Wednesday 29 May 2013

Baby update

Its been wet and horrible today so the two new babies have been tucked up inside the shed.

Cara's little girl is going from strength to strength and is really finding her feet, she has been running round her pen, jumping and skipping.  She has only needed help getting up once when she managed to get her legs and neck in a tangle!  She is now up to 5.67kg.

Little Miss Irraquoy's little girl is a chip off the old block, she is such a character already at two days old.  She is already 8.34kg and full of attitude, like mother like daughter.

Argustus the sickly goat kid seems to be on the mend too, he was in trouble this morning because I found him under my bed and he isn't house trained if you get my drift.
I had actually order him a big dog crate as I could see he was improving and I didn't want him wandering round the house.  Said dog crate arrived today so he is safely tuck up inside it next to the aga but he's not amused!!

Tuesday 28 May 2013

Babies, rosettes and a tired me!

Whoops, almost a week again without a blog, in my defence it is rather busy here but I am trying to keep tweeting to keep you all informed!

The weekend has been a busy one, we were doing spit offs and a couple of matings.  The great news is that we now have Sunburst's first conquest, Carol, spitting off, this is a pregnancy spit too.

Sunday Paul and I headed up to the Highlands for a flying visit, now exactly a quick drive but as my parents were here we took the opportunity to leave mum in charge and head off.  Mum had been warned to keep her eye on a couple of the girls as they were looking like they were ready to birth.

To cut a very long story short Cara managed to pop out a premature cria and worried my poor mum to death!  Jan and Phil from  Castleside Alpacas wanted to experience a birth so they had headed over (unfortunately they all missed the actual birth itself), but they were a great help to mum, and thankfully it hasn't put them off!

The lovely little girl who is showing all the signs of prematurity (born at 327 days) and has yet to be named was too weak to stand and feed, in fact she didn't even manage to kush without mums help.  After colostrum and some kick start she had a little energy boost but it was short lived and Cara and her baby had to be bought inside.

Being in the Highlands phone signal wasn't great which wasn't good as mum was struggling to get hold of me and when she could we were constantly getting cut off.  By the time we got home on Sunday night the midwifery team had bottle fed the cria, tried unsuccessfully to milk mum but had kept the little girl alive.

I managed to milk mum and bottle fed the cria who was I later managed to latch on to mum, but I had to support her as she was unable to stand or hold up her head.

With a cria requiring round the clock care and a goat kid being force fed there wasn't much chance of me going o Northumberland County Show on Monday, so Paul headed off with my parents whilst I stayed back at the farm.
With lots of help and encouragement I managed to get Cara's baby feeding from mum, but she was still unable to stand herself up and even when helped couldn't stand for long.

Whilst this was going on the show team were all winning rosettes, Lily below took 1st intermediate female.  Ankha took 1st brown junior female with Gypsy taking second, Ankha went on to win brown champion.  There is a lovely photo of Ankha and Paul on the Hexham Courant website.

And our white boy Thor came 3rd in the Intermediate male class.
At the same time as the show was going on Little Miss Irraquoy went into labour and has produced a fantastic fawn girl!

I will update you on progress tomorrow as I really do need to go and get some shut eye now!

Thursday 23 May 2013

I am alive

I've been promising myself that I would find the time to blog ever since we sheared at the weekend, but here we are again at 11pm on Thursday and I still haven't done it.

So I thought the least I could do would be to share a few of the photographs

First up we have Olly who came back for shearing, he is now owned by Pat & Eric.

Olly and his mates Leonidas and Seymour weren't the only boys to come home, so did Jeannine and Craigs, from left to right we have Brinley, Spadicious, Portamento, Cazanova and Jam-Packed.

I couldn't resist a Minimus shot

And just to prove that we do actually have some white alpacas here's Snow mid shear!  This photo was taken by professional photographer Sarah Loveland there are lots more I will share at a later date!

Here's our fleece stash of over 200 kg!

Next up was the turn of the goaties, James was giving me a bit of a lesson as the last one I did took ages and I think I wasted all the fleece!


Saturday 11 May 2013

Sunburst gets National sucess

Lambing and kidding is almost over for another year, but is still underway so we have been unable to attend the National Show in person, we have however entered Sunburst's fleece into the fleece show.

Sunburst had a fantastic result, not only did he win the adult grey class he also won the adult champion (with eighty odd points)!!!!  Yes a grey won the adult champion, anyone who knows anything about shows knows that in the main age championships are won by the whites or light fawns so for a grey to win is fabulous, and for it to be our grey you can imagine how proud we are.

To celebrate his success we decided to offer him his first lady!  The lucky lady was Carol, a head strong fawn girl, who soon succumbed to his good looks and manly charm.

Sunburst is unbeaten in the show ring, both halter and fleece. He was champion grey at the Westmorland Halter Show, Champion Grey at the Futurity and now Adult Champion at the National.  He already has a number of lucky ladies for whom is acquaintance is booked  For further details of Sunburst and his stats check out his stud page.

On the goat front I'm pleased to report that Nutmeg is proving to be a fantastic mum and is looking after all three of her kids.  Wall flower is the only one left to go.

The last of the Shetlands birthed yesterday, she has had a tiny, and I mean tiny little lamb.  I've named her pip squeak, who is currently living in front of the Aga.  just to give you some idea of her size I've put the egg timer next to her for comparison

Wednesday 8 May 2013

Traumatic birth for Nutmeg

At last Nutmeg has produced!!!
I actually had the vet out to her last Thursday as I was worried, she's been so big for so long and has had a bag full of milk for weeks.  Compared to the others she just wasn't the same, I was also worried I'd not seen much if any movement the day before.
It turns out that she had a double hernia, one on each side, these ruptures were what were making her look do big, it also turned out that she had the beginnings of mastitis too.  The vet concluded that she wasn't quite ready, but advised me that when she was it was very unlikely that she would be able to deliver the kids without assistance.
We were at Wallington Hall on Sunday and Monday with the alpacas, but as I didn't want to leave Nutmeg Carol and Dave had thankfully agreed to help out.
On Monday morning I thought that she was thinking about going into labour so I was keeping a very close eye on things.
Eventually at tea time she went into labour.  As Sam, the vet had predicted poor Nutmeg couldn't deliver the kids, she couldn't even present me with a nose or toes, so it was down to me.
On first inspection it was evident that the first kid had it's head tucked down and there were no legs.  After a bit of rummaging I managed to get the first kid delivered, there wasn't much room so it was hard work.
Then for number two, another wrong presentation, this time upside down and breech!  I really struggled with this one and came very close to calling the vet out.  Poor Nutmeg was a star, despite be being almost up to my elbows at one point.
Off I went to wash my hands and leave her to a bit of bonding with her sons, but when I returned it was evident that there was more.  A third kid, and a third mis presented kid, breech again, but with the other two out of the way there was more room to get this one sorted.
Aren't they sweet!
And here's the proud daddy, Galileo.

Thankfully I managed to sort out Nutmegs mastitis so she is looking after all three kids on her own - phew!
This birth has to go down as the most difficult I have ever had to deal with, but I'm pleased with the outcome.  Nutmeg won't be bred again so I'm glad to say that the third kid was a girl!

Friday 3 May 2013

Spot the difference?!

Wednesday 1 May 2013

Lots of cuteness!!

I had all the intension of blogging last night with lots of baby photo's as I'd managed to get some nice sunny shots in between lambing duties.

However the day turned out to be one of assisted birth after assisted birth, all of which were single tup lambs incidentally.  There were a couple of well and truly stuck ones including one of the little Shetland girls who had a lovely brown tup lamb stuck which was sadly dead, despite me giving it the kiss of life (not a pleasant taste but worth a try)! 

One of the blackie lambs I ended up lambing with a leg back because I just couldn't move it, but both mum and lamb were none the worse for their ordeal.  The others including Ruby's (pet Texel sheep) lamb which looks about a month old already are doing well.

The twin goat kids have gone from strength to strength and have been out in the sunshine.



Last night they were joined by another set of twins, this time billys.  It was all a bit traumatic again, I nipped out just after 10 to make sure all was well in the shed and I found goatie Willow pushing so I ran back inside for my hat and coat as it was freezing.

To cut a very long, cold and tiring story short, just like the last set of twins they were very weak and slow but I finally managed to get to bed just after two for a hour before I was back up to check on them and put them on mum.

Finally this evening the second boy managed to get the hang on what to do and is now feeding from mum without any interference from me.  Aren't they all sweet!

Back on the subject of alpacas, the new girls are settling in well, Elysian was quite vocal initially but she has settled down now which is good and they are certainly enjoying the view.

As is Sunburst!  He will have a date with both girls in due course; patience is a virtue Mr!
By the way Barbara it was Appletrees who bought the girls up and they were good, lovely couple and the girls got star treatment!