Monday 30 November 2009

Yet more rain

This is beginning to sound like a broken record, but I will tell you anyway; it has been raining again.

The fields are in such a state there is little chance of them recovering now until the spring I suspect. Thankfully as we rotate our land the current three in use will at least get resting in a couple of weeks time. This doesn't help the main entry points though which are sodden.

I think Loki is feeling depressed with all the weather. This evening he was not his usual self, he came over for his tea but he just seemed a little down. I got hold of him and checked him over, there were no signs of any injury or pain anywhere so I will see how he is in the morning.

Carol (aka super knitter), popped in this morning to drop off some knitting ready for my next event on Wednesday. I really don't know how she finds the time to knit as much as she does. I have been busy sewing labels into everything once it has been washed and dried. Tomorrow I need to print off my information leaflets for all the new stock.

Sunday 29 November 2009

And still it rains

I was glad to hear that I'm not the only one to stab myself with a needle!

After another night of torrential rain everywhere was wet through again this morning. We had a selection of dry alpacas though who had quite clearly spent the night in their shelters.

First job was to finish off yesterdays job of routine vaccinations, AD&E and toe nail trimming. I am pleased to say that the whole herd has now been attended to. Everyone was condition scored on the way through.

We have a couple of girls who are on the lean side, feeding cria and being pregnant does take a lot of some girls. I think I will take them to one side to give them a little extra. We only have two girls that still have their cria at foot, Oonagh and Irraquoy (LMI). LMI is on the lean side but with Sandstorm a very healthy 22kg it wont be that long before he is off with the weanlings.

The boys are far from lean, in fact Hughie and Legend are rather chunky. We actually managed to get all of Legends toe nails cut today. As mum was here we made use of her, with both her and Paul holding him down I was able to cut them.

Saturday 28 November 2009

One for them and one for me

Well I'm not quite sure where today went. We had a list of jobs as long as your arm and haven't managed to get them completed.

Hughie had a visitor this morning, well not just Hughie but he thinks anyone that comes to look at our herd as come purely to see him so he was on cloud nine. A new person he could get acquainted with!

I left mum to feed the sugarbeet at lunchtime as I was desperate for some new tyres on the car and the tyre man ran last night to say the tyres had arrived. As I was driving round on what felt like slicks I thought I'd best get there before they shut this afternoon.

Once back we had a rather large job of a routine vaccination for the whole herd, weighing the youngsters and there were a few toe nails in need of a little pedicure.

The weanlings were all weighed, vaccinated and given their AD&E paste. Duke and Tenzing had both lost a few grams since they were weighed last Sunday so have obviously missed mums milk. I will weigh them in a few days to make sure they are back on the up. They are both tucking into their feed and the hay now so I am assuming it was just a little blip.

Then it was off to do the girls. The poor things are absolutely filthy but as it has been a lovely day they have started to dry off which is nice. Unfortunately during the first wave of injections I managed to stab myself in the finger with one of the used needles. No mites or worms for me then - just a very bloody finger that wouldn't stop bleeding.

Lesson of the day take the sharps box with me rather than use a tub until I get back into the house. As I couldn't stop my finger bleeding and I didn't want to get blood all over the girls we let those that hadn't been done out, and I will have to finish it off in the morning.

Friday 27 November 2009

The Lamb Man's special request

My parents have arrived today for a few days. Mum was laden down with her knitting (not to mention lots of Christmas presents ready for Christmas; she is far too organised), so the stock of gloves has been replenished.

She also bought with her a few orders that I took at the last farmers market which included a pair of specially requested gloves for Jimmy Bell, The Lamb Man. They have half a finger on the first finger of the left glove!

Mum loves to feed everyone when she arrives and today was no exception. The girls love it when she comes too because they run rings round her. It was really funny seeing them all pushing and shoving from one trough to the next, mum couldn't move. I wish I'd had the video camera with me.

Hughie was also pleased to see her and had to rush to the gate to make sure he got their first to say hello. Oh to be popular!

Thursday 26 November 2009

Almost dry

There is definitely strange things going on, I had to manually change to date and time of the test posting I just did!

The weather had almost managed to be dry for 12 hours before the rain began again. Everyone was starting to dry off and was looking much happier. Sadly they will all be wet through again- oh to have a nice big barn or two. One day.

I nipped in to Morpeth today to pick some cydectin up from the vets and get a few bits. Whilst I was there I got stopped in the street by a complete stranger who said "Excuse me, aren't you the alpaca lady".

She had seen me at the Morpeth Farmers Market at the beginning of the month and wanted to know if I would be there again in December. She is interested in doing a spot of Christmas shopping, I confirmed we will be there with Hughie and Loki in tow, 5th December 9am until 2pm.

Willow, one of our foundation herd and the face of Barnacre is half was through her pregnancy today. Despite being mated 2 weeks apart she is actually due the same day as one of the girls we have for sale, Molly. I am very stringent about record keeping and all our girls have their own average gestation periods, Willow is 339 days whilst Molly is 353 so somewhere round the 15th May for these too girls then.


I'm not sure what is going on with my blog, for some reason last nights post is showing that I did it Tuesday!! I have also got a big red line saying error.

Before I ramble on any further I will post this and see what happens.

Tuesday 24 November 2009

Blowing a gale

When we went to bed last night it sounded like we were about to lose our roof, it was so windy. I was expecting to wake up to damage to a shelter or something.

Thankfully all was in order, the girls feed troughs had been blown about but other than that everything was present and correct. The wind hasn't died down any though, the weather man said it would have calmed down by this morning.

On top of the wind we have had yet more rain, it really is starting to get to me now. Everywhere is sooooooo muddy and the alpacas are filthy, with the odd exception. It must have been bad today because for the first time since being weaned the weanlings took to their shelter.

Talking of my little ones, poor little things are still humming away. They have usually quietened down a bit by now but they seem to be much more vocal this year. Mums have already moved on!

I thought you might like to see some of the fabulous knitting Carol dropped off for me on Monday. She has also done a white scarf of the same pattern but not a wide which is lovely.
On the point of knitting, you will be pleased to hear I finished the scarf I was knitting too, at last.

OCD for a quad

I think Paul is suffering from OCD, following him missing out on the quad on ebay last week he is now constantly looking at them and adding them to the watch list on ebay. He's driving me mad, the latest one he has his eye on is in Wales - so not exactly round the corner!

On the alpaca front, the poor things are very soggy, I don't like to complain having seen all the devastation over in Cumbria but it is getting very depressive. I can't remember the last time the alpacas were dry and the mud is spreading further and further.

Angelus is particularly filthy, she has this attraction to mud and will sit and lay in it on purpose. She did have a fabulous fleece and is doing her up most to ruin it.

Grey scarf update.......................... it's growing and I'm nearly finished. I'm going to head back to the needles now because I am determined to finish it before I got to bed tonight.

Monday 23 November 2009

New stock arrives

I have had very exciting delivery today, Carol and Dave have been. Dave went to fill his car with alpaca poo (in bags obviously), whilst Carol came to bring me her latest batch of knitting - these batches seem to grew in size each time she comes!

They have been on holiday and Carol took some of Golden Guinea's yarn and the girls with her. She is so dedicated she bought needles whilst out in Malta and has come back with three scarves; yes three, two hats, two pairs of fingerless mittens and a pair of fingerless gloves. All this in two weeks, she puts me to shame.

I will get them all washed and photographed asap so I can share them with you and put them in the shop. The hats and two of the scarves are new designs.

The youngsters are still missing their mums. This morning one of our new neighbours was walking down the lane and very curious about the noise they were making, having never herd them make this sort of noise before.

They are happy munching when I sneak up, but as soon as they see me they start crying even more so when they see me heading in the direction of their mums. Poor little things, hopefully they will settle down real soon.

Sunday 22 November 2009

Separation update

I'm pleased to report that the now weanlings coped very well with their first night away from mummy. To be honest I think they all had a better nights sleep than I did; I was feeling all guilty and worried about them.

Duke was particularly pleased to see me this morning and came running to the fence with his tail over his back humming away. As soon as I was through the gate he was wanting to give me a kiss which you just can't resist when he asks so nicely. He is a real little sweetie who I will miss when it comes to time to sell him.

There have already been a few people interested in purchasing Duke and his mate Tenzing but they need to settle in to life without their mums before I consider letting them go to pastures new.

Surprisingly all the mums seem to have coped fine without their offspring. In fact the only one looking slightly forlorn this morning was Kate, this is probably because she doesn't really like sharing her space with any other alpacas except for Star, so probably missed snuggling up to her daughter.

Saturday 21 November 2009

A nasty job day

Today was the day, that to be honest I have been putting off; weaning day! It is one of those necessary nasty jobs required for every alpaca breeder.

Poor little mites had no idea what was coming, except Duke who seemed to have developed some sixth sense and had been glued to his mums side all morning.

Firstly though, we went off to another farm sale this morning in the hope of finding an ATV trailer. Yet again it went for more than our limit, although this time we were only one bid out (we had already gone £40 over our limit mind you).

I think Paul got a bit carried away at the thought of having to carry the rather large Midnight Star away from her mum across the field. Thankfully farmer Alan we happy to lend us his sheep taxi to move the, now weanling's this afternoon.

Despite the initial panic by the youngsters they seem to have settled away from their mums. I think the rather nice lush green grass helps to take their mind off things. Duke was the only one that didn't want any tea and is rather vocal. To be honest this comes as no surprise because he is a real mummy's boy. I thought Palm-Olive would kick up a fuss but she has been remarkably calm.

The mums seem to be fine too, Veruschka was wondering round looking like she had lost something but I'm not quite sure she knew what it was she had lost. Bless her she is not the brightest alpaca.

I will let you know how their first night away from mum has gone tomorrow.

Friday 20 November 2009

My parcel arrives

After another wet and windy night last night I was not looking forward to looking over the gate this morning. Thankfully all was in order and the puddles weren't as bad as I was expecting. It has actually been a nice sunny day today and things have dried out slightly - including the animals.

In preparation for my next outing with the knitwear I ordered a couple of hands to display my gloves and a few more heads for the hats. Things look much nicer when they are displayed professionally. I only ordered them on Wednesday night and they were here before 9.30am this morning, thankfully one of the workmen working across the road took it in for me as I was in the field.

I thought you might like to see one in action, here modeling our Hughie mock cable fingerless mittens available on-line or visit one of our future venues, details can be found on the events page of the website.

For anyone interested in a scarf update; it's not growing fast enough!!

Thursday 19 November 2009

In bad books

Well folks I'm in bad books; yes I know, whats new. This time it is because Paul wanted to bid on a quad that was being advertised on ebay. He left it until the last second and because I didn't know that he would have to be logged into paypal as well as ebay he didn't have enough time to log in to paypal and bid. Oops! He is now sulking like a two year old.

On the alpaca front, it looked like Mary had been having a party in the shelter the amount of poo that was in there. Once I'd fed everyone I cleaned it up.

I have started knitting with Kate's yarn today, a lovely lace scarf. The colour is a very nice steely grey colour.

Wednesday 18 November 2009

Flooding and more rain forecast

After a night of torrential rain I knew the fields were going to be wet and they certainly were. I had to wade through the gate with the hay for the girls, the puddle was about 5 inches deep.

Despite all the rain our brown stud male, Golden Guinea had obviously spent the whole evening and night in the shelter with Loki as they were both completely dry whilst Hughie looked like he'd been for a swim in a swap!

I have also sussed who is the culprit for relieving themselves in the girl's shelter, Mary. She was bone dry this morning, which is good because she is the one girl who feels the cold. She had obviously spent the night in there with her 2007 daughter Ursula because they were the only two girls dry.

I thought I would share a few photo's with you, this is one of our neighbours fields that I am standing in. The road is in between the estate rail fencing.

Here I am actually in the road, there is no way Paul would have got home in the MG this way tonight! I didn't dare go any further as the current was very strong and I was almost at the top of my wellies.

Tuesday 17 November 2009

Normal service resumed

My brother and his family have returned home today so normal service has resumed. It seems very quiet without Faith running about, I've got to wait until Christmas Eve for them to come back.

Yet again I am still waiting for Paul to return home from work (the poor thing never gets to see the animals this time of year), he seems to be working longer and longer hours lately - much to his displeasure as well as mine.

As the sun was shining and the forecast is not good for the rest of the week I thought I would take the camera out with me at lunchtime and share what I could see.

Chiquita here, was up to her normal antics with her head through the stock fencing eating the resting paddock. She does worry me doing this, I will not use stock fencing again because I am worried sick that she will get stuck.

As her name suggests, Chiquita (Spanish for the little one), is a petite girl who has a fabulous fleece. After a lot of thought and discussions with the vet we mated her and she is pregnant to Gianmarco's Masterpiece. She only had one go, that's how desperate she was to be pregnant!

Her mum, Willow (the face of our logo) has a habit of eating through the fence too, although she can't get her head through the small squares of the stock fencing.

Whilst the youngsters were pretty dry I thought I would weigh them as they are bound to be soaking wet at the weekend. All growing nicely, I really struggled to lift Duke so I don't think I'll be able to do him next week, he will have to be left for Paul.

Sunday 15 November 2009

Faith gets all brave

As I said yesterday my niece is visiting (with her parents obviously, I'll be working on unsupervised visits shortly!). I remembered to take my camera out with me this evening and here is Faith saying hello to Hughie with her daddy (my brother) and her mummy (for those of you who have been reading my blog for some time, she was the ironing fairy earlier in the summer).
Next we moved on to the girls, by now we were feeling very brave and Faith came into the field. Here is Ursula sharing Faith's apple from earlier. She was so brave she even touched Ursula and tried to stroke Gabby but she was a bit to quick to run off.
All this excitement is exhausting you know! She didn't even make it back to the house. It wasn't actually pitch black not sure what was going on with the camera.

Saturday 14 November 2009

Farm sale and shop updates

My brother, his wife and my gorgeous little niece, Faith (who has done a spot of modeling in our shop) are up visiting for a few days which is nice.

We treated them to a trip to a local farm sale this morning, in the auction were a couple of things we had our eye on, the main one being an ATV trailer. Faith got her new wellies and waterproofs wet and muddy (yeah, I knew I'd get away with it!) and my brother panicked that he might breathe too deep and buy something.

As usual at these types of sales the pace is very fast and half the time you can't understand what is being said. Sadly the things we were bidding on went over our limits so we purchased nothing.

Paul has put my latest creations on the website which have been knitted from Hughie's yarn which is absolutely fabulous to knit with. Having good fleeced animals is paramount to achieving good end results so we are very lucky to have some very nice fleeces within our herd.

Friday 13 November 2009

A word of thanks

I am pleased to say I survived the dentist! Nothing needed either which was very good.

Having an 8am dentist appointment meant that the alpacas had a later than normal breakfast which they were far from impressed about. They were all standing at the fence waiting for me, both the boys and the girls.

I have received some lovely comments from a very satisfied customer on my guest book. Click here to read them.

This evening the rain has arrived so no doubt the boys will be in their shelter and the girls under the trees. Some times the dark gang of girls (Mary, Ursula and Geena) go in the shelter but the girls seem to prefer to stay out at night. I think they like to see what is going on.

Thursday 12 November 2009

Kealani as promised

First things first, I promised Jayne from Zanzibah Alpacas a photo of Kealani after talking about her yesterday. Well here she is, this was taken two weeks ago a probably the last time she was fully dry!
She was in trouble today with Molly, Kealani certainly has no fear of anyone. She was jumping on Palm-Olive at feed time and Palm-Olive was getting very annoyed and groaning and blowing air at her which didn't seem to be getting the message through. All of a sudden from nowhere Molly arrived to protect her daughter and sent Kealani on her way; after Kealani had tried to jump on her!

Alice is exactly half way through her pregnancy today, well that is going on the Barnacre herd average gestation period of 346 days. Alice has a fantastic pedigree, with genetics which include the legendary NWA Ltd Ruffo. She is currently pregnant to Gianmarco's Masterpiece, so with the added genetics of Jolimont Gianmarco, Jolimont Sculptor and Jolimont Encantador added into the mix we are expecting something very spectacular indeed from Alice's cria.

I noticed this morning that Loki is getting his big boy teeth, all of a sudden one of his baby teeth has been pushed forward by the other tooth behind. Whilst on the subject of teeth, wish me luck, I'm at the dentist first thing in the morning.

Wednesday 11 November 2009

A date has been set

It has been a very mixed day today, but with the forecast for the next few days pretty terrible I thought I'd best get the cria weighed before they were sopping wet.

Now that the babies are getting older and the nutritional value of the grass is diminishing the weight gain is slowing, with the exception of our youngest cria Kealani who is now 18.9kg and doing very well on mum, Oonagh's milk - she's a chip off the old block. Oonagh is Blossoms first daughter.

The first batch of weaning will be done at the end of the month, which means that there is only limited time for some lucky person to purchase Molly and her daughter, Palm-Olive at their current very competitive price of £6,750 + VAT.

Palm-Olive is sired by the well renown stud Accoyo Remarque who has produced many ribbon winning progeny. Molly is currently pregnant to our elite white stud Gianmarco's Masterpiece so we are expecting great things for her in the spring.

Tuesday 10 November 2009

New stock on line at last

Brrrrrrrr, it was another cold start this morning but at least it was dry; for a while anyway. I almost managed to finish giving everyone fresh hay and moved the boys into their daytime pasture before it started to rain.

I just knew it was going to rain today as I had had to wash my quilt as Smudge (one of our cats) decided to be sick on it last night - marvelous!

Paul has finally got round to putting the new items into the shop so I now need to go and do all the descriptions and prices. There were so many items showing as sold we have removed some of them.

Mum has finished another pair of gloves today and I am three quarters of the way through my Hughie mittens too. There just aren't enough hours in the day.

Monday 9 November 2009

Rear of the year

What a very frosty start to the morning and as usual everyone was waiting for me when I went out. It is so nice to be wanted.

It has been a very busy day what with one thing and another. I had plans to get some knitting done to replenish some of the stock sold at the weekend. Paul had kindly offered to take a parcel to the post office for me to save me going in to Morpeth. It was one of our paca poo poo fire brick that had been sold - I hope the person behind the counter didn't want to know what was in the packet!

Before I had finished my morning routine of feeding and checking everyone I had a phone call from a previous customer with, in his words, an emergency. He was off to France in a couple of days time and wanted to purchase some more of my knitwear to take with him for a very special new arrival.

She is a very lucky little girl as I packaged up a hat, cardigan and booties which I then had to rush to the post office to make sure it arrived in time for his trip. So much for saving me a trip to Morpeth. Not that I am complaining, at this rate there will be nothing left to sell by Christmas.

When I got back I had to get the sheep ready for a trip to see the tups. Alan takes them for me and they spend a few weeks with his girls meeting the boys. My girls never like socialising with other sheep, they are far too good for that, and as for Mia (she was my first ever pet lamb that never realised she was a sheep), it will be interesting to see if she actually stays in the field. I half expect her to wander back home by the end of the week!

Getting back to the alpacas, people always find it amazing that I can identify everyone by their hum or back end so I thought I would share a photo of the girls enjoying their hay and try and identify the rear. Here goes......

Starting from the front left; Imala, Irraquoy, Molly, Veruschka, Ursula,Molly, Gabby, Sandstorm, Kealani (having a sneaky drink from mum), Oonagh. Mary is between the mangers with Lualeni looking at me. Then it's Palm-Olive, Aria, Sienna, Angelus, Willow and Chiquita.

Behind the manger is Geena, Nefertiti, Duke (you have to look closely it's only his nose), Kate, Mallika, Alice (I think it may be Milly) and Katia.

Sunday 8 November 2009

Move it or clean it

The weather was horrible first thing this morning, it had obviously been pouring with rain during the night as there were streams everywhere again.

Typically shortly after we headed back in for a cup of tea having fed the herd and spent a bit of time watching and talking to everyone the rain stopped!

No rest for the wicked, after we had supped up Paul was out re-arranging the garage so the car could fit in as well as all the feed, hay, quad, muck truck and other paraphernalia we have collected.

Whilst he was doing this I cleaned the rather dirty trailer. Bio security is something that has to be treated very seriously and after every single use the trailer gets thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. To say we had only had two boys in there fore a 20 minute drive it was far from pleasant.

Hughie and Loki did not go to the toilet all the time we were at the farmers market and boy did they make up for it the minute they got in the trailer. Loki, bless him is always funny about relieving himself anywhere other than at home. He will moan for hours at a show before he finally gives in and goes.

I've also repacked the stock we bought home from the market so it is all nice and tidy and ready for my next outing in three weeks time. This is one of the new ranges we have that hasn't made it into the online shop yet.

Saturday 7 November 2009

Morpeth Farmers Market

It was another early start this morning, we had to check and feed everyone before we headed off to the farmers market to sell our knitwear.

Hughie and Loki were having a race to see who could get in the trailer first. Hughie loves going out and about meeting the public but even Loki was in a hurry this morning. Thankfully I'd already loaded the car yesterday so that was one less job to do this morning.

We had a good day selling, and received lots of lovely comments about our products. It is so nice when people appreciate the efforts you go to and the quality of our items. We will be back there again for the Christmas market at the beginning of December.

You can never quite tell what you are going to sell, gloves were definitely the hot favourite today. It's usually the fingerless type that are most popular but today it was fingers, in fact I sold out of ladies full fingered gloves. Best get knitting gloves with fingers; I've already set mum on it!

I have taken a few orders again so it looks like I'm going to be burning the candle at both ends for the next few weeks (no change there then!)

Friday 6 November 2009

All loaded up and ready for the off

I have spent the day getting ready for the 10th Anniversary Morpeth Farmers Market tomorrow. Everything is priced, labeled and tagged and most of it is in the car ready to go.

The trailer is ready for the boys, Hughie and Loki are coming along to show the public where all our knitwear, felting and poo bricks come from!

I will soon need a trailer for the trailer, each time I seem to set up somewhere I have more things to take along. This time I have additional stock, display heads and all the poo bricks (they only come out in the run up to Christmas).

The girls got very excited this morning when they saw me moving round hurdles; I need them to make Hughie and Loki's pen for tomorrow - you can never have enough hurdles. Guinea also got rather excited, I think he thought I was making him a mating pen. Sorry Mr Guinea you have got to wait until spring until your next conquest; Barnacre Sienna is looking forward to it as much as he is I think.

I was going to have a night off knitting, but I can't. It's time for Autumn Watch so I'll do a spot of knitting whilst I watch it!!

Thursday 5 November 2009

Camelibra feed delivered

I took delivery of a tonne of alpaca feed this morning. Thankfully the delivery driver rang me from, in his words 'a dirt track' his sat nav was trying to send him down to check he was heading in the right direction.

He wasn't, for some reason TomToms always try and send you down this track and through a ford which is impassible by even the tractor most of the time. Alan, our farmer friend has has to rescue many a visitor who has carried on down the track and got stuck.

When said lorry arrived with a rather large pallet of feed I was slightly worried that I would be unloading it; all 60 sacks (I had some Fibregest as well) by hand. I managed to get one of the neighbours with a manatu to unload it for me - phew! If anyone locally is interest in buying any at cost price let me know.

Long term blog readers may recall I was lucky enough to obtain a weaving loom on freecycle in exchange for some alpaca manure and half a dozen eggs. Well the very kind elderly gentleman that made the loom (and delivered it) popped round for some more manure today.

He came with his camera so the boys took full advantage of the situation and Hughie got his photo taken exchanging kisses.

Wednesday 4 November 2009

Mud, mud and more mud

I thought I would get an early blog in this evening before Paul gets home from work. He is doing some very long days at the minute, most annoying.

We have had another day of sunshine and showers today and the fields are horrible and muddy, particularly in the girls feeding pen.

It is only the first week in November and we are already paddling in mud, I dread to think what it is going to be like by the end of winter.

The girls are funny to watch in said mud. There are a few, like the recently sold Aria and our black girl Geena that will walk round the edge trying to avoid walking through it and then there are the girls who Paul would say take after me!

If there is mud to be found I always managed to find it. Willow and Angelus have to be the main two that seem totally oblivious to mud and go trampling through it and manage to get it everywhere. This afternoon Molly did the most revolting thing and slid neck first into the mud at the entrance to the feeding pen and rolled in it. I think I may have to change her description on alpaca seller to brown! Typically I didn't have the camera with me.

Tuesday 3 November 2009

Exciting stuff

What another delightful morning it was this morning. I was already in my second set of clothes by 9am! To add insult to injury, shortly after I had finished my early morning chores there was a break in the torrential rain; typical.

For those of you who read my blog on a regular basis, you may recall last week I mentioned some very tantalising offers that we had on our 'sales' girls. Well as I suspected, in view of the stunning value of these girls we have sold three.

Yes, that was the exciting news I made mention of yesterday. Heidi, along with her mum Aria and Milly have been sold and will be off to their new home soon. These girls are fantastic, I will miss them all dearly, particularly Heidi.

This leaves only four pregnant females left for sale, one with a female cria at foot. It wont be long before we are weaning Palm-Olive from her mum Molly, so there is a limited time to obtain a super value for money purchase there. Molly is currently pregnant to our elite white stud Gianmarco's Masterpiece and Palm-Olive is from Accoyo Remarque who has sired may show winning progeny.

More exciting news, I have been over to see Carol (original CKD sufferer) this evening to pick up her latest stash of knitting. In a week she has knitted 3 hats and two pairs of gloves; she puts me to shame. Thank you Carol if you are reading this.
I am still waiting for Paul to put the last batch of knitwear in the shop, but this is one of her wonderful creations!

Monday 2 November 2009

Cria comparison

Thankfully the weather has been much better today, the wind has picked up but at least it has been dry.

The herd had almost dried out by tea time, just in time for the rain we have forecast for tomorrow; poor things.

Our last cria of the year Kealani, who is two months old today, seems to have had a growth spurt the last few days. She is such a live wire always jumping on the boys and neck wrestling with them.

I find it fascinating comparing how the cria develop. Palm-Olive our first born cria of the year (born in April) is very grown up both physically and mentally. She no longer plays with the other youngsters, she is far to mature for all those silly games. I think at the rate she is growing she will be ready for mating next year.

Star is another big girl, she is five months old now and her mum, Kate, is beginning to ration her milk supplies. I am hoping to wean 4 of the 7 youngsters together so it will be a little longer before I separate them. Star doesn't seem to realise that she is supposed to respect the adults within the herd and has regular spit off with them. She has obviously learnt that off her mum!

Then there is Duke and Tenzing, these two boys are very laid back. Duke is very affectionate and likes to come and say hello; especially if you have Heidi's bottle in your hand. Tenzing on the other hand prefers to roll round the feed bucket for some reason.

Heidi, Sandstorm and Kealani play together most of the time. Kealani never knows when to stop though so the other two get fed up of her occasionally and send her on her way.

I hope to have more very exciting news on Heidi tomorrow........ watch this space.

Sunday 1 November 2009

A wash out

It has been a horribly wet day today, we had so much rain that at lunchtime when I went to give Heidi her bottle and the girls their sugerbeet most of the fields were under water, as was our courtyard and drive.

Needless to say the alpacas refused point blank to move for lunch, even when I waded through to Heidi she didn't want her bottle. It must have been bad because not even Duke wanted to come and he's usually hanging round for a free meal!

We had a family coming this morning to pick up a knitting order and meet the girls who had donated their fleeces to make these stunning garments. Sadly the weather put paid to wandering round the fields, so a chat and a cup of tea were called for instead. They were delighted with their new knitwear and I am sure it will keep mum a daughter cosy over winter.

When the rain finally stopped we hurried out to give everyone an early tea. There was no chance of anyone missing tea, as soon as they saw us they were waiting at the gate. After their feed supplement was polished off it was over to the hay mangers for dessert, then all of a sudden there was a sprint off to the trees. This was our cue to leave, the animals always know when then rain is going to arrive. We just made it back to the house in time!!