Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Sandstorm cria

I'm not quite sure what's happened to blogging, I never seem to find the time to sit down and write it!
Since I last blogged Sandstorm, our fawn boy, has had four cria, three here and one at Castleside Alpacas.
First up I give you Castleside Eliza, she is just adorable, just like mum Godiva she is super friendly and has a fabulous dense dark brown fleece; I knew I should never have listened to Paul when he made me sell her!
Next up we have out little pocket rocket Chiquita who gave birth at the weekend when Paul's brother and his family were up visiting.  Meet Pasha, meaning small is Russian and also after the dancer on Strictly Come Dancing as he did plenty of dancing round inside Chiquita.

He was a tiny 4.71kg which was a bit of a blessing really has he had two legs back so Chiquita needed some help to get him out.  He is already over 5kg and a super active boy who just like his brothers is very friendly.
Next to give birth was Gabby, who said alpacas wait for a fine day?  The worse day we have had for weeks and two decided to give birth!  I went out to check on Snow who had been looking decided suspicious earlier to find a gathering in the main girls field.
I thought it was bound to be Geena who was due, but no, sat next to Gabby was a little mini me.  Cold and wet and not standing I knew she needed to go down to the house. A medium fawn girl.
She had a slightly wonky neck but that's now straightened.
I rang Paul to come and help as in the distance I saw Snow starting to push!  Four minutes later her cria plopped to the ground! A very cute fawn boy.

We now only have three cria left to be born, I'm sort of hoping these will be girls as the boys are currently 10 v 5!

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Murray's Mint

I'm pleased to report that Murray had definitely got the hang of suckling from mum now, so much so I haven't had to milk Allie at all today, which is good for both of us!
Look tongue in the right place and lots of milk round his mouth.

And just to make sure I knew she didn't need milking Allie kindly lifted her leg so I could see he was feeding off more than one teat and sucking properly!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Skinny dipping

It has been another hot day, I think we had all forgotten what it is like to actually get a summer after the last few years so it's hard going.

The alpacas have been enjoying their paddling pools, especially on of the quarantine paddocks.  As soon as I filled it up they were like bees round a honey pot.

Dawn was soon dipping her toes whilst Czarevena watched on thinking she was mad, then when she flopped into the water she scarpered!

As soon as Dawn got out Amatta got in and stayed in!  Lucetta tried to sneak in by having a drink but she was soon sent packing!

There has been so much fighting over this particular pool I am going to give them a second one tomorrow. 
There hasn't been a lot of energy in any of the paddocks today, lots of lazing and grazing from a sitting position seemed to be the order of the day.
Lualeni seemed to draw the short straw with babysitting duties, although funnily enough this is all the boys from the main field, the girls were obviously with their mummy's!

NB. Thanks for pointing out my nonsensical title Mark!

Monday, 15 July 2013

Two very different outcomes

Saturday was a bit of a traumatic one, Gill, Ross & Taylor were coming over for the day, and I was hopeful that Gill might get to see an alpaca birth.
It soon became apparent after breakfast time that Isadora was going to birth, so a quick call to Gill to establish their whereabouts revealed they had only just left.  With a nose soon out it was touch and go whether or not they would make it.
Literally just before the final push they came running into the field.  Unfortunately this is were the good news ends.  Poor Isadora's cria was still born, there was absolutely nothing there, not that that stopped me working on the little man for quite some time.
He was full term, a perfect presentation, healthy weight and looked fine; what a waste.  Poor Iasadora had carried this little man for over 11 months and now had nothing to show for it.  We left her to grieve her little man for a while before removing him. 
One of the harsh realities of farming means that despite loosing her cria Isadora's colostrum could be crucial in saving the live of another vulnerable cria so we milked her and froze it just in case we need it later in the birthing season.
A couple of paddocks further up the hill in one of the isolation paddocks there had been another birth, this time from Faith.  This is a bit of a bonus cria, Faith came to us a couple of months ago and wasn't supposed to be pregnant, however I had my suspicions.  When James Dixon came to shear her he also thought she was pregnant.
Sure enough Saturday morning she proved us both right and produced.............. you guessed it, another white boy!  Ashling is happy to have a play mate.
This little man (currently father unknown!) who we have names Asher, in view of the cricket and the meaning, fortunate, was quite down on his pasterns and has a blue flash in each eye, not something we've ever had before either!  Thankfully he appears not to have any hearing problems and he is already catching peoples eye so I doubt he will hang around once he's weaned and put up for sale.


Friday, 12 July 2013

Sandstorm has a son

This morning I received an exciting phone call from Phil at Castleside Alpacas to say that Celestial was in labour, oh no, Id been speaking to Jan only ten minutes earlier and she was out!!

Celestial (black) was mated to our fawn champion Sandstorm with a view to adding more density to her fine fleece, but being a black and fawn combination and only Sandstorms second cria I could only guess on the colour.

Its great the excitement you get during a birth and being on the other end of the phone whilst the Archers experienced their first home birth was fantastic.

At this point Phil was willing Celestial to push harder to get the shoulders out and I was will Jan to hurry up home so she didn't miss it.
Thankfully Jan made it home before Wesley was born, Sandstorms' first cria of the year and his first son.  He certainly looks like his daddy did at that age.

By all accounts Celestial is a fantastic first time mum and Wesley is having a great time running round exploring.

Hopefully he wont have too long to wait for a playmate from Lady Godiva.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

From one extreme to the other

It has been stifling hot today, so much so that I've been filling water troughs on and off all day, not all the water was being drunk though..........

In between filling up the bowser and having my lunch Divinity popped out a cria almost a month early!  She obviously let Freyja have some of her gestation, as Divinity only went 324 days!  That two months less than Freyja!

Despite his much shortest gestation he actually weighs more than Attila (Freyja's little man) does tonight, weighing in at 5.11kg.
He is from Bozedown Reagan do it will be interesting to see how his fleece develops. 
Luckily for the new little man, he soon found his feet as Divinity felt the need to take him as far away from everyone else as was possible, which meant a long trek back down at tea time!

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

The ride continutes

The bumpy ride continues here I'm afraid, the highs and lows of farm life can be tough.

On Sunday morning Allie, one of the livery girls we have for sale, went into labour.  It soon became apparent that things were not going to plan, the delivery wasn't progressing, something was clearly stuck.

After lots of lube and rearranging I finally managed to release the second leg and was soon out enjoying the sunshine.  This white boy is from our superfine Gianmarco's Masterpiece and he is already looking very impressive.

Born on Wimbledon final day and Inglefield being on the letter M this year what else could he be called but Murray!
Unfortunately for Murray, Allie has masses of milk which is resulting in huge and I mean huge teats, they are easily an inch and a half wide!  So he is struggling to latch on properly.  So much so he lost almost 600gms.  I am milking Allie and feeding it to Murray from a bottle which seems to be helping.  He is also sucking on the very end of mums teats but I'm hoping he will manage to get the whole thing in soon!
On a sad note on Tuesday we had to have Cassiopeia put to sleep following her recent stroke. She seemed to have another seizure Monday night which left her with more facial paralysis.  Tuesday morning she seemed a little better but I knew what the vet was going to say when he came out.
Sadly he felt the kindest thing to do was to put her to sleep, poor Cassiopeia was  almost 19 years old and  still holding a fleece of 22 micron.  Her legacy will live on in her daughter Lily who like her mum is a stunning girl.
Back to happier news and today Freyja finally decided to give birth today to her Legend of Spartacus cria at 383 days gestation, our longest ever!  Despite this massive gestation period Freyja has given birth to the smallest cria of the year so far at 5.14kg!  We have named him Attila, meaning Little Father.
Just like his half brother from Lualeni he has an inside out ear!

 And here are his half brothers!

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Life is a roller coaster.....

I've been meaning to blog for over a week now but my mind-set has not been right; there is lots going on, some good, some bad and some just everyday stuff!

On the good, we have had a lovely solid white cria born from Lualeni and Legend, our biggest this year at just over 8.5kg.  His ear had been squashed to his head and appeared inside out so it taped up at the minute.  He has a lovely fleece developing and is gaining weight rapidly!

On the bad, sadly we have lost an alpaca, young James, he was only just over a year old and died suddenly.  A post mortem revealed a congenital heart defect.  It is so sad when you lose them and at such a young age seems such a waste. 

Looking back, James had never been the most lively of boys, not that he spent a lot of time sat down but never at the front of anything and never really full of energy so I suspect this has been effecting him all his life.

A bit of good an bad together next with jaw abscesses.  Niveous, who is three today has been responding well to the change in antibiotic and his abscess had shrunk enough not to necessitate surgery at this tome.  Emery's however was a different story.

So on Tuesday off we headed for surgery, our vat, Sam Prescott from Robson & Prescott in Morpeth is great and Emery was soon put to sleep an the two problem teeth removed.  One had only a tiny bot of root remaining and the second is rotting terribly.

I have the teeth in a jar, maybe Emery should put them under her hay net and see what the tooth fairy brings.

Unfortunately Cassiopeia is starting to struggle, she is happy in herself but now needs help to stand.  She's eating and drinking ok and happy so at the minute I'm happy to help her up but I fear we are heading down a one way spiral with her, it is such a shame.

Everyday stuff, we've been doing matings, both inside and out so hopefully the girls will soon be cooking some stunning cria ready for next year.  Whilst on the subject of cria, Freyja still has her legs crossed at 377 days!  I hate it when maidens are late.

Poo picking is an every day job, and having a family of helpers isn't always helpful!  Mum Nefertiti is sat in-between the quad and muck truck, daughter number two Meketaten, had her head resting on the quad and Ankhesenamun, daughter number three was eating the mud guards!!