Saturday 31 January 2009

Invest in your future herd

First things first I must share with you Gaussian's latest weight.......................... suspense.......................... 15.68kg, that is almost half a kilo in a week. I was so pleased, even more pleasing, he has taken just over a litre of milk today so hopefully we are now on a roll; she says with fingers toes and everything else crossed.

He was still wearing his coat this morning too, so Ursula had not managed to remove it! She is still very interested in it but I've not caught her pulling at it today.

I noticed last night after the weanlings came for their tea, that Princess Mallika looked like she had a bit of a sore foot. On closer inspection this morning it was in need of a bit of attention, too much mud and muck I think and it was rather sore. It is now bathed and sprayed and hopefully will clear up. A few days more of dry weather would help.

With the birthing season very rapidly approaching here at Barnacre, we have decided to offer a substantial saving on a package of two of the sales girls, Aria and Molly. They are actually the two who Paul took the movie of last weekend, doing what alpacas do!

Both girls are pregnant to elite EP Cambridge Herdsires and due to birth very shortly . We expect both girls to produce stunning cria and thought that it would be very nice for the new owners to have the pleasure of seeing the cria born and develop.

Friday 30 January 2009

Gaussian's new coat

Following on from my posting yesterday I thought I would share with you Gaussian in his new coat. It really was quite funny when I first put it on him, the herd were not too sure about their new green herd member and everyone gathered round to check him over.

Poor Gaussian was slightly over come by his new found popularity. I managed to catch it on camera so check it out when Paul has got round to uploading it to the website - that's his job! I'll let you know when he's done it.

Ursula, the brown alpaca standing behind him has decided that she doesn't like the new style Gaussian and keeps trying to pull his coat off. She is a rather mischievous alpaca and really had it on her today. Hopefully she won't manage to pop open the press studs.

My parents have headed back home to Nottingham today, they will be back again soon but I have sent mum away with some yarn to keep her going!!

Thursday 29 January 2009

Barnacre creations

Today has been dull and damp so mum and I were unable to finish cleaning the paddocks, we did so much yesterday I am almost back on top of it. I hate to see dirty paddocks but the wet weather means that driving in and out with the quad makes far too much mess to do it as frequently as I would like.

Instead we have been creating Barnacre 'stock', the extremely popular peaked beret is now available in this years black yarn. The black yarn has a lovely soft handle and has been achieved using a blend of Mary, Geena and her son Loki. I'll get a photo in the shop very shortly.

Whilst mum has been busy knitting I have been making a pattern to make Gaussian a new coat, the cria coats I have are too small for him now. So it was out with the sewing machine, I had bought some waterproof breathable material and off I went. All I need to do now is put the poppers on it so he will have a nice new coat on tomorrow - assuming it fits (it should do I measured him!).

I am intending to make some more cria coats now to sell in the online shop. Cria can lose so much heat in the cold wet weather they are very susceptible to hypothermia, so they are a must in the British climate. When Hughie was born the year before last I think he lived in his coat for the first two months of his life!

Tuesday 27 January 2009

Parents and Paca poo

My parents have come to visit for a few days so I set mum on, knitting by night (I have a black hat on order and she's quicker than me!) and this afternoon we did some cleaning with the muck truck. I think we filled the bucket in about 10 minutes flat!! The animals are quite clearly not going short on food going on what is coming out the other end.

My mum loves coming up and helping with the animals, she is actually animal sitting when we go down to the Futurity so I thought Gaussian had better get used to being fed by a different nice lady! He was a good boy and happily took most of his bedtime bottle from her, I just had to assist with the last 50ml.

He has been very good lately so I am hoping that the weight may be on the up. I'm not sure if it is just wishful thinking on my part but I think he might be looking a bit bigger. I let you know tomorrow when I hope to weigh him (it is usually Paul's job to lift him).

Monday 26 January 2009

Sanity returns folks

Well after yesterdays posting by Paul I am not quite sure how to follow it, other than to confirm sanity returns!

Gaussian was certainly pleased to see the nice lady (that's me!) back this morning and he happily trotted over for his bottle. He was slightly cautious, obviously wanting to make sure that I hadn't bought the nasty man along with me.

Yesterdays felting day was fabulous and I now know how to make felted slippers which is something I have wanted to do for ages. Keep your eyes peeled in the online shop, I'll set about making some soon!

Sunday 25 January 2009

Episode 3 - news and action movie

Welcome to the third and final episode when all questions will be answered:

Did Mark change the bed and if so, what for (see episode 1 comments)?
Did Gaussian come running for his evening bottle clicking his merry little heels?
What news?
And last but by no means least, who starred in the action movie, did they do their own stunts, and will there be a sequel?

I'll leave Patou-man to answer the first.

As for Guassian, things improved - he ran away from me faster this evening than he did at lunch time. That must be good, right?

Debbie is back from her felting course and has told me that news is her job not mine so you will have to wait for that one, sorry movie fans.

But now for the main event and the culmination of 'man alone' production efforts. This afternoon when I carried out my running repairs on a couple of the field shelters I took a 5 minute 'break' and fired up the camera again. Alpaca fans everywhere will love this one - so will anyone who likes action movies, or indeed great dramas of mystery and suspense.

Let me introduce the cast:
Arunvale Aztec's Aria (dark fawn) and Cambridge Molly (solid white) are both from the world class stable of EP Cambridge Alpaca Stud. Aria is pregnant to the renowned Accoyo Killawasi, sire of champions. Molly is pregnant to the stunning Accoyo Remarque. Both are due to give birth very shortly, Aria on 7 April and Molly on 18 March.

The scene was carefully prepared. The other animals grouped to one side, not wanting to upstage the unfolding drama. Aria and Molly moved into position. The sun came out to illuminate a performance that had it occured a couple of weeks ago Oscar nominations would have been a near certainty. Lines and actions sequences were discussed one final time, and action:


Episode 2 - lunch strikes back

Check instructions:

"Gaussian likes his bottle between 12 and 1pm". Come on he doesn't even know that food is good for him, since when did he know how to tell the time?

Instruction additional:

"He likes his milk hot, like my tea". Is this a suggestion that my latest cups of tea have been delivered too cold, or am I reading too much into this? Mix his goats milk (300ml) with glucose and off I dash, can't provide cold milk now can I?

Camera and milk at the ready there's only one thing for it. Gaussian, listen up, this is your milk and you need to drink it - stare him in the eye - this is primeval stuff, man v animal - let him know who's boss.

Gaussian: who is this joker? I'll pose for the photo, no problem with that I'm quite happy to attract international fame and fortune. But I'm no fool. They call my mum Geena and she is black and over at the hay trough. My other mum, Debbie, is the nice lady in the blue coat. The ginger guy is trouble. He'll either stab me with a needle, pour something nasty down me, hang me in mid-air while he weighs me, or maybe all of them? Only one thing for it, let me get close and then......................RUN

Head for the hay manger, mum, mum he's after me....arrggghhh....quick run round the manger fast, round all the girls who are eating and not paying attention. Round and round we go - 10 laps so far, this should give the ginger guy the slip - my back legs he got me!

Paul: got the pesky monkey. Something tells me he isn't going to stand nicely and take this milk. Try it the way Debbie does it, no chance. Talk to him nicely. Not interested. In that case it's a full Nelson and I'm not going anywhere until 300ml has left this bottle. They always try the 'let me go a minute, you're strangling me, I can't breath, you're going to choke me. Don't give in! 300ml left the bottle and a good proportion went down his throat with only a small river down my arm, him and on the floor. Job well done.

The sun is out for a change so time for a few snaps. I mentioned Little Miss Irraquoy earlier and here's a picture of her - I know Rob and Less at Wellground Alpaca Stud will enjoy this one. LMI is pregnant to Cambridge Buckingham (sire: Jolimont Commisario, dam's sire: NWA Ltd Ruffo) and we are hoping for something truly special later in 2009. In the meantime she continues to behave in her very own way, clucking with tail raised - she's mad and we love her!

Oops - phone just rang, Debbie checking up on me. Swallow double chocalate chip cookie whole. "Yes Dear, the lunch time feed went very well, all 300ml left the bottle".

Tune in tonight when I have some news and truly dramatic video footage.


Episode 1 - Man left in charge

Morning everyone! Not very often I do the blog, but today Debbie and some other NEBAG members are on a felting course at Wall near Hexham. Watch out on the shop page for the next hand made masterpiece...

I have been left a long list of instructions on what to do for who: morning feed (everyone), lunch time feed (Gaussian) and then evening feed (everyone) - plus some admin jobs and a few minor repair jobs to one of the field shelters - how many hours in a day are there??!!

I'm always 'suggesting' to Debbie that she includes more photos on the blog, so here's one. I set the camera on timer and explained to all the weanlings that they should approach me within the 30 second countdown and look natural. As you can see they all promptly presented their backs to the camera and shot off on an urgent business appointment.

It is great, and surprising, to report that Mia (the free spirited sheep) is still in the newly divided field with her other compatriates, almost 24 hours without going AWOL - wonders will never cease.

Debbie joined me in part of the morning feed sorting out Guassian while I did all the hay and hard feed. The alpacas were well behaved and this is always a good time to have a close look at everyone. I noticed a couple of interesting things so I'll take the camera down at lunchtime and maybe provide an update on the blog then (can you stomach the suspense).

I filled up the hay bags in the 'girls' shelter and despite the thorough clean it got yesterday it seems that during the night our herd had invited friends and family for miles around to make a series of 'deposits' covering pretty much the whole of the shelter floor. Little Miss Irraquoy, one of our elite females (from the great Australian EP Peruvian Irraquoy with NWA Ltd. Ruffo as sire) accompanied me explaining that she never saw a thing all night, but thanks for the extra hay rations anyway.

Anyway, enough of this for now. Time to attend to some of the other jobs on my list. Debbie mentioned something about putting the clothes from the washing machine onto a horse. On my travels this morning I've seen the cats, fed the chickens, lambs and alpacas but blow me if I've not come across a horse. Next door have 3 horses but I'm sure they'd look very silly wearing our towels and jumpers? Surely the washing would get dirty too? There must be an explanation to this horse business or maybe I miss-heard my good lady wife. Perhaps she didn't say put the 'washing from the machines on to the horse' maybe it was 'the Christmas cookies are in the second draw down, help yourself' - what a nice lady.


Saturday 24 January 2009

Gaussian is back on the up!

Saturday is weigh day for my little man, and yippee at last he has put on a bit of weight again. He's back to 15.2kg so hopefully he will continue, that's half a kilo in a week! He has been a good boy with his bottles today and had another 850ml and he has also had some liquid feed to see if that helps.

He has actually had the mischiefs on him today which he has never done before. He was wondering round the field sniffing the girl bottoms tonight, which wasn't going down well with most of them! Angelus and Kate particularly were not amused.

We have (hopefully, fingers toes and everything else crossed) Mia proofed the back paddock and reunited Mia with the other lambs, who have incidentally not once tried to escape. I'm hoping that she will still be in there in the morning.

Friday 23 January 2009

Mud magnets

We woke this morning to a covering of snow, it came as a bit of a shock when I let the cat out at 5am (!!) when she was desperate to answer a call of nature.

As the day has gone on it has started to thaw so we now have soggy horrible muddy paddocks which are not pleasant at all. I have two alpacas in particular that are what I affectionately call mud magnets and I didn't actually think until I started posting this blog they are actually related.

Our white (well he once was!) stud boy Gianmarco's Masterpiece seems to love to roll in a fresh mole hill the minute one appears, then there is is half sister Angelus who is one of the girls we have for sale. I am not sure what she does but her legs are always filthy, she seems to find a puddle and sit in it; even when you can't find a puddle in the field!

The snow seems to have given Gaussian a bit of an appetite he has happily taken 850ml of goats milk today which is the most he's taken for a few days. I also managed to get some crushed cria pellets into his mouth which he had to swallow unlike the whole ones he has spat out. He seemed happy enough licking his lips so hopefully tomorrow he might try a whole one. I also have so liquid feed to try him with in the morning.

Thursday 22 January 2009

A lesson for the weanlings

The morning started off so miserable I thought I'd catch up on some spreadsheets - not my favourite job!

However the sun managed to poke through this afternoon so it was outside to give the weanlings their first halter lesson. I had already worked out in my head who would be good and who wouldn't, but I didn't quite get it right.

As I expected Aodhfin and Princess Mallika where completely cooperative and didn't seem to notice that I had even put the head collar on. They are extremely laid back like their mums, Imala and Duchess respectively.

Barnaby and Lualeni soon got used to the 'strange thing' I had put on their head but to my surprise Horatio did not like it one bit. Unlike his sister Ursula last year who was a star pupil, he threw himself about and was desperate to free himself.

I didn't even get as far as putting the head collar on Sienna, regular readers will know that she is a squealer and today was no exception. I am trying to get her used to being handled without panicking before we get as far as halter work! She has a fantastic fleece so we will hope to show her if we can calm her down.

As most of the youngsters were fine with their collars I put the lead rope on everyone except Horatio who was far too upset, I'll put him on the rope next time. Barnaby and Lualeni just had the rope attached so they could see that it stopped them from moving whilst Mallika and Aodhfin were happy to take a few steps.

I didn't upset anyone too much because they all came running for their tea when I went out later!

Wednesday 21 January 2009

Cleaning with the camera

As the weather has been lovely today, dry and sunny (although very cold) I thought I would take advantage and get out there with the muck truck again. It is a never ending job, but today I took the camera with me.

I was hoping to try and get some nice shots of our two white studs, Legend of Spartacus and Gianmarco's Masterpiece. They are growing fleece fast and look very impressive, but they didn't want to pose. It was either group shots or close up noses!

Nefertiti was game though, so here she is. She has a lovely dark brown fleece which has produced some fantastic yarn. I'm looking forward to getting some knitting in the shop using her fleece. I am really pleased that I am able to show customers who their garment came from and a bit about them, I think it adds so much value and uniqueness.

Gaussian has been a really pain today and not wanted his milk, the glucose novelty seems to have worn off already. A fellow blogger, Jayne from Zanzibah Alpacas has posted me down some liquid feed to try him on so fingers crossed that will help. You can read about Jayne and her animals on her blog:

Tuesday 20 January 2009

New location for the hay bale

We have taken delivery of a new large round bale from our farmer friend Alan. As the last few have been put in the same place I thought it was time for a change. There is usually a gathering around said bale and as it is so wet it was getting a bit muddy.

We have moved it further along, Alan is great and kindly puts it over the fence for me onto a pallet which I then cover - much to Oonagh's annoyance. She spends most of her day trying to get her head under the cover. Why it tastes better straight off the bale rather than out of the mangers I don't know. In fact Oonagh doesn't like to get involved in food squabbles she would rather go without so that is probably why she tries her luck at the bale.

I have spent a fair bit of time in the field today with the girls and some of them are now starting to look very pregnant, particularly Molly and Aria. Willow is little and dumpy anyway so she never looks very different when heavily pregnant.

Tessa, one of our regular manure collectors came this afternoon to fetch some muck, she has a new allotment which she is going to grow willow on that she wants to cover in poo! Tessa weaves the willow and did me some fantastic spheres for bird nesting material a little while ago.

I have a new 'manure man' coming tomorrow so hopefully for a few hours at least I will be muck free!!!!!

Sunday 18 January 2009

Completion was short lived.

Another busy weekend draws to a close and the fencing is finished - well we thought it was.

We finally finished the latest fencing project mid afternoon and moved the lambs onto their fresh pasture as they had pretty much munched their grass down to nothing. By the time we had returned following a celebratory cup of tea and a biscuit Mia had already got out! That lamb has to be the naughtiest (and brightest) lamb ever to have roamed.

How on earth she managed to squeeze through the gap she found in the existing fencing is beyond me. At least it wasn't through a bit we had just erected. I had said to Paul I bet she wouldn't be in the field by the morning, but I did think she would last longer than an hour!

On the alpaca front, Gaussian has been a pest again today and I have had to 'encourage' him to take his bottles. I tried crushing some Camelibra Cria pellets in his morning bottles to see if that helps with the weight. We'll see what the vet suggests tomorrow.

Saturday 17 January 2009

Princess Mallika is a big girl now

The first job after feeding this morning was to weigh Gaussian, on the whole he has been quite good taking his bottle with just a couple of exceptions. Despite this, he has managed to lose weight again, I couldn't believe it, he is back below 15kg. I have the vet coming out on Monday so I will get him to have a look at him again.

Then we weaned Mallika, Duchess to her detriment produces extremely greedy cria who grow very quick and strip her of condition. So today was the day the Princess Mallika was going to become a big girl and leave her mum to join the other weanling's.

Duchess is very laid back and passes this trait on to her cria (with the exception of Blossom!), so neither mum nor cria seemed in the slightest bit bothered by the separation, despite the fact that Mallika spends about 50% of her time drinking from mum.

We thought it seemed a bit over the top to take the trailer down for one cria, so decided that we would try and move her on the quad. She happily sat on Paul's lap checking out the scenery whilst I drove - only a Duchess descendant could be this chilled.

This afternoon Barbara and Paul from Beckbrow Alpacas popped over. It was really nice to see them again, chat alpacas and rummage through a few fleeces. They own Legacy who is Golden Guineas dad, so they were able so see the sort of spectacular cria he produces.

Thursday 15 January 2009

Ladies that lunch!

I had a rare treat today and went out for a bite of lunch with some friends, it was nice to have a few hours off to treat myself.

The weather has been terrible again, what were nice fluffy alpacas are now wet dirty alpacas - I'm sure I attract the scruffy ones! We have had a mole invasion, there are mole mountains (they are too big to be hills) everywhere and the animals seem to love to roll in them.

Wednesday 14 January 2009


I had a busy morning helping my sheep farming friend Alan with his sheep scanning. I really enjoy helping him out, he's been such a help and support to me since we moved here it is nice to be able to give something back.

We weren't actually doing the field of ewes that included my two, but we went and fetched them in the 'sheep taxi' so they could be scanned with the first batch. Great news they are both in lamb and both having twins. Just got to wait three or four months for them to produce now!

The weanlings have been extremely energetic this afternoon, charging round and jumping about. They have all really come out of their shells since being weaned, even Sienna who was a real squealer initially is getting braver. I will try and start a spot of halter training with them soon.

Gaussian continues to be a good boy with his bottles, and I am still trying to encourage him to try some hard feed.

Tuesday 13 January 2009

Gaussian adds a few grams

I was able to weigh Gaussian this morning and am pleased to report that he has put on a few grams since the weekend, only 160gms but at least he is heading back up which is the main thing.

He is now running with the herd to the troughs at feed time which is something he's never done, I had to go and fetch him from wherever he happened to be at meal times! He's not interested in the hard feed but at least he now comes under his steam to look. He actually sniffed the food voluntarily today so maybe, just maybe he is thinking it might be worth trying.

My latest hay bale is rapidly diminishing, it will be gone before the week is out. They are eating so much of it at the minute, our summer calculation for hay consumption over the winter was well out! It is the annual hay show at the beginning for February in a nearby village so we will go and buy some prizing winning hay there - until then I will be speaking to the nice local farmer Alan!!

Monday 12 January 2009

Yarn at last!

Finally my yarn has arrived, I was beginning to wonder if I would ever see it. It was however well worth the wait, and I am very pleased with how it looks. I now can't wait to get the knitting needles out. I already have an order for a black peaked beret!

I got slightly concerned this morning, that the guzzling Gaussian had gone back to his old ways as he didn't want his breakfast bottle. Thankfully it turned out to be a little blip because he was interested in his lunchtime feed and then downed his tea in a matter of a seconds and wanted more.

Everyone else is looking happy despite the wet and windy weather we had overnight, the usual shelter dweller were all nice and dry but there were a fair few wet faces to greet me this morning. The sun has been out most of the afternoon though so the have started to dry out nicely again.

Sunday 11 January 2009

Where did that weekend go?!

I can't believe it's Sunday evening already and Paul has to go back to the day job again tomorrow and we didn't manage to get the fencing finished. Nearly there, the daylight hours just aren't long enough this time of the year.

George and his family (new manure collectors) arrived today with a 2 tonne trailer - great! We managed to get rid of lots of poo. We caused traffic chaos in Angerton mind you, we live on a single track road so the road was blocked for a little while and typically three vehicles wanted to get to the farm at the end of the lane.

We thought we'd earnt our selves a drink so headed to the Dyke Neuk pub for a quick one!

Saturday 10 January 2009

Me & my friend

At last I managed to take the camera out with me, although it's not a hay shot. I thought you might like to see the reformed character that is Gaussian. Anyone who has witnessed a previous feeding session will appreciate what a complete transformation this is - look no restraint!!
He is my new best friend, this morning he met me at the gate, in fact he had his head through the gate before I'd opened it. It is so nice he even put the vitamin paste tube in his mouth voluntarily, although he pulled away too quickly to get any.
Angelus, one of the Australian imports who is a Gianmarco daughter is looking on to make sure Gaussian is not getting something she might like!
We've been working on the fencing again today, sadly it's not going as quickly as we were hoping. Doubt it will be completed tomorrow.
We had a brief brake when a new manure collector came to relieve us of some of the muck mountain - tomorrow we have a chap coming with a 2 ton trailer which will be good!!

Friday 9 January 2009

Cleaning day

I have had a busy day today cleaning up. After feeding and filling all the hay mangers and nets it was out with the muck truck to clean the girls field. It is a never ending job, as fast as I suck it up they push it out! I have just put another advert for the manure on freecycle to try and get rid of it, we seem to have a bit of a build up of sacks at the minute.

In the end I spent all morning out there and still didn't quite finish it all off. I did have a little break to give my new best friend, Gaussian his bottle. He kept coming asking for more milk so I had to come back and do him an extra bottle - I still can't believe he is the same animal, the transformation is unbelievable. We'll weigh him again in the morning when he has his vitamin paste.

This afternoon I've been out with the disinfectant cleaning the trailer, muck truck and quad. I like to keep things cleaning, unfortunately the car was parked a bit to close to the muck truck so I had to give that a quick jet wash too!!

Thursday 8 January 2009

A couple of firsts

Firstly I've just got to share with you today's excitement, for the first time ever (and he's six months old now) Gaussian actually came to me for his bottle. No chasing round the field, restraint or even the slightest murmer of complaint, he was a good boy. Drank all his milk then had a little nibble of my nose for good measure!

I'm not sure if it is the various vitamins kicking in, the introduction of glucose to his milk or the lucerne haylage I've tried to get him interested in, but something has definitely changed. Thanks for all the advice hopefully I will get him eating hard feed soon to. At least he put back on some of the weight he has lost over the last couple of weeks when we weighed him tonight.

The other first was Molly eating from my hand, she had been eating from the bucket whilst I held it but didn't have the confidence to take food from my hand, until today that was. That only leaves her sister Milly, Katia, Veruschka and Nefertiti who don't eat from my hand.

Tuesday 6 January 2009

The year ahead

I have been busy filling in my 2009 BAS wall calender with all the forthcoming alpaca births, shows and events and it's already got plenty of entries on there. I can't believe that our first cria is due 11 weeks today.

It is one of the girls we have for sale, Molly, so we may not have her by the time she comes to birth. Molly & her sister Millie would be ideal as part of a starter herd along with one of the other girls we have for sale. I'm hoping that Millie & Molly will stay together as they are great friends having always lived together.

Our tickets for the Alpaca Futurity have arrived, it was a great event last year and something I would definitely recommend. We actually bought Little Miss Irraquoy at the elite auction, she's nuts, we love her to bits. We are looking forward to this year event although we won't be taking the cheque book for any animals this year!

Again I failed miserably at taking the camera out with me this morning, the new hay manger went down a treat and would have made a lovely shot. If it is nice tomorrow I'll endeavour to take it out as I've not put any photo's on here for a while and I'm getting complained at.

Monday 5 January 2009

The all clear

I didn't think I was ever going to get on here tonight. Paul has been working on the NEBAG (North East & Border Alpaca Group) website where he has just set up a blog for members to use. It was doing something it shouldn't and he has been cursing it. Now he's not about I can tell you!! So any fellow NEBAG members please make sure you use it or I'll never hear the end of it.

We had good news back from the vets today regarding the post-mortem, all the viral tests came back negative, so no BVD or any other nasties. Not that we were expecting any, but it is always nice to get confirmation all is ok; we are clean. Sadly it will remain an unexplained loss.

Thank you to all those who have offered advice on Gaussian, I have lots of suggestions to try so I will keep you posted. I am determined he is not going to beat me, I think we are having a battle of wills.

The alpacas Christmas present arrived today, another 10 foot Hay Manger. They will have a bit more space and it will hopefully save me filling them twice a day! Although I am sure if I left a big round bale out in a day they would eat the lot. It is always the same few that get settled in front of their respective bag or manger and just eat and eat and eat.

Sunday 4 January 2009

More vitamins for Gaussian

Yesterdays positive weight gain for Gaussian was short lived, today he has almost lost all the grams he had gained yesterday. He really is a worry, we gave him a B12 injection today which seems to help Chiquita last year when she hit a plateau last year, hopefully it will have the same effect on Gaussian this year. As Paul is back to work tomorrow and I have no mum to help, I don't think I will manage to weigh him on my own, so it will have to wait until the weekend for an update.

Rob at Wellground Alpacas has suggested trying lucerne haylage, I already have some on order so we will see if that helps any; not that he is very interested in hay most of the time.

The fencing has progressed today, I meant to take the camera out to show you what we are doing now but I forgot. I'll try and remember one day in the week. We had the usual supervision, Hughie, making sure we did a good job.

Saturday 3 January 2009

Another year and another fencing project!

Another busy day with another fence to construct - yes another one! We like to be able to rotate the fields and the latest addition to our grazing needed dividing. So today we began said task, I really can't believe how much fencing and shelter construction we have done, yet there is still more to be done.

The boys currently have the run of the whole field which is far too big for them so it will be nice to get it done. Today we had to fetch a few bits and bobs, then it was the tricky job of dodging the water pipe, so hopefully we will get on a bit quicker tomorrow.

I also needed to give the boys one of their routine injections, everyone was very well behaved. Legend of Spartacus needed a bit of a hair cut whilst we had hold of him. His fleece grows so quickly the poor chap could hardly see.

During this mornings feeding Kate managed to christen Paul's new coat, she really doesn't like sharing her personal space with anyone and was engaged in a bit of a spit off with a few of her fellow herd members and Paul managed to get in the firing line - oops!

Finally, Gaussian managed to put on a few grams today, he really is a worry. Regular readers will know that I have had to pretty much force feed him from the day he was born. His is no longer getting his bottle as he is 6 months old (not that he looks it), and since then his weight has dropped more than risen. He just nibbles on grass and shown no interest in supplement or really eating, I am currently giving him 'jump start' vitamin paste to try and encourage his appetite but it doesn't seem to be having much impact.

Occasionally he is interested in the hay but more often than not hes happy to nibble on his two blades of grass! Any suggestions for fattening him up would be greatly appreciated.

Friday 2 January 2009

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all our readers, here's to a good 2009 for all of us!

Today a bit of normality has returned to Barnacre with all of our Christmas and New Year visitors going back home. The animals have enjoyed my mum being here as even they realise that she is a complete push over, and really take advantage of her good nature, almost all the animals insisting that they have to be hand fed.

Today was the last injection for Alice following her rather sudden abortion earlier in the week. She is fine and dandy and flirting on a regular basis, however she will have to wait to be remated.

It was a new round bale on the menu this morning which went down well, this weather we get through so much it is a never ending job filling all the mangers and hay nets. Oonagh always insists on helping herself from the bale after I have covered it for the day and always manages to find a gap large enough to get her head into to help herself. This afternoon when I went into the field she had friends; Willow, Chiquita and Molly!

Ursula has been limping for the last couple of days, we could not see or feel anything untoward. Thankfully today she is looking much better and is walking almost normally, I think she must have pulled her leg somehow.