Wednesday 31 August 2011

21 again

I've had a bit of an easy day today seeing as it's my birthday.  Mum started the day off by bringing me a cup  of tea to bed with my cards and presents, it was like being a child again. 

We've been out for lunch, which was nice and good seeing as Paul has informed me I didn't get enough tweets for him to take me out for a meal (he's so mean!).

My niece has made me a play dough birthday cake tonight, she's obviously learnt at a young age that should should never divulge a ladies age as she has kindly ages me at 21!  Thank you for all the birthday wishes recieved.

We nipped up to the hill this morning so I could show mum and dad the progress, it was just a green field last time they went.

It also meant I could have a look at the grass we cut at the weekend.  I think there is still rather a lot of cutting to be done! 

The leveling is coming along now, so hopefully it won't be long before we actually get some building started.

Tuesday 30 August 2011

Shop updates

Today I've been updating all my stock records and spreadsheets following the weekend of sales, our knitwear range received lots of lovely compliments.  Compliments to the alpacas goes without saying, but its still nice to hear it.

Updating our online shop is always a combined effort, I do the background work and Paul has to do the online bit.  All the sold items have been updated, many of the new items didn't even make it onto the shop!  There are still a number of new items that I now need to take photo's of and get online.

On the animal front Brinley is back to taking his bottle today, he had been a bit of a pest for my mum and only had a little bit of milk.  I weighed him tonight though and he is still gaining weight so that is good.

Piccolina has a sore foot this morning, so I was bathed and sprayed and is already looking better this evening.

I will make sure I take the camera out with me tomorrow to share our new arrivals with you, they are so sweet and adorable.

Monday 29 August 2011

Exhausting but enjoyable long weekend

We have had a very busy weekend again, hence the lack of blog last night. 

Bank holiday weekend always means a busy show weekend and this one was no different.  We had been invited to the Dyke Neuk show yesterday and the Glendale Show today. 

Our alpacas always go down a treat as they are so friendly and approachable.  The knitwear proved very popular too, we were selling lots despite the fact that it is still summer.

Sunday was so windy we were hanging on to the marquee for most of the time, thankfully my parents were on hand to help out so, we took it in turns to serve the customers to give our arms a rest!

Thankfully today was much calmer, although the Glendale Show at Wooler is a big one so we were very busy from the minute we arrived on the showground to the minute we left.  The alpacas certainly drew the crowds and lots of people went home very well informed.

I did take my camera with me both days and forgot to take any photo's - it's so hard to remember blog photo's when you are busy.

We had a lovely time talking to some very interested and interesting people who either loved alpacas, were thinking of keeping them or just loved the look of them.  I also took some knitwear orders so I'd better go and get on with one of them as mum has already started hers!!

Saturday 27 August 2011

Something bigger maybe?

After a very wet start to the day our plans for an early trip up the hill to start some serious cutting had to be delayed.  Eventually the rain stopped and the sun tried to poke through off we went. 

I had a slow drafty ride on the quad whilst Paul had a nice cosy warm car to drive up in.  At least the quad has heated handle bars and hand muffs so it could have been worse, and Paul drove it back.

As you can see I think we may need something bigger!
Mum and dad arrived at tea time with a very special load on board, it's far too late to go into details tonight but it's exciting!!!

She also had a car full of knitwear which I am in the middle of labelling for the Dyke Neuk Show tomorrow so I need to get off - sorry. 

More details tomorrow......

Friday 26 August 2011

Johann Sebastian

Following on from yesterdays blog I know some of you were looking forward to a photo of the latest Legend of Spartacus cria, well here he is, Lavender-Bee Johann Sebastian (as in Bach).

He was born at 334 days and still weighed a rather hefty 10.9kg.  His mum is Cambridge Milly who is from Accoyo Remarque so with these genetics combined with those from Legend which include Peruvian Spartacus and Jolimont Commisario this should be one to watch.  I'm sure Juliet and John will be keeping a very close on on this boys fleece what with owning The Border Mill.
Carol and Dave popped in to see us today, not only did they bring some more knitting ready for this weekends shows at the Dyke Neuk on Sunday and the Glendale Show on Monday, they also bought lunch!  I also established that Dave make their summerhouse, I can see a new title emerging for Carding Dave, maybe Coop Construction Dave.

Talking of Dave, we have another Dave joining us tomorrow, tune in to Twitter for updates.

Thursday 25 August 2011

A son for Legend

Just a short blog tonight because my bed is calling and I still have some notes to write for the Glendale Show we are at on Bank Holiday Monday.

Legend of Spartacus, who is the sire of Barnacre Casiphia, Supreme Champion at this years Border Union Show at Kelso, has had his first male cria of the year today, it isn't a Barnacre cria so I'd better wait for permission to share his photo and more details.  I will say he look very nice and his owners are pleased with him though.

He had produced only girls this year, Legend is stamping his bright white fleece over all the girls he covers no matter what their colour.  As well as white girls, we have put him over both light and dark fawn and he still produced white cria.

Wednesday 24 August 2011

The planners said yes

We have had some fantastic news today, our planning permission for the agricultural shed has been approved. 

I can't begin to tell you how pleased we are, we were starting to get worried that it wasn't going to come through in time for us to get the shed up before winter.  Hopefully with everything now agreed the shed will be up in no time what-so-ever.

On the alpaca front poor Mary has a sore ear.  I'm not sure how she did it but when I went to feed tonight I found her with a very bloody ear, she has some how cut the inside of her ear.  We removed Mary's ear tag when she first arrived at Barnacre 4 years ago because she managed to snap part of it on a hay net.

Luckily Mary, like most of our alpacas is easy to catch in an open field so I was soon able to inspect the damage.  It has now been cleaned and sprayed with Terrramycin so I will check it over again in the morning.

Tuesday 23 August 2011

Self service

Not much to report today, other than Carol has been busy knitting again.  I nipped over to take her some yarn, Ochre and Gabby & Imala this time and I came home with another scarf and a pair of mittens. 

The girls are getting ready for new grass, their hay consumption is increasing and Oonagh and Ursula are helping themselves to the bale!

Fresh grass for the girls means movement onto the hill though so they are going to have to wait a little while yet.  We are working our way through options at the minute, Paul & I are struggling to agree on the caravan at the minute!

Hopefully things are progressing with the shed planning, keep tuned for possible update on that tomorrow. 

We have so much to get sorted before we can actually move the herd, the plan is we will get some grass cutting done this Saturday so we can start some fencing.

Monday 22 August 2011


The cria have been hyper all day today.  Seymour is always at the centre of trouble and usually in close proximity are his two half sisters Emery and Celestial.  All three are from Loki who is not at all like that, their grandma, Geena generally gets stressed by them leading her son Brinley astray!

Despite the sun after this mornings jobs I have been forced to do inside jobs which is a bit of a shame as the weather sounds like it is going to turn after today.

Whilst updating the mating records I was looking through the mating details for the whole year and can you believe it Oonagh, her sister Lualeni and Sienna are already a quarter of the way through their pregnancies!

This evening we have nipped up to the hill to check on progress, did somebody mention a swimming pool?

Whiles we were there Paul did a bit of mountaineering on the hay bales so we could get it covered.

The amended planning is still going through for the shed so the poor hay is exposed to the elements somewhat at the minute.  Hopefully not for too much longer.

Sunday 21 August 2011

Metro Centre Gnomes meet the alpacas

Another busy weekend draws to a close and I am determined to get to bed early tonight.

Yesterday we had an early start as we were heading off early as Gabby and Geena had a hot date booked at Fowberry Alpacas.  They'd not held pregnancies from a couple of years ago but we proposned them last year.

Both girls went straight down as soon as they saw the boys so hopefully they will both ovulate and hold a pregnancy, it's a long way there and back and Geena is such a stress head.

Then last night we had a very rare night out, we'd been invited to a friends for dinner.  Very nice it was too, thanks Sonja and Nick, we thoroughly enjoyed the good food and good company.

This morning and an exceptionally early start as I had to load the car with all the knitwear and associated kit as we were off to the Metro Center Marriott Hotel for their first ever farmers market.  Before the gates opened Paul remembered to take a photo of our stall and the animals.

As well as meeting lots of interested people including some of our twitter followers the alpacas met the  Metro Centre Gnomes!!  Niveous couldn't quite work out what on earth they were, but more worrying the other three never even battered an eyelid - our boys are so chilled! 

To be honest I'm not sure who were more excited about meeting the alpacas, the gnomes or the humans.  The boys were so chilled one of the gnomes was feeding Ochre carrot, Niveous will still trying to work out what this strange thing was!

Friday 19 August 2011

Feeding and felting

This morning when I arrived at the field the girls had completely emptied their two hay heck so there is certainly no question about them licking their new hay.  I have already ordered some 'Alan hay' for winter though as it's much nicer!

I had a young helper this morning at feed time, a visiting niece of one of Angerton's new residents.  I didn't ask permission to name her so I'd better not.  Imala certainly liked all her attention as she managed to eat much more than her fair share of breakfast.

Talking about Imala she is dropping condition at the minute as her cria Jam Packed is constantly feeding.  I think it is time to start her on sugarbeet.

I have been busy making up some phone charms this afternoon as I was completely sold out.  We are at a Farmers Market near the Metrocentre this Sunday so I needed to get some made.  Having met Carol's daughter in law last week I had some new idea's to incorporate!

Thursday 18 August 2011

The girls, they say yes!

This morning the girls got to test the hay from the hill.  Paul and I were very sceptical as it didn't look anywhere nice as that that we get from Alan.

Luckily for us the girls thought it was acceptable and happily tucked in - that was lucky as there are another 16 large bales and quite a few acres to munch on!
The hay field will certainly need some attention before we crop it next year.  The plan is that the girls will actually go in there to start off with so at least it will get a little natural fertilizer!

Brinley hasn't wanted much bottle today, he's been full of bean though and joining  in all the chasing and jumping so I'm not too worried, he's also gained a few (and only a few) grams to at least he's heading in the right direction.

I have actually been trying some homeopathy on Geena to see if that helps her milk production, I'm not sure if it is that or just that fact that she is getting a little more year on year but she does seem to have a little more milk than she did previously.

Oh and just for the record Rosemary there won't be hundreds of alpacas on the hill.  We like the close bond we have with all our animals, knowing each one individually is very important to us and if you get too many we feel we would lose that; plus I couldn't afford hundreds even if I wanted to!

Wednesday 17 August 2011

On the hill

We have been up to the hill tonight to check on progress and things are progressing nicely.  Here is the new entrance to what will be the farmyard.

Then we have the scraping ready for the house and agricultural shed.
I can't wait to get moved, as you can see there is loads of grass there and we are running out where we are at the minute.  Typical isn't it the grass is never where you want it.
I think we need a bigger cutter, the flail mower will have to work overtime to keep on top of 220 acres!

Tuesday 16 August 2011

Second conquest

Many thanks for all your comments last night, I liked your idea about underfloor heating in the barn Barbara, I'm not sure Paul was so keen, the bills are increasing by the minute as it is!

It was great to read how much you like your electric Aga Judi, I really missed my oil Aga from tow houses ago and promised myself as soon as I had the chance I would have another.  Having heard mixed reports from people about the electric version I was worried.  I think I'm now convinced, it makes the most sense, especially as we will be generating our own electricity.

And Dave, there was a chance of Roman remains being found on the site, they there is also an old world war II campsite at the foot of the hill, well below where the build is.

Today Sandstorm had his second conquest, Imala, who was happy to oblige.  He was straight on and in today which was good, there was even a little orgle today! 

I had planned to spit off Lucia, but whilst we were getting the boys she somehow managed to escape from the pen.  Hopefully that means that she did take but I will try again in a day or two.

Paul has been busy updating our shop tonight so there are lots more things available, there are still a few more additions to make so keep your eyes peeled.

Monday 15 August 2011

Progress on the hill

Things are progressing on the hill, the contractors have been putting in the road and replacing a field drain which wasn't doing its job as the pipe wasn't big enough.  It has been replaced with a two foot pipe so there should be no problem with it dealing with the flow of water! 
The scraping of the top soil ready for the house and shed has begun this afternoon.  Because the site is of archaeological interest we had to have an archaeologist on site to supervise the initial scrape.  Thankfully there was nothing found or that would have delayed things even further.

We have been looking into Aga's today, we are hoping to manage without having to rely on oil so we wanted some advise on electric Aga's, the lady in the shop was very helpful and the plan is now no oil!  We plan on generating our own electricity and use a ground source heat pump for the underfloor heating.  It's getting rather exciting!!

Sunday 14 August 2011

Pedicure girls?

Despite what Paul might tweet it is he who doesn't like getting up in the morning and today was no exception!
After some gentle persuasion he was up and we headed off to the fields to commence the rather long job list.  First thing on it was toe nails.  The girls nails seemed to have had a growth spurt all of a sudden!

We worked our way through pretty quickly to start with but we seemed to get a batch of stroppy pregnant girls one after the other in the middle.  Oonagh was particularly grumpy about being restrained which is very much unlike her, next was Little Miss Irraquoy, well what can I say....

She was not at all happy, she is rather spitty when she is pregnant and there seems to be no doubt that she is pregnant this year, you only have to mention her name and she threatens.  To cut a long story short she got Paul good and proper, he was not amused.  Next up was Kate one of our greys, shown here with her daughter Midnight Star (the darker of the two). 
Kate is very predictable, you get hold of her, she moans, you do what is need, she moans, you let go and she turns and spits as she leaves; today was no different!  Thankfully none of Kate's cria have inherited her attitude.

With the girls pedicures complete we moved on to operation field clearance.  We moved out of tow of the rented fields a little while ago but we still had some of the fencing and shelter that had been dismantled to move.  It is all done now, next job rebuilding it on the hill :-)

Brinley has been a bit hit and miss on the bottle today, as you can see from the photo if you look closely one feed was a little messy.
In between this and cooking Paul a Sunday roast I've managed to make some felted balls (whilst in the bath) do a few rows of knitting (whilst talking to mum on the phone) and change the sheets on the bed. Which I now need to go and test; good night!

Saturday 13 August 2011

Sandstorm's conquest

Today has been a another very busy day, we were out earning a little money this morning, I'll say no more than that.

We had a batch of spit offs to do this evening and a couple of matings.  Golden Guinea had an appointment booked with Chiquita and we thought that we would give Sandstorm a go.  I've got to be honest I wasn't expecting him to be of for the challenge but how wrong was I!

We had planned to put him to Imala, however she wasn't too interested just yet but Princess Mallika who was mated two months ago decided to sit (she wasn't supposed to do that!) so we gave him his chance with Mallika.  What a gentleman he was after a little slipping off initially he soon got the hang of things but decided that he would keep the orgle quiet not to draw attention to himself.
When he got back to his mate Tenzing he didn't want to keep things quiet then!  He skipped down the road and was soon telling the other boys about his conquest.

Rocky our cockerel lodger had gone home today, we've been looking after him whilst his mum was on holiday.  I think he'd quite enjoyed eyeing up some different ladies.

Friday 12 August 2011

Eating dinosaurs

The weather has been slightly better today which was very good as we had a family visiting this afternoon who are exploring alpaca ownership.  I forgot to ask permission to name them so they will remain nameless for the time being!

They have seen us for a few years at the Otterburn Festival and are now thinking about taking the plunge.  Their two young children were very taken by the alpacas and enjoyed taking the young boys for a walk.  They weren't even put off by Ochre trying to eat the orange spikes on their dinosaur coat which he was sure were carrot! 

This evening after feeding we nipped over to Carol and Dave's, their daughter in law Ems had kindly offered to show me how to do a spot of jewellery making.  She had some great things which has got me all inspired, and pointed me in the direction of a good ebay seller for wire and clasps - I've already been bidding Ems, thanks!

Before we went over as the littlies were dry for the first time in days I did a spot of weighing, all were growing nicely.  Brinley who is back to liking his bottle is now 8.85kg, Jam Packed and Piccolina are also gaining well.

Thursday 11 August 2011

Shelter dweller Mary

Did someone say it is summer?!
Despite it continuing to be wet and miserable here the alpacas are still sat out in the field munching away, with the exception of Mary who is a bit of a shelter dweller. 

I have been trying to encourage the mums of the three youngest cria into the shelter, in particular Geena and Brinley as today he has been feeling the cold.  On the plus side though he has drank his bottles which is  good.  This evening he has two coats on to make sure he doesn't get too cold.

The chickens haven't been as brave as the alpacas and haven't ventured out much today, I can't say as I blame them really.

Wednesday 10 August 2011

Birthing statistics

It has been a dull wet and miserable day today, more like October than August.  I'm glad we have now had all our babies for the year and they are growing on nicely.  Even Brinley put on a decent amount of weight today, despite still not being overly keen on his bottle.

As the weather has been poor I've been doing some inside jobs today, I managed to get slightly side tracked at one point and was studying the birthing statistics for the year. 

The average Barnacre gestation period was lower than normal this year at 343 days.  Our maidens average was 345 days so not much different from the main herd.  Our birth weight is also up this year at 8.25kg, with the two extremes being 11.36kg and 5.77kg.

I also looked at knitwear sales to date which are also up on the same period last year which is good.  The second half of the year is obviously the busy period for our exclusive knitwear so hopefully it will continue the increasing trend.

Back out in the fields Brinley still wasn't keen on his bottle, he did come to me tonight but decided when he got there he didn't want to latch one.  With some encouragement, or more like 'assistance' he took most of his bottle.  He had put on a decent amount of weight today which is a good sign and I'm hoping the glucose in his milk may encourage him to like it again.

Oh yes I almost forgot, yes it is me on the digger Jayne!

Tuesday 9 August 2011

A picture paints a thousand words

After the excitement of seeing things finally happening on the hill I have been trying to make some progress with 'things' that need to be done up there in readiness for our arrival.  I say our arrival but it's more the animals, we'll make do.  Well I will I'm not sure Paul's quite so keen to rough it for a while!

Keep tuned for further updates, when I work them out myself I will let you know.

The fence and shelter is down in the rented land, there is just the gate and gate posts to go now.  The remaining rented land is still being used for the time being.

Whilst I was hard at work the cria were enjoying an afternoon nap.  Here are 11 of the 14.
Piccolina and Nadia (sandwiching Jam Packed) are on chicken watch.

The only cria missing from these photos is Brinley.  He is being a pest at the moment and not taking his bottle at all well.  He lost a little weight yesterday but has put it back on today but that is probably down to me having to almost force feed him.

Whilst I was out with the camera I caught to adolescent boys having a run about.  As you can see Ochre (the brown one at the back) was getting rather excited.

 Despite Minimus being much smaller than his mates he still managed to be second to reach me!
Some of these boys will be off to a new home soon so I am making sure they get lots of love an attention before I have to part with them; I'm still not very good at that bit of breeding alpacas, but as Barbara said the other night it is great to see the pleasure they bring to their new owners.

Monday 8 August 2011

A trip to the hill

As work was supposed to be starting on the hill lat Thursday we wanted to head off up there to make sure things were finally getting underway.  We had planned to go at the weekend but we ran out of daylight hours!

We took Carol and Dave along to have a look, I thought they might find a nice spot to sit knitting and carding.  As you can see you can only just spot Carol & I the grass is so long!
It looks like Dave likes this view down to the little footbridge and the hay field.

The hay has all been baled and just needs a nice big shed to go in - get on with it planners before it gets ruined.  Hopefully it will get piled up very soon so at least we can get a sheet over it.

And just to prove things are finally happening here is the digger, I was checking to see if they'd left the keys in as I thought I might help them along a bit.

We were working out where everyone is going to go.  The girls will initially go onto the hay field and the sheep have a little paddock waiting for them already. I just need to sort myself a caravan out now!!!!

Sunday 7 August 2011

National Trust Seaton Delaval Hall

We were booked in to take the alpacas along to Seaton Delaval Hall today, we went a couple of months ago and went down a storm so they were keen to have us back.

Typically as I was off out for the day Brinley decided he didn't want his bottle this morning, he was too busy feeding from his mum Geena.  She does have milk just not much of it so I knew he'd be ok until I got back.  With everyone else fed and water we loaded up Ochre, Pearson, Minimus and Niveous and off we went.

The boys went down really well despite the wet weather, this time we were right in front of the hall so all the passers by could see us.  This was great although there was very nearly an accident because someone was too busy looking at the alpacas rather than the car in front of them which had stopped to turn right!

It was great to be able to spend the day talking alpaca with lots of interested people.  The boys, particularly Ochre and Pearson love all the attention too. 

Our knitwear went down well, one lady when I offered to nicely gift wrap the Hughie Bobble Hat she has just purchased, said oh no just remove the label please and I'll wear it!

I cam home with an extra leg, not a real one I hasten to add!  One for displaying our knitted socks on.  I already have one and the trust had found one so were glad that I could put it to some use.  Our Barnacre socks go down very well, poor mum gets the job of knitting those - she's very good at it.

Saturday 6 August 2011

Rain rain go away, come back another day.

Oh boy has it rained today, it started off dry but during the dismantling of the field shelter the rain arrived and my word did it rain.

We had a visit from a lovely couple this afternoon who are thinking of keeping alpacas, despite the rain they seemed to enjoy meeting the Barnacre crew. 

The three young show girls from our recent trip to the Border Union Show were so pleased with them they they didn't want to go back into their field; at least our visitors got to see how much alpacas can enjoy human company!

Tomorrow we are heading off to Seaton Delaval Hall with some boys and our knitwear.  The forecast isn't good so wish us luck, or even better if you are nearby do call in and say hello.

Friday 5 August 2011

Play time

It  has been another lovely day so I have been dismantling more fencing.  I was determined not to let this one particular post beat me.  It would not budge, even cursing it didn't help!

After tweeting about it I received a number of encouraging texts and tweets, mainly suggesting I use the tractor.  That was going to be my final straw.

Whilst I regained some strength I decided to sit on the bench and have a cup of tea whilst watching the littlies.  The are great to watch and I had the camera with me so I can share the pleasure with you.

They were full of energy and mischief.  Golden Guinea's latest three cria Nadia (front), Brinley (middle) and Piccolina at the back are all great friends.  Jam Packed is usually there too but he was busy having elevenses from the milk bar when I took this.
Brinley can pose just like his daddy.......
Nadia and Piccolina were watching wondering what he was up to!
After my tea break I didn't actually get back to the fencing, I nipped over to Carol's to pick up some more knitting she's done and get some sheep food from Cowans.

So after tea this evening Paul and I removed the last of the posts and rails.  That leaved the field shelter and the stile's to remove tomorrow.  It sounds like we will be doing that in the rain which won't be very pleasant.

Thursday 4 August 2011

More head room required

Today has felt more like autumn than summer, this morning it was really dank and misty, in fact if it wasn't for the dark girls I wouldn't have been able to see any alpacas in the girls big field.  They soon came running when they herd me at the gate though!

Shortly after I'd finished the morning feed routine and started to take down some more of the fencing the rain arrived.
The fencing we put up in the rented paddocks we used screws rather than nails on the cross bars so we could dismantle it.  Unfortunately I seem to be struggling to undo some of them.  Typically I am struggling with one screw on my bars - how annoying!  The young boys were watching with interest trying to work out what is going on.

Hopefully work began on the hill today so soon I will be able to start the fencing at the new farm.  I need the house and farm yard to be pegged out so I can start fencing from there.

I nipped over to Hexham today to pick up some feed and troughs, they cost me a small fortune, £160 for 3 of them,   I like the black rubber ones as they are easier to move and keep clean but I certainly didn't like the price.  Now that many of the cria are eating heard feed we were running short on trough space.

Wednesday 3 August 2011

Dismantling fencing in readiness for rebuilding

It has been a real scorcher today, the alpacas have spent much of the day stretched out sunbathing.  A passerby was rather concerned and shouted over to me to make sure all was OK.  It did look like the whole herd had been wiped out!

Geena's cria, who I think I'd better christen quick before Mark has another glass of wine (check out his comment on last nights blog).  We have named him named Brinley, meaning burning wood.  He has been taking his bottles nicely.  He had obviously had plenty off Geena at tea time as he only wanted a little of the goats milk but he had his full quota at bedtime.

There are new neighbours moving in just across the road from the man herd and the girls soon spotted a strange dog.  Chief spot at Barnacre is Oonagh, closely followed by her daughters Freyja (2010 cria) and Kealani (2009 cria).  It is obviously a family trait as her mum Blossom was always chief spot.
My broody hen seems to be loosing interest in her eggs now.  She's been sat on them for over three weeks now so I'm sure these are dud ones.  I must remember to take my torch and see if I can candle them tomorrow.

Tuesday 2 August 2011

Gaining nicely

Geena's baby who I have a name in my head for; I suppose I should run it past Paul before I announce it to the world, is looking good today.  His neck seems much better and he is moving it normally now, although he does have a tendency to hang it to one side if he's feeling sleepy.

You may recall Geena can't produce enough milk for her cria so they need topping up with the bottle.  Thankfully this little chap likes his, unlike Geena's 2009 cria Gaussian who I had to pretty much force feed for 6 months! 

He has gained a little weight today and now weighs 7.63kg which is good.  I also weighed Piccolina who is a very healthy 8.9kg, it took Minimus over a month to get to this weight so I'm hopeful she will be bigger than her brother.

Portamento was a whopping 19.85kg, he's only 6 weeks old, Minimus was that at a year, bless him.  I also weighed Jam-Packed, 10.44kg, it was an excuse for a cuddle really he is adorable, don't you agree...

Monday 1 August 2011

A day early but still a day late

 Today has seen the arrival of the last Barnacre cria of the year, a day early yet still a day too late. 

As you will recall my parents have been here for a few days as mum was animal sitting whilst we were up at Kelso.  Mum loves to see the babies being born and was hopeful that Geena would oblige, but she had to go home yesterday afternoon.

I did think first thing that Geena thinking about birthing, she wasn't actually due until tomorrow  but clearly didn't want to wait any longer.  My mum was not very pleased - sorry mum!

It is the first time I've actually seen Geena give birth, it was a good job really as she needed a little help to release this baby.

It is a lovely dark fawn boy who weighed a healthy 7.48kg, which is quite small for us this year.  I think he must have been laid in an awkward position as he has a bit of a stiff neck.
He was a little slow to get going but having had a little top up bottle of colostrum which went down very well.  Geena can't produce enough milk so her cria always need a little topping up.