Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Still waiting for Fair Lady

Fair Lady our last girl to birth still has her legs crossed on 361 days today, I'm really hoping we don't have much longer to wait, hope you've had more luck with your next one arriving Barbara!

Seeing as there are no new babies to introduce I will carry on with the ones we have already.  I had previously got up to Cerys, who is now owned by Balnuith Alpacas in Scotland.

Next up is Leyton, he's from Little Miss Irraquoy and Heart Throb, he was named Leyton because he was born late on in the evening the night before shearing.  As is always the case Irraquoy is super protective of her son and as with all her cria he has attitude.  He has a very nice fleece to go with it though!

Next up is Amarillo, he was born the day of shearing, again late by alpaca standards at 7.30pm and needed a fair bit of help to enter the world.  He is from Amata and Sandstorm and has a lovely buttery beige fleece which will make fantastic yarn; I'm already working out what I can knit with it!  

He got his name after a tomato (!), blame Paul, he calls his mum tomato for some reason so a tomato variety seemed to suit him.

The following day Kimchee gave birth to the biggest baby of the year (so far) at 10.5kg to a lovely brown girl Aryana meaning golden haired, she is sired by Darwin.  She is still the heaviest of the year, despite being almost a month younger than the oldest.  Aryana is full sister to Stargazer (black!) who is one of the boys we have for sale.

Next up is Stella (previously known as Cacace).  She is also sired by Darwin and from Cha Cha, she is a lovely girl with a nice fleece and great presence.  Stella and her mum have been sold, but luckily for me they will stay here on livery for a while yet.

The 7th June was a busy day for birthing, very shortly after Stella arrived Kealani produced Xanthe.  She is a sweet little girl, sired by Heart Throb, she has a lovely fine fleece which is a lovely shiny beige, hence her name, Xanthe meaning bright and blond.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Whalton Village show sheep racing

Saturday saw our annual outing to Whalton Village Show, this is always a busy one for us because not only do we have the alpacas and our knitwear I also race some of my pet sheep.  Team Barnacre Barnstormers has a reputation to uphold, we have won three of the four previous years so we have standards to keep!

This year we had three of the usual team, Mocha, she's back left, next to Ebony back right, then there's Mia who is closest to me as usual, so you can hardly see her and the big girl in the middle was new to sheep racing, she's Curly one of my new Wensleydales.

Having had a few practice goes it was clear that despite a huge height advantage Curly wasn't really made for sheep racing; but she was there now so no team changes could be made.

There are four heats then a final and it has to be said this is about the only time that I get really competitive, I have no idea why, but something just comes over me and I get super excited and shout like crazy encouraging the girls over the finish line to a bucket of feed!

First up was Mocha, she was the very first ever winner of the Whalton Sheep race so I have high expectations.  Unfortunately I wasn't quick enough to get a bet on the tote, but plenty of others did and she did them proud, clear winner.

Next up was Mia, two times previous winner and would have been a third time winner had somebody not decided to open a crisp packet on the way round which caused Mia to stop in her tracks and make sure she could eat them, she had a half course lead at the time!!!

Anyway off they set and she was clearly in the lead, but being rather well built (she is very greedy) and having a bit, or rather a lot of a weight disadvantage she was tiring towards the end and being caught.

And at the last hurdle she was over taken, the jockey waving to the crowd didn't really help aerodynamics! 

Third up was Curly, now this was funny, she didn't like the jockey for starters, then she didn't want to leave her mates, the crowd thought it was funny but poor Curly was last!

The final heat, Ebony's race was fantastically close and three of the four ewes crossed the line together, sadly for Ebony she was beat by a nose.  For the first time in its history there was one sheep from each team in the final, it was going to be hard for me to retain my crown; the cup vanished the only year I didn't win it so there was not much chance of getting that back anyway!!

Thankfully Mocha did me proud; and I'd managed to place a bet that time so double whammy; go Mocha, despite being an old girl in sheep years, 10.5yrs and having no teeth that wasn't going to stop her winning.

Many thanks to the Cronicle for some fantastic photo's, you can see more on their website 

Friday, 19 September 2014

The longest gestation yet

I'm please to report that Marne has finally given birth!  But before I tell you about Marne I will introduce another cria born last week whilst we were up in Scotland delivering alpacas and doing some matings.

Mum was left in charge for a couple of days as we headed north with a trailer load of 7 alpacas (more on that another day) and just as I had predicted before I left a few days early of her due date Coco gave birth to a lovely big black boy sired by Jack of Spades.

He is a very upstanding boy, which a lovely bright dense fleece, full of life and mischief, after a day of chasing after him I think Coco has given up on keeping him by her side and lets him get on with things.

Then on Saturday we left mum in charge for the weekend again, we were up at Berwick Slow Food & Beer festival with the alpacas and our knitwear.  This is an annual two day event which we love and is usually after we have finished birthing for the year; but not this year.

On Friday night I had warned mum that Marne was looking very uncomfortable and I thought that tomorrow would be the day. On 410 days gestation Marne produced a tiny 4.68kg male cria which was very flat, lifeless and cold (no temperature would register).

My mum did a fantastic job to keep him alive with me giving instructions over the phone until the vet arrived.  I can't begin to explain how pleased I was when Sam Prescott was the on call farm vet last weekend!

After slowly warming up and having a plasma transfusion (thanks to which ever one of our boys that particular bag came from) the little man gained enough strength to lift his head.  

By lunchtime mum had managed to get him sucking on a bottle which was fantastic because there was no way I was going to be able to get mum to tube feed him.  Slowly his strength has gained and his milk intake increased.

Sunday Jan at Castleside Alpacas came over and helped mum milk Marne, which I don't think Marne was very impressed with!

I couldn't wait to get home Sunday night to see the little man. His back legs resembled those of a frog, completely sprawled out sideways and needed some attention before his hips popped out.  It's amazing what you can do with a pair of baby tights!!

By the early hours of Monday he was able to stand for a wee and some of his bottle and by Monday night he could get up and down on his own and he's now going from strength to strength.  Sadly whilst mum likes her baby she wont feed him, she's been having Sepia to see if that helps as I've had good results with it in the past.

Last night he was up to 5.33kg and his straps have been removed and he is sitting normally.  Fingers crossed this little man is going to make it.  However we will refrain for naming him just yet.

Thanks mum, he wouldn't have made it this far without you.

We just have one girl left to birth now, Fair Lady who is out of Eringa Park The Commandante so has Jolimont Commisario and Conquistador in her pedigree and pregnant to Lavender Park Tully so we are looking forward to something special.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Woop Woop for Westmorland County Show

I can't believe how busy we are at the minute what with one thing and another, hence my lack of blog.

I have so much to tell you, I could be here all night but seeing as it's already past midnight I will stick to Westmorland County Show for now.

We really like Westmorland even though it takes us just short of three hours to get there.  It is always worth the early morning start and this year was another great show organised by Paul Hetherington.

We had entered 8 animals in 5 different classes and we were awarded first place in all of them so we couldn't do much better than that!  Not only that we managed to get four of those five into the Championship line up (of 9), to say we were on a high would be an understatement.  Thanks to Jan, Jane and mum for taking in 3 of the Champions!


In order of appearance here they are.  First into the ring for team Barnacre was Galapagos in the junior brown class, being a junior at this time of year meant he was on his own, however Judge Rob Bettinson isn't shy about not awarding first places, in fact one class later in the day he started with a third place rosette so we were very pleased to be awarded a 1st place rosette and then went on to be awarded Brown Male Champion.  He's from our brown stud Darwin and Cocomama (brown).

Next up was Zoom in the adult fawn class and another 1st place rosette, well done Zoom Zoom.  He's from Cambridge Southwind and our dam, Cambridge Fair Lady. 

Next was the turn of the light intermediate females, we had two in this class, Elfrida and Bounty.  Elfrida who is from another of our studs, Gianmarco's Masterpiece and one of our top dams, Little Miss Irraquoy, came first and went on to win Light Female Champion.

Whilst her mate Bounty came third in the same class.

Next up for us was the white intermediate females, this was the biggest class of the day and we had two entries Diamanta and Czara.  After lots of deliberation Rob awarded Czara 1st place and once again she was Female Light Champion. 

And Diamanta came 3rd.

Next up for us was the adult white boys and once again we had two entries.  Now we are very proud to say we were awarded first and second in this very important class.  Linus was second, he's from Jolimont Rodrigo of Bozedown.  He was actually White Male Champion at the Yorkshire show last year (beating Thor into 2nd and also beating a multiple supreme champion)

For the first time Barnacre Thor beat his mate (Linus) and not only came first but also won White Male Champion and then after a long and very tense piece of judging, was awarded Supreme Champion; a very happy Barnacre team all round!

Not a bad days work eh!!

Monday, 8 September 2014

30 and counting

Following Rosemary's comment on my last blog I thought I would go our with the camera and get a current photo of all this years cria to date.

There have been 30 born, sadly you may recall one was still born (Ursula's) and we had two premature cria born at 304 and 314 days which we lost but the rest are doing well.

 We still have two or three to arrive, Marne who knows, what do you think?!

She's on 406 days and looks and acts pregnant, just doesn't have milk or showing any interest in giving birth.  She's even looking distended at the back end now!

The cria that have arrived, in age order are:-

Invisible Sam, he's from Carol and Sunburst, born on 13th May, full of mischief and with an exceptionally fine bright fleece.  You may recall he got his name after our vet Sam and the Queen song Invisible Man.

Next up is Selkis, she is from Highland Rose and Darwin, born on 20th May she has a fabulous grey fleece, sadly without the white face she wont be able to enter halter shows but she'll dfinately be entering fleece shows. 

She is a very vocal little thing who is exceptionally greedy and has striped her mum of all condition, she will be weaned as soon as we possibly can!

Next up is little Pixie, born on 23rd May, she is from Imala and Sandstorm, after a great start her weight gain slowed and she is now being topped up with goats milk which has helped her reach 18.6kg last weekend.

Next up is another Sandstorm baby, this boy is from Nefertiti and has yet to be named.  Despite me saying I wouldn't agree to sell a boy with a great fleece and possible stud potential at a young age I have done it again!  This chap's new owner is currently in the process of thinking of a suitable name for him.

Next on the list is Cerys, another Sunburst baby, you may recall I sold her and her mum Midnight Star a couple of weeks ago.  We are going to see her tomorrow as we are heading off up to Scotland with a trailer full.  We are delivering some girls we have sold and taking up a couple of the stud boys who have appointments with some Scottish Ladies.

More on that on our return, I will remember to take my camera! 

Friday, 5 September 2014

The Pressure's on

Yesterday saw the arrival of another lovely Barnacre baby, this time the proud parents are Pressure & Gianmarco's Masterpiece.

We were planning on moving all the girls and doing a round of lambivac injections, however Pressure decided she had something far more important to do before she moved onto fresh grass.  Good move Pressure, we don't want to dirty the nice fresh grass!

Once her little man had found his feet she strolled up the channel to join the others, stopping for a nibble on the way.

He is a real little sweetie pie, I'm not quite decided on a name yet.   

He was a chunky 8.38kg and has lots of very long bright white fleece, he's certainly inherited his dads brightness.

That now leaves just two cria to arrive, unless Marne here is pregnant; she is now on 403 days, still spitting, spending lots of time on her own but showing no signs of actually giving birth!

Monday, 1 September 2014

Birthday girls!

My blogging has been rubbish again, there are just not enough hours in the day, or night for that matter!

On the day of my last blog Paul was on his way down to Bozedown Alpacas with a couple of girls for mating and whilst he was there he managed to buy me a birthday present or two, or four!  I was slightly hopeful that he'd taken notice of my last blog (where Alison had an alpaca for her birthday; happy birthday today Alison!) because the dividing gate had been placed in the trailer before his departure.

He eventually arrived home safely some 16 hours later with Cara and Divinity (who he left with) and two new Comet daughters and their female cria.  They are very nice and settling in to life on our Northumbrian hillside.

In the middle we have Angelic, to the left her cria and to the right Masquerade's cria. 


Masquerade's cria

Having been wormed and today been vet checked tomorrow they will be allowed out into their isolation field to taste our grass.

Whilst here Sam, the vet was admiring Boulevarde; you can't help but admire him he's fantastic!

Since my last blog Pressure hasn't produced and not has Marne; Marne is now on 399 days.  Has anyone gone longer than that with a positive outcome?  We had one girl Mary go 14 months but as I'd not actually mated her I've always been skeptical.