Sunday 7 March 2010

Lambing Live gets me in the mood

After a very hectic day of jobs I settled down in front of the television to watch Countryfile and Lambing Live. Well I say settled down, I was actually stood ironing!

Lambing Live got me all excited about the arrival of our own lambs which are due next month. Most of you will know that we have half a dozen pet sheep. We have four ewes who between them are due to have 5 lambs this year, sadly when the scanning man scanned Mocha he said she was reabsorbing her twin lambs.

It has been a glorious day today, which meant I had no excuse not to wean Kealani this morning. Poor little mite is really missing her mum, Oonagh hummed to her for a little while but soon headed off to the hay mangers.

This evening once it was dark we went out to check that Kealani hadn't tried to escape and go back to mum. With her fluorescent coat on she wasn't hard to spot and all appeared well thank goodness; I really do not like weaning. Thankfully this was the last weaning of the year.

We did a spot more halter training, there is still no improvement with Star but the others continue to make steady progress. Any top tips for Star would be gratefully received!

The youngsters also got a dose of AD&E paste and some had a little manicure. Duke, Sandstorm and Palm-Olive were also in need of a little fleece trimming round the eyes, Duke could hardly see!

Paul managed to get the cars and quad cleaned too whilst I was washing some knitwear which I now need to sew labels in ready for my next outing next week.


Zanzibah Alpacas said...

I missed it !...just as well..I have no arrivals this year !!

Is it the halter that Star resents !...or is it the rope presure when you are on the other end !...just thinking that all....Jayne

Debbie, Barnacre Alpacas said...

It's the rope she doesn't like. She's fine with the haler, it's when you try and make her move she goes mad.

hilaryc said...

How long is your lead rope? Marty sometimes uses an extension to on e - the ones we used on her course were 15 foot long - you do have to be in an enclosed space though.( The lead ropes were very light though long). Ideally so if they run they dont"hit" the end of the lead rope (bit like starting horses in a round area)

In a smaller area, though , you can try again to get her to understand the message that information through the halter means move her feet/ Standing at the side , use a ratchet signal on the rope - this is not a steady pressure, more like little pulses of on and off - when I say little, this is not enough to "make" her move. You need to keep looking at her shoulder and lower leg - as soon as you see the weight come off the inside fore, release the very small pressure and praise. Make sure the ratchet signal is more to the side rather than straight ahead - just tiny to throw her off balance , and pick up that leg. you may then need to move around to allow her to pick up the other leg.If you get a weight shift off the leg, stop there, dont even ask for a step that day.

Mind , sounds better than me - if I put any pressure on Iolani , she just sits down - she is teaching me how to avoid this happening!

Think how you can influence her so you are not "making" her move, but "allowing" her to move. HAs she a best mate?. Put some weanling in 2 pens in your corridor, then she is going from company, towards her best friend.

Sounds really mad this, but we do this when Alex comes over for clicker training horses) but also we did this at Marty's clinic. Get Paul to pretend to be an alpaca ( can hear you all smile, but it does work) , and hold the lead rope, then ask him to move in the way you wold , and he can tell you what it feels like - then you can try a different way.

It even makes such a difference how tense the animal is. Hold the rope with 2 hands , clench them hard, and really hold on tight and close your eyes. The other person then slides their hand up the lead rope - you can nearly get to where the person is clenching before they feel you coming.

Now get the person clenching the rope to relax, shake out their arms and shoulders, then hold the rope in a really relaxed manner and close their eyes. The other person the slides up the lead rope - you can feel the rope as soon as , when you are relaxed.

Will shut up now! ( only to say the type of rope influences the feel as well!)