Saturday, 31 March 2012

Big bed a year on

It's the weekend again which can only mean one thing, fencing time!  We are currently fencing a downward slope with bends in it so there are lots of strainers and it's taking some time.  We also seem to have found lots of stones which have required digging out.
I have removed Ebony's lambs splints tonight to see how he gets on, he's walking on his tip toes at the minutes so I will keep a close eye on him.

Unfortunately it's not been a a good day in the Shep department today, we lost a very heavily pregnant ewe who was carrying twins.  I found her stuck on her back on Thursday morning but she seemed to be picking up a bit, poor thing.  I really don't think I will ever get used to losing livestock, it makes me feel like I failed them.

The pet sheep continue to keep their legs crossed, I'm not sure how Mocha is still hanging on to hers, although she was the same last year so we could still have a while to wait for her to produce.

I'm planning an early night tonight, for the first time in a year we are going to sleep in our own bed, we have been using the spare bed up until now, but with carpets fitted it time to get the king size bed back up - can't wait.  Best go, just in case Paul beats me to the nice clean sheets and big bed!

Friday, 30 March 2012

Roll over

It has been another scorcher of a day on the hill, so many trips up and down with water again - not for much longer though.

The girls have spent much of the day sunbathing, paddling and rolling on mole hills.  There are a few favourite mole hills which mean they queue up to use them (just like I had to for fuel tonight!).

First Imala had a roll, then it was the turn of Kate, she isn't very good at sharing though..

So Molly had to use a neighbouring mole hill!

Molly, one of the girls we have for sale is a real character, she is slightly loopy in a nice sort of way, and so entertaining to watch.

On the lamb front, no more new additions as yet, we have three pet sheep left to lamb before we move onto the blackies in a couple of weeks time.  Ebony's tup lamb seems to be getting on well with his splints, I will take them off tomorrow and see how he goes.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Bird visitors

I'm pleased to report that all the sheep have stayed the right side of the wall today so my temporary wall fix has worked.  I dreaded looking in their direction all day just in case they were off again!

The girls have well and truly settled into their new field, I'm amazed that none of them have really bothered about their weanling offspring in the next field, not even Willow who is exceptionally close to her daughters.

We are getting some very interested feathered visitors to the hill now.  There are lots of curlews and sky larks about and we have three buzzards that spend a lot of their time flying over the hill.  I managed to snap this one having a rest on one of our fence posts.
 We have also been trying to identify another bird that flies round the ditches on the land and sometimes sits in the long grass.  I'd said to Paul that it flew like an owl but we thought it was some sort of bird of pray, a harrier maybe.

In a stoke of good luck we happened to have the camera with us when it decided to perch on one of the fence poles.

It's a short eared owl!

I have managed to get the girls old field harrowed today, here's a long range shot of it from just outside their new field.  The stakes you can see are marking out the fence line for our next fencing job!

The three lambs are enjoying the sunshine, they have all had their tails ringed today, and the poor boys castrated.  Ebony's lambs feet are also starting to straighten which is good news.  He is still supporting his red splits though for a few more days yet.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Sheep stress

The sheep have been causing me immense grief today, they've been escaping onto the main road - not good!

Having done the morning rounds and sorted everyone out with food, water and more lick buckets for the sheep I set about my job list.

It has to be said I'd not got far down it when I noticed that some of the ewe lambs were on the wrong side of the wall .  In fact they were on the outside of the field the alpaca girls had come out of and were munching their way to Otterburn.

Out with the quad and off I went down the track and noticed there were some of the gimmers out too - not happy.  They were nowhere near the lambs so I couldn't work out how they had got out.  I managed to get them back in through the gate at the public footpath.  I thought maybe someone had left it open and that's how they'd got out.

When the gimmers back the right side of the wall I headed off to get the ewe lambs back.  Now these girls are wild, thankfully I got them running in the right direction and they went back over the wall!  Yes just jumped over it - umm need to rethink these boundaries.  I wouldn't mind but we don't have a food shortage so why do they feel the need to wonder.

Then this evening when I went to feed the alpacas I glanced down toward the road and saw them out again, this time they were both sides of the A696.  So back down again to try and get them back.  This time they ran back and went over a bit of wall they'd knocked down, so I think I have now found their escape route - nowhere near where they eat!

With the sheep back in I have patched up the wall in the hope that that will keep them in.  As I went back along to road to check all the remaining sheep and boundaries I was met with a police car, flashing lights the lot!

Someone had reported the sheep on the road to the police; marvellous now they are getting me in trouble with the law.  Luckily with the sheep back and the wall patched the very nice police man just thanked me for getting them back and saving him having to chase some sheep.  I did get a ticking off for the second number plate on my quad. 

I'm hoping the only sheep activity tomorrow may be another set of lambs from the pet ewes.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Liberty Hill lambs start arriving

Lambs have started to arrive at Liberty Hill today.  Our pet sheep have started to lamb, when I got up this morning Ebony had already lambed right near our gate.

Ebony is a home bred ewe from one of my original pet sheep Pepper.  Since we started breeding from her she has only ever produced single lambs and everyone has been a boy, and this year is no different, one tup lamb from Ebony. 

He has a slight issue with his front legs, the tendons are very tight so instead of walking on his feet properly he's got his feet bent over and he's walking on the tops of his feet.  Poor little man now has they strapped up and he is in the shed for the night with his mum.

Not wanting to be outdone, Mia soon decided it was her turn to lamb.  Mia didn't like the first pair of lambs she had a couple of years ago initially so I was a little worried about her accepting this lot as last year she managed to avoid the tup completely and didn't have any.

She was soon in labour with a little sack of amniotic fluid handing from her back end she was doing all the classic things, scratching at the ground

Staring up at the sky and walking round and round in circles just in case the lamb had popped out without her noticing!

 No such luck I'm afraid Mia, she was pushing and groaning for ages to no available, all we had was two feet and a nose coming in and out despite her pushing for all she was worth.  Eventually I decided to lend a hand and I pulled the lamb out.  A lovely ewe lamb; we'll take that...

As you can see Mia likes her and we were soon on to number two.

The same thing happend here and Mia was really struggling to get the lamb any further out, so I helped again.  This time it was a slightly smaller tup lamb.

Mia seems to have taken to motherhood this time with no trouble at all which is great and Ebony loves her son and his quite protective of him.

All of them are safely in the shed for the night and will be put out again in the morning all being well in the sunshine.

That leaves 3 pet sheep left to lamb before we get on to the main flock, then it will be alpacas

Monday, 26 March 2012

Too hot to handle

It was another none stop day yesterday, Paul and I spent the morning fencing, we've actually got quite a rhythm going and we are progressing quite nicely with the next divide.

We had a good excuse to stop mid morning as we had visitors, a lovely couple thinking of keeping alpacas.  We actually spoke to them last year offering some basic advice on land and shelters so now they wanted to come and get close and personal with our friendly alpacas.


(left - right) Cazanova, Jam-Packed & Portamento

It was a fabulous day to rummage through fleeces, everyone has so much of it at the minute, which in this heat is causing rather a lot of sunbathing and paddling in water troughs!

Our visitors left with lots to think about and I'm left drooling over Jam-Packed's fleece (sire Gianmarco's Masterpiece) which is stunning.  If only.....

Today has been even hotter, some of the girls are certainly feeling the heat, although I did manage to catch all of them standing at one point this afternoon to admire the view. 

I have a busy week ahead planned, visits, visitors and hopefully a trip over to Angerton at some stage; I still miss our old neighbours!

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Fresh grass, full day

It has been another full on day here at Barnacre, luckily for me I'm getting better (it's a good job really because no allowances are made for illness round here!).

It was the day of the big move for the girls, they were moving to the newly fenced field nearer the house were there is grass to eat in readiness for birthing.  Thankfully all went relatively smoothly, containment in the hay field, loading into the trailer (no pathway yet or bridge over the burn for the alpacas) and running into the new field.

As they say pictures paint a thousand words
With the first trailer load on their way the other girls wondering where they were going.  Ursula soon spotted them up in the yard!

The next step is a little movie clip, which is taking too long to upload on blogger but here's the youtube link

A roll on the way to the new field!

Lualeni straight down to business.

Checking out the boundaries.

With the girls settled we had all their belongings to move, feed and water troughs, hay hecks, hay and all the hurdles to bring back.

By the time we had done that and managed to get a round of injections done and a couple of pedicures, it was getting dark.  A couple of the girls could do with one toes trimming but it's the first ones to birth so I thought I'd leave them now as they don't have that long left before babies arrive and their nails weren't too bad.

Friday, 23 March 2012

A visit from the army

Thank you for your get well comments, phone calls and texts, it's nice to know people care.  I'm pleased to say that I am feeling a little better today and have more energy which helps!

I have managed to finish the stapling and nailing of the girls field in the hope that, in the morning, we manage to get everyone contained and moved onto the fresh grass and nearer to the house for birthing. 

I fear it may take some time to get them contained in their existing field and even longer to get them contained in the new one as currently we have no runway/channel to get them there.

This afternoon whilst on my sheep rounds I got very worried that we may have another fencing job on.  As I went over the brow of the hill I could see the police had stopped the traffic coming down the hill, which usually only means one thing... accident.

As I got closer I saw a large army vehicle stationary along our boundary with the A696, at this point I was getting more concerned and increased speed, praying that it hadn't gone through the fence.  The thought of 130 ewes running on the A696 wasn't a pleasant thought.  I then noticed a rather worse for wear land rover which had obviously lost control and ploughed into, more like though, the fence.
Luckily for me it had missed our fence by a foot and had gone through our neighbours instead.  They were using the crane to drag it out and tow it away as it was a complete right off.  Hopefully if you click on the photo it will enlarge!

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Weanies catching a few rays

It's just a short and sweet blog tonight as I'm still feeling under the weather, but when you have animals to look after you have to carry on regardless.

Whilst I was out knocking some of the staples onto the stock fencing ready for the planned move of the girls at the weekend, I took a couple of photo's of the weanies enjoying the sun.

Photo quality isn't great as they were off my phone, but I thought you'd enjoy them anyway!

On the fencing front I managed to get all the front face done and two thirds of the way along the long side, at least I should be able to get that done tomorrow and hopefully the ends sorted.  Fingers crossed I will wake up with a bit more energy and less of a pounding head and cough.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Give me alpacas any day

Having had an early night in the hope that I would get up refreshed it was sadly not to be, I felt terrible.  Never mind when you have animals you have to get up and on with it regardless, so off I went on my rounds.

I usually feed the weanling alpacas and boys first as Minimus and his friends need taking back out after a night in the shed.  As I walk up the hill I always look down on the girls, this morning was no different, however the girls were watching something.....

Some of the pesky sheep had escaped and were in the woodland next to the alpacas, they should be two fields and a burn away!
I really wasn't in the mood for chasing last years ewe lambs round, they are wild and totally unresponsive to a feed bucket or anything else for that matter.  They couldn't stay where they were though because if they'd walked though the burn once to get there they could wonder up further and end up in a neighbours field.

Once I'd sorted out all the alpacas I set about trying to gather the escapees to shepherd them back to where they came from, however they had other idea's.  Little me, feeling rather poorly, in a 2 or 3 (ish) acre slopping field with trees and bits of wall and 11 wild blackie ewe lambs, they were not stepping one foot in the water - they must have walked through it to get in there!

Anyway an hour later I gave up and decided the best course of action was to block off the burn on the edge of the field so they could get no further up and hope that they didn't eat anything they shouldn't.

I clearly should have just left them to it because this evening at alpaca feed time they were back across the burn and I managed to get them back in their rightful field, for how long I'm not sure.  Higher stone wall required - well that's how they got back anyway; over the wall!

Seeing as we are talking sheep, I thought you might like to see poor Mocha, she looks like she is about to explode, that looks like two big lambs in there, hopefully not too big though.

Mocha is one of my pet racing sheep, see my blog of 17/09/11 , if you're new to my blog.  I don't think she'll feel much like racing at the minute, not unless it's to the feed bucket anyway.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Spring equinox

Its an early and a short blog tonight as I'm rather germ ridden and feeling ill - not something I am very often thankfully!
I had lots of banging of fencing nails and staples planned for today but the constant sneezing and a thumping head ache I have failed to know in a single nail.  Hopefully tomorrow will be another story.

Our hens have decided that as its the spring equinox today that they would also declare spring and lay me a bumper haul of eggs, seven to be exact.  They have well and truly settled now and roam about all over the place, one of their favourite hang outs in one of our little streams.
On that note I'm off to roam quietly to bed and hope Paul doesn't notice - he said it's too early!

Monday, 19 March 2012

A fence free day

Firstly, sorry no blog last night after a day full of fencing (as well as the everyday jobs) I was too tired for blogging, and as for Paul & I going setting up as pro's Barbara it would end up in divorce or murder before long!

The fencing with the help of Dave (again, thanks Dave) is coming along nicely, the girls next field is now almost secure, the gate need hanging and the short bars at the end of the stock fencing need cutting.  This week I need to finish putting in the second nails on the cross bars and the staples in the stock fencing ready for the girls to move at the weekend all being well.  I did mean to take the camera out with us but failed I'm afraid.

After we'd finished fencing for the day Paul carried down a big bit of caravan mark one on the tractor which this morning we cut, crushed or snapped into small enough pieces to get into the car!  I did one tip run this afternoon so two more to go.

We have been moving hay bales about this afternoon, the boys needed a new bale as did the girls so we had a game of shuffle.  Everyone now has hay again.  In fact the boys got an extra ration tonight as they got the left overs from the littlies bale so they were quite chuffed.

Talking of littlies I'm pleased to report that Minimus's leg is now almost completely healed.  He has a big bald patch and a lumpy knee but hopefully in time the bump will go down and the fleece will soon grow again.  I'm now thinking about having him castrated as he's taken to living with the weanlings.  I'm just not sure......

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Spike, knock, strighten, knock...... one post done

We were up at the crack of dawn as we had a fencing job on this morning and a trip out this afternoon.  We'd just finished the feeding rounds when Dave arrived to help, we all had other things to do this afternoon so we knew we needed to crack on!

I managed, well I say I, he was actually following Paul's instructions at the time, to knock Dave off his feet.  Luckily he was ok and I didn't actually knock him it was more he lost his balance, note to Dave try stabilisers tomorrow.

After Dave left we managed to finish knocking the posts for the girls field before we left.  That leaves the gate, crossbars and netting tomorrow before we move in to the next field.

This afternoon we went to look at some land, as I didn't ask for permission to talk about it I'd better say no more than that, but it's all rather exciting.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Happy birthday Ursula

I can't believe Ursula is 5 today, happy birthday Ursh!

Paul fell in love with Ursula when we went to look at some girls who had just come in from Chile.  I had my eye on a grey girl (Kate) but Paul loved this big buddle of fluff named Ursula who was born in quarintine to Mary.  We ended up coming away having purchased Kate and Mary and little Ursula.

Urusla was three and a half months old when she arrived and was full of mischief, here is is a few days after she arrived looking like butter wouldn't melt in her mouth; don't be fooled!

We hadn't even had her 48 hours when she tried to strangle herself.  We didn't have many alpacas back then and stored some hay in the girls shelter and somehow, even to this day I haven't worked out how, Urusla managed to get her head inside the baler twine on a full bale of hay!  So when I went out to feed I found her attached to the bales looking all confused.  Thankfully she was none the worse for her ordeal and certainly didn't learn from it.

She would steal your hat, pinch the food tub or anything else you happened to leave unattended for more than a few minutes.  She is still partial to walking off with your gloves, a trait she passed on to her son Pearson.

She has to be one of our nosest alpacas and even now mature and pregnant thinks nothing to charging half way across the field to stick her nose into whatever you are doing.

Her first cria Pearson (sired by Golden Guinea) is just as friendly as his mum, he has actually been sold and will be heading off to Scotland soon.  She is currently pregnant to Gianmarco's Masterpeice (white) so it will be interesting to see what colour she produces this year.

These final two photo's were taken at Ursula's birthday party this morning shortly after her turnip and carrot treat (which she had to share with her mum Mary).

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Sunbathing creatures

I thought I would keep the words brief tonight and share a few pictures, unfortunately I wasn't quick enough to catch a photo of the stoat that ran across the yard and down our drive this morning.  He was lovely, but far too fast for me!

I did manage to snap one of the skylarks that was singing to me whilst I was feeding the littlies and the boys this morning.
Talking of littlies how could I resist sharing this one of sibling love, Minimus and Piccolina who are inseparable no matter if they are in the shed or not!  I caught they sunbathing together whilst I was driving round on the flail mower.

And finally, oh to be a farm cat at Barnacre, Smudge and Izzie catching a few rays.  Tilly was asleep in my bed but don't tell Paul.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Dirt magnets

Another busy day here on the hill, so nothing new there then! 

This morning I had a visit from the local constabulary about an ongoing matter, I'll say no more than that in case it ends up in court.  Mia (the pet sheep) spotted the bright livery on the police car as soon as it pulled off the main road; she never misses the opportunity to get throw a gate.  Luckily she is heavily in lamb and moving slowly so he was able to get up our drive before she got down on to the track to follow him.

All the alpacas have been enjoying the recent good weather and are looking much cleaner than they have, with the exception of most of the weanlings who are dirt magnets.  I think Angelica's fleece is totally destroyed, I don't think even I will be able to hand spin any of that.  She is a Legend of Spartacus daughter and has masses and masses of superfine fleece which is why it is attracting so much hay and debris.

Minimus is obviously feeling much better following his bad leg, for the first time tonight I had to pursue him round the field after tea.  He is usually waiting to come back into the barn.  His knee is looking much better but there is still a tiny little opening so I am taking no chances and he's in the shed with his friends.

Despite me cleaning out the chickens I only got 2 eggs today - that's one less than normal; thanks ladies!  Hopefully they are building up to mass production tomorrow.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Squeeze chicken squeeze

With the mornings getting lighter I was up bright and early this morning, it might also have had something to do with the fact that Paul had to get up first - not something he likes doing so he always makes sure everyone knows he's up.  He did bring me a cup of tea though so I won't complain too much!

As part of the morning feeding process this morning I have put Hannah (sheep) back out, she is now better and happy enjoying the grass again - after a little encouragement to leave the conform of the shed.  A big bucket of feed was called for to walk her out of the yard.

Her shed companion is still in situe, I'm not very optimistic that her outcome will be so happy I'm afraid, but I'm not giving up on her just yet.

I cleaned the hens out early and told them that I expected lots of eggs to show their appreciation.  There were no extra eggs, just the usual three, however one was enormous.  As promised to all twitter followers here's the rather painful looking huge egg!
The next photo is especially for Judy who wanted some house photo's and an update.

As you can see the house is almost finished now, there are just a few minor things to be completed and a permanent solution to the water situation to resolve.  I will take a few indoor shots for you tomorrow; assuming I remember before it gets dark!

Monday, 12 March 2012

Is the clock ticking faster?

I can't believe it's nearly bedtime again - where do the days go?!

After sheep wrestling yesterday even I didn't want to get up this morning but when you have mouths to feed and animals relying on you there is not choice so it was up at sunrise as usual.  My poor little legs were feeling the pain from Wesley's horns yesterday, I certainly have some bruises to show for my troubles.

The ewes all seem happy on their fresh grass, we have moved them down onto the lower half ready for lambing.  They have a few weeks to go yet but some are looking rather large.  Our pet sheep will lamb first (towards the end of the month), my money is on Ebony being first.  She is enormous and only having one so I'm just hoping it's not too big, she usually has whoppers.

On the alpaca front Lualeni is due 6 weeks today based on her previous gestation and her sister Oonagh four days later so it will soon be all go on the birthing front.  Time to get the birthing bucket all sorted, more on that another night.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Day of rest; when?!

We have had an exceptionally busy day today, this morning we had a farm walk and talk booked.  The weather was great as were the visitors.  The alpacas always enjoy having visitors, here we have Gabby, Ursula, Oonagh and Geena being fed by Sian and Darren.
Meketaten was her usually show off self taking full advantage of some new admirers.  I do enjoy having a rummage in her fleece it is fantastic.

This afternoon we have been on sheep moving and vaccinating duties, all the pregnant girls needed their Heptivac injection and we have moved them on to the bottom half now that they are getting closer to lambing.  They should be much easier to keep an eye on down there and the grass is also nicer.

Carol and Dave came over to help us gather them up and dose them.  Once we got them through the first gate they moved quite nicely along the fence line and into the small (well we thought it was small) paddock so we could dose everyone.

They were rather naughty in there and took some rounding up, by the time we finished we were all worn out.  I have a number of bruises already from various horns and Wesley (the tup) managed to knock me completely off my feet - that hurt.  I didn't cry or swear; but I came close!

On the rounding up Paul took this photo from the top of the hill, it's not the best quality as it's on his blackberry but it gives you an idea of the space these ewes have.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Washing label photograph and start all over again!

I'm not quite sure what happened to the weather today, it was supposed to be nice but no one seemed to tell the weather.  It has been dull and damp all day so Minimus and his friends have been shed dwelling today.  Now his leg is heeling I'm not going to let all that hard work be wasted and let him get it infected in a damp field.

Hannah the sheep is much better today and actually bleated for the first time for her tea.  I think she will be out at the weekend; sheep are so much smellier than alpacas so the sooner she's fit to return to the hill the better!

As the weather wasn't great I spent the morning washing and all afternoon printing labels for all the new knitwear.  Dad was on cutting and folding duties.

Just when I thought I was up to date I got a text from Carol who is back from her hols telling me she's knitted 7 hats whilst she was away.  It's a good job her and mum are busy knitting because I've been knitting the same pair of fingerless gloves for ages, I don't like them so am struggling to get motivated to knit them.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Duck pond

Today I managed to find time to leave the farm for the few hours, it doesn't happen very often.  As my parents are here we headed off to Morpeth, I needed to pick up some vaccinations from the vet and dad needed some more beeswax for our handmade buttons.

Whilst we were out I was treated to lunch, very nice it was to Gianni's; thank you.

Minimus has been out again today, his knee is healing nicely, although we're not quite there yet and I don't want it to get infected again so he is back in tonight as I didn't want him getting it wet or dirty. 

Tonight he has sister Piccolina and Cazanova for company, and Nadia who decided that she didn't need a halter or head collar on to walk back to the shed, she knew the way.  I decided to let her walk down and she walk along side me all the way - what a good girl she is.  We don't have a channel fenced off yet so if she wanted she could have wandered round the 40 odd acres still to be divided up.

I'm not sure if I've mentioned on the blog before that we intend having a little duck pond on the farm in the future.  Whilst I was out feeding my daddy made me one with three little ducks...

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Tractor track

We have been working hard today collecting stone, rock and rubble from what will be our garden and using it to fill in the huge ruts made by the tractor at the weekend.  I managed to get filthy and mud splattered as usual, I always say it's a sign of hard work being dirty!  That's why Paul is usually the clean one...

All the alpacas are loving the latest batch of carrots mum and dad bought with them, although at the rate mum is making dad chop them they won't last long.

Hannah the Blackie sheep is continuing to make good progress, I say with everything crossed; you know what sheep are like!  She is much stronger on her feet and stamping at my mum which has to be good - even though mum doesn't think so.

Mum and I are struggling to keep our eyes open to knit tonight so it might have to be an early night all round.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Three line whip

It has been a lovely spring like day today, the solar has been generating lots of electricity and the alpacas have been doing a fair bit of sunbathing.

I returned from the morning feed rounds to find a three line whip waiting for me!  From back to from we have Minimus, Piccolina and Nadia!

As the weather was so nice and Minimus's leg is looking much better I decided to take them back to the field for the day.  I think they were all pleased to get some grass into their little bellies.

Minimus's leg still isn't completely healed so he is back in the shed tonight with Piccolina and Brinley this time for company.  Nadia was happy playing out so I left her - she's not going to be very happy about it though because tonight it is raining!

My poorly sheep, named Hannah by by niece is still with us.  She must be feeling slightly stronger today because she stamped her feet at mum when she went to see her.  Fingers crossed we are heading in the right direction, however knowing what sheep are like you never know.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Swamp fever

Unfortunately the weather wasn't very kind to us today.  I laid in bed last night listening to the rain pouring down and got up to it still raining.  The rain soon turned to sleet and snow and the ground was sodden so no fencing today.

Instead Paul and Colin (brother) decided to do some more work on our field drains. 

Off they went up the hill with the strimmer, rakes, spades and plenty of good humour (which they needed!).  They came back at lunchtime rather wet and smelly but in good spirits because their hard work appeared to be paying off.  By this evening they are both hobbling round complaining about various aches and pains but they have hopefully stopped the water running into the boys field and there is a definite increase in flow of water into the culvert.  Here is one of the swamp monsters that returned (not sure how he could see what he was doing)...

Whilst the boys were playing in the stagnant water I was trying to 'encourage' a rather weak sheep to follow me down the hill and into the shed.  She is quite tame for a blackie which is rather odd.  The poor ewe is somewhat unstable on her feet and a little on the lean side compared to the others and to say how much grass we have.  She is marked as being tupped by Wesley but to be honest I'm not sure she's in lamb.

Anyway after a huge bucked of feed to bribe her down the hill she is now our first sheep resident in the shed.  This evening is looking slightly happier and is calm enough in the shed.  Faith has named her Hannah so I hope she is ok and I can point her out when she is up next month or I will be in trouble!

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Somewhere over the rainbow

Good guess on last nights photo Jayne, but not right, and Dave that was brilliant I love it, you've obviously got to know Paul well over the blog!

Today has been a busy day, Sarah, Faith and I did the morning feed rounds whilst my brother and Paul got ready for a day of fencing.

Dave (carding Dave) also came up to give us a hand so whilst Sarah was on tea and sausage roll duties (Paul and Colin need feeding on a regular basis!) we set about fencing off the girls next paddock.

At one point it went very black and the heavens opened, it was all right for Paul he was tucked up inside his nice warm tractor, so we all joined him!  Then the brightest rainbow I've even seen appeared, Colin got a cracking photo. It started and finished in our fields but when we suggested Faith dig for a pot of gold she said 'that's only in stories'.

Whilst I was cooking tea Faith went to feed with Uncle Paul on their own (!!), here's the photographic evidence - something else to dirty Paul's hands Apple Vale Dave.

Friday, 2 March 2012

A different view

I thought I'd share another photo with you tonight, this time from half way up the hill on the east side, if you look closely you can just about make out the shed roof!
I had a man and his clever contraption with me; what are we up to now.....

You'll have to stay tuned to find out!

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Rewards for halter training

It has been another lovely springlike day today, the alpacas have been enjoying the sun on their backs, in fact there has been a fair bit of sunbathing going on in the girls field.

Quite a few of the girls are now starting to look rather pregnant and it has to be said that some of them are starting to get rather stroppy.  The jury is out on the status of Kate's pregnancy, she is the girl who was very ill last year and we thought we were going to loose.

I have done a spot more halter training today with Nadia and Piccolina.  Piccolina was one of the last to be weaned and hadn't been on the halter until today.  I had planned to take Nadia and Piccolina down our rather long drive  if they walked ok.

As a bit of a bribe I decided to Minimus with us, as he's been in the shed for a while now I thought he'd appreciate a bit of nice grass.  My little thank you to him for his assistance with halter training!

The two weanling were very well behaved, Nadia walked perfectly and Piccolina really surprised me by walking like a pro.  Here she is with Minimus, her half brother who she loves dearly.
Nadia too was a very good girl, she's been on the halter a few times now though so she knows what to do. 
As the days are getting longer now I have more time to get my outside jobs done.  I was actually out bright and early this morning in the light which was nice for a change and it was gone 6 before it was dark again tonight which is great.