saw her last week she has knitted me a hat and some long fingerless mittens. She somehow manages to find time to go to work as well.
Sunday, 8 August 2010
Once our company had gone I finished off cleaning the fields that my brother kindly started this morning whilst Paul cut and harrowed in readiness for the rain we had forecast, however the weathermen seem to have changed their minds now.
We also had a batch of spit offs to do, all but Gabby spat off, she dropped like a stone when she saw Guinea arrive, I'd not put her in the mating pen yet either and once she sits to be mated there is no moving her so I just let them get on with it and removed the rest of the girls and babies back to their main field. All expect Imala that is, who sat next to her waiting for her turn. She is actually due an outside mating from 2008 so she will have to wait a little while so we can take her and Geena at the same time.
Saturday, 7 August 2010
Now she has given birth I was able to give Katia's nails a good trim, they were very long, I'm sure they must have been missed by the shearer as they were looking quite bad, I didn't want to upset her though until she'd had her baby. They are now looking much better and she was happy to let me do them which always makes life much easier.
At last Mimimus is not the lightest baby at Barnacre, he has overtaken the new arrival this evening and weighs a huge (for him) 8.16kg, that means in three weeks he has doubled his birth weight so I'm happy.
This morning we had a bit of a move round with the boys and youngsters on the rented land. We really needed to make use of the big field as this is the best grass we have at the minute. However this would mean that the young girls would be next to the boys and that would never work. Why does the grass always grow where you least need it.
So Guinea had to move down one stud strip and the other four big boys have moved onto the roadside stud strip, this means there is now an empty field between the boys, as Golden Guinea and Loki aren't getting on too well at the minute - they spend all day posturing to each other and it usually ends up in a fight. There is also a gap between Guinea and the ladies, he is still rather excited though.
Friday, 6 August 2010
Thursday, 5 August 2010
I have been doing a spot of 'market research' today with Margaret, Alan (farmer friends) wife which was nice. I can't really say much more than that at this stage but it has meant that very little has occurred back at home.
I did get to do a bit of spinning whilst I was cooking tea and this evening I have been sewing labels into the new knitwear.
I had planned to get some photos so that I could update the online shop but just as I had sorted some pieces out the heavens opened; not that I am complaining as the grass needs it. Unfortunately my Paca Poo bricks were out in the sun drying so I had to decide which stayed dry bricks or Mimimus and Minimus won!
Wednesday, 4 August 2010
My parents have gone home this afternoon, after mum had given Rory (Geena's baby) his bottle and fed the girls some carrots - they do get spoilt. Guinea is enjoying raspberries most evenings as we have some wild ones growing on the lane.
I'm not sure what Kate has been on today but this evening she was pronking round the field with the babies. She did however take a bit of a dislike to poor Wynfor who she was trying to stamp on when he sat next to her baby Ochre, who incidentally is a right lump these days!
Katia is now looking slightly closer to birthing however I still wouldn't be surprised if Oonagh beats her to it. Oonagh has a bag of milk and is following in her mums footsteps with huge teats.
Tuesday, 3 August 2010
Mum and I popped over to see Carol this afternoon, I took her some of the black yarn I have spun following Dave's carding sessions. We found her busy knitting in her summer house, I think Dave probably thought she would be doing a spot of weeding, but I won't tell if you don't.
She has been super busy with the knitting needles, I bought some lovely new pieces home with me. Mum has also been knitting whilst she has been here and I've told her she can't leave tomorrow until she's finished the pair of gloves she's currently working on.
The three youngest cria continue to gain weight nicely, Mimimus has now passed the birth weight of our 'normal sized' cria which feels good. He still looks really small though.
Oonagh now has a bag full of milk, she is at 327 days and is looking like she won't reach 347 which is when she birthed last year. The only other girl we have left to birth is Katia who is at 350 and not looking like she is in any rush.
Monday, 2 August 2010
Bio security is something we are very strict with, so cleaning the trailer inside and out after after use is a must. As it was bin day I thought I'd do that too whilst I was at it!
Next on the list was to finish off cleaning and cutting the girls previous field so mum and I set about it. It took us ages but my dad did come out with a cup of tea and a biscuit for us, although he wouldn't let us have five minutes rest to drink it. Carol (my knitting friend) has been witness to my dad's slave driving so she will vouch for me.
We haven't actually finished the job off as we ran out of petrol so I will have to finish off once I have filled the patrol cans - all very annoying as the sooner it is cut and clean the sooner it will begin to recover.
It is Chiquita's 3rd birthday today. I can't believe it is three years since Willow (her mum) and I were in a panic in the field. Willow couldn't work out what on earth was poking out her back end and I was worrying it was taking far too long. Chiquita now has a baby of her own, little Minimus.
Sunday, 1 August 2010
We have been busy moving animals on to fresh grass today, the rain we had last week has really helped to green things up and get the grass moving again. This morning after we had spat off Star, who spat off at poor Loki very convincing the recently mated maidens moved over the fence to the very lush looking fresh grass. This afternoon it was the turn of the main herd to get fresh grass.
As a treat for Mr Guinea being such a good boy at the show yesterday he got to mate Chiquita. Not until he had done four spit offs though, In true LMI style she went mad and proceeded to cover everything in a 3 or 4 meter radius green, including Paul, my mum and I!
Gabby our oldest girl doesn't believe she should have to do spit offs and glared at Guinea before he had got anywhere near letting us know that she had ovulated, as had Ursula and Veruschka.
Whilst Guinea and Chiquita were getting intimate Geena sat there hopefully. She only gave birth on Wednesday so she has a little wait yet but that didn't stop her asking.
Paul managed to get two of the resting fields cut in the hope they will thicken up as we had rain showers forecast. Unfortunately we had a very heavy down pout whilst I was cleaning the girls field and ended up soaked to the skin and didn't get it finished.
Paul was following me with the mover cutting the tall wispy bits of grass that they had left behind. I will have to finish that job off tomorrow assuming it's dry.
All the cria have been weighed today, with being at Kelso the last couple of days we hadn't done it. Everyone is growing nicely which is good, little Minimus has reached 7kg, that is a 75% weight gain in 2 weeks.