Sunday 23 June 2013

A good chase

There is nothing better on a summers (yes it is still summer!) evening than to watch the cria racing underway.
Our main field of girls has been a hive of activity tonight with five of the six cria playing chase and long jump over the dip.  The speed they reach is phenomenal.  I never actually managed to get them all in one shot.
Leading the way was JanJan followed by Irraquoys little girl, who incidentally we've still not agreed on a name for!
Bounty was in the leading pack a few times, here in the middle.

Selby (fawn boy) got left standing most of the time, he's at the back here with Chiquita.

As for Casiphia's little man who I trying to convince Paul needs to be called Arty, Barnacre Work of Art, he just kept flying round in whatever direction he felt like!
I didn't manage to get a photo of Ashling chasing round, unfortunately for her she doesn't have any playmates of her own age.  She is in one of the quarantine fields which is something we routinely do with anyone new coming into the herd.  She does have Strawberry who isn't a year old yet happily playing chase with her; and more often than not gets left behind!
On the baby front Freyja is on 366 days tomorrow and still has her legs crossed.......

Friday 21 June 2013

Oonagh pops

Bright and early this morning Oonagh decided that today was the day she was going to give birth and she was going to do it before it got to hot.  So shortly after 8am out plopped a lovely little boy sired by Legend of Spartacus, who is currently working hard at Balnuith Alpacas.  In fact when I rang Alison to tell her we'd just had our first Legend baby of the year, the man himself was in the trailer on his way back from an outside mating.
As seems to be customary with all white cria born here, Oonagh chose a nice mole hill to birth next to so the nice bright white cria was soon dust stained!

He was soon up on his feet and at the milk bar, despite Oonagh having an udder that resembles that of a cow he had no problem latching on and took full advantage of lots of fresh milk.

Despite looking a stocky boy he only actually weighs 6.73kg.

He definitely has the look of his full brother Leonidas who is now owned by Pat and Eric.

I was hoping that with her mum giving birth Freyja might have joined in, but no such luck.  I really don't like it when maidens get close to the year mark.

Thursday 20 June 2013

Deckchairs at the ready

Anyone who knows us will know that Paul is always accusing me of spending all day sat in my deckchair, well this morning was certainly deckchair weather.  So I thought I would take advantage and spend five minutes sat (without a deckchair dear!) with the sunbathing girls and take a few snaps for tonight's blog.
First up we have Meketaten, super friendly, multi brown champion and reserve supreme champion and always a firm favourite for farm visitors.
Next up we have her full sister Ankhesenamun, Ankha to her friends, can't you tell the resemblance.  Just like her sister (and dad Golden Guinea) she is super friendly and is also a brown champion!

Next up we have Carol, an older girl at 12 years old and super protective of her mates and the cria, to the point where she bit my bum last night when I was putting a cria coat on Casiphia's baby.

Next up a couple of cuties, with her back to us we have Bounty (sire Bozedown Trojan) a cheeky fawn girl and to the front it's JanJan Cara's little premature cria (sire Bozedown Patriot), she is doing just fine now.

Next in a restful position is Lualeni, still keeping her legs crossed!

And finally it's Selby (sire Bozedown The Chief ), now he has to be the laziest of all the cria so far.  When this boy sleeps he certainly sleeps and a bomb could go off next to him and he wouldn't notice!

To be honest I could have taken most of the herd there were so many snoozing pacas but I didn't want to bore anyone!

Wednesday 19 June 2013

Warm milk and flippers

Despite the warm weather and lots of milk warming not Freyja, Oonagh or Lualeni have produced today, I spent almost all day in their field poo picking in the hope something would occur, but no, nothing!
I'm pleased to say that my little grey girl who I want to call Ashling meaning Vision or Dream (Paul needs some convincing) is doing great, she is much more up on her feet now and the walking with flippers look is a think of the past.
Whilst I was out with the camera I thought I would get a photo of the little boys who seem to move on mass with two exceptions, James and Azrael who were busy elsewhere!!

They don't seem to be missing their little girlie friends, I though Azrael would miss Liberty as they were always together but he doesn't seem at all bothered; lots of grass is obviously a good distraction!

Monday 17 June 2013

I didn't have long to wait!

Well after last nights blog of expectant ladies I didn't have long to wait for one of them to produce, and guess which one it was....... yep you guessed it the one with the shortest gestation, Elysian.

It was the one I was most excited about, Elysian who is from Nyetimber, who we bought at the Futurity and was mated to another fabulous grey Meon Valley Ardingly.  We were hoping for a grey girl to add to our list of ladies for our own grey champion Sunburst and the girl did us proud!!!!

One lovely little girl, 6.5kg and very down on her pasterns but happy, healthy, feeding from mum who is doing a great job, especially for a maiden.

Isn't she wonderful. 
It was quite funny, I thought we might have a birth today as we had a lady booked in for some husbandry training and when she came for her initial session things were well and truly interrupted with two births so she obviously has a knack, maybe a new career could be on the cards!
Strawberry Hill, our other grey Futurity purchase is very interested in the baby, both her and Beverley are going to enjoy baby sitting when Elysian begins to let her daughter out of her sight.

Baby bulges

Well despite nice weather, lots of lazing around and lots of pokey out things there have been no more births.
Here's Oonagh with an elbow sticking out if you look close enough.  She is now on 356 days, so well over her own average gestation.
Her sister Lualeni is due tomorrow at 340 days, you can see she's had lots of feet poking under her tail for days now!

The furthest over due is Oonagh's second daughter Freyja, she's now up to 359 days and has been complaining a lot today so maybe she won't be much longer.

Then the fourth girl I expect to birth is one of out fabulous grey additions Elysian, I'm hoping for something grey here!!!  She is on 336 days.

Wednesday 12 June 2013

Sunning pink bits

Just a quick update tonight as I really do want an early night, I feel like I could sleep standing up and I am getting rather grumpy tonight so the best place for me is bed!

I'm pleased to say that Cassiopeia seems to responding well to her treatment, so much so last night I had to chase her round to give her her final IM injection, the poor thing has had so many she must be quite sore.

Here she is in her bedroom with Emery (front) my abscess patient, who if you look very closely you might be able to see the gunk on her cheek.
We have had a mixed day of sunshine and showers today, but when the sun came out it was glorious and the girls took full advantage and sunbathing began.  Oonagh, who is on 351 days gestation thought that her baby also needed a bit of sun!!

This is obviously a family favourite pose, this was sister Lualeni last year!

Monday 10 June 2013

On the up?

I thought I'd better do a blog because I'm now getting grief on Twitter as well as Paul for not blogging!!  I had intended to blog over the weekend but just ran out of hours and dropping to sleep whilst trying to type isn't much fun.

So the story continues:-

Friday Morning having found Cara laid down legs out and not at all happy Sam the vet came out.  Having struggled to get Cara to walk more than three steps without sitting before he arrived you can imagine my embarrassment and slight pleasure when she stood up and walked about 10 yards before sitting back down, clearly still in some discomfort.

Cara had one day last week when she spent a lot of time sat down so a second bout of sitting and the fact that she'd also had a premature cria makes you think something is definitely not right.  Despite it being very warm her temperature was a little low and Sam could hear a slight crackle on her left lung which wasn't really in keeping with her other symptoms, which were more indicative of abdominal or uterine discomfort.

She had some antibiotics and anti-inflammatories and by tea time was much more like herself, her little girl Janjan actually lost a little weight which was probably down to the fact than mum had spent so much time sitting that she'd not been able to feed. 

Thankfully both mum and cria seem to be doing just fine now so fingers crossed whatever was causing the discomfort is now sorted.

Now onto Cassiopeia, she is our old superfine grey girl (20 microns at 18yrs old) and mum to Lily our young grey showgirl.  About two weeks ago now she was in the field acting a little out of character and didn't come for her breakfast.  Then on the Sunday she seemed away with the fairies and had a couple of stumbles, none of this stopped her from running all the way back down the hill to her bed in the overhang of the shed.

To cut a very long story short I think she then suffered a stroke which has affected her eyesight and caused a weakness on her left side, so after a few conversations with Sam out he came.  He confirmed that it was some sort of brain irritation causing her the problem, be it a stroke, infection or cysts without a CT scan we couldn't be sure.

Not wanting to put poor Cassiopeia through any suffering I wanted the vets conformation that me treating her was in her best interests.  She has some sight and responds well to my voice and is happily eating drinking and going to the toilet.

I've got to be honest I was worried about what he was going to say when he saw her but he agreed a course of antibiotics amongst other things was worth a try and we would reassess her later this week.  Thankfully the drug regime seems to be helping, she hasn't had any major wobbles or seizures for a couple of days and is calm so I'm feeling much happier about her future, as long as she has a quality of life I will do all I can for her.

And whilst on the subject of quality of life, Oonagh is finding all this heat exhausting carrying round her big baby bulge so is spending most of her time relaxing.

As is April who thinks that sneaking back into the back garden and sitting in the perfectly kid sized birdbath is a good idea!

Saturday 8 June 2013

Where do I start?

There has been so much happening here the last week I'm not sure where to start, some good, some bad and some just farm life.

We'll start with a cria update, firstly thank you to all those who took the time to vote for Cara's baby name.  It came as no real surprise that Janjan won, with almost 75% of the votes.

She is now doing well and is out in the field gaining weight and just loving the sunshine!

Next up we have double trouble, these two girls are looking for mischief every minute of the day, on the left we have Little Miss Irraquoys little girl (who we still haven't agreed on a name for!) and on the left is Carina's little girl.  As Carina wasn't supposed to be pregnant when we bought her we have called this little fawn girl Bounty as she was a bonus.

Next up we have the first boy of the year, who is now a week old and is still a little slow compared to the girls, although he is gaining weight, despite his mum feeding anyone who wants to feed from her!  He has a lovely fleece developing. 

Next up we have cria number five of the year, not your text book birth either; do you ever get the feeling it is going to be one of those years?  Casiphia our home breed Supreme Champion (from Legend) was a maiden and Wednesday morning she looked very much like she was in the early stages of labour, so I rang Jan from Castleside Alpacas so she could see what to expect when her girls birth next month.
Unfortunately though things didn't progress, other than lots of sitting down and a fair few visits to the poo pile nothing happened.  No pushing, no grunting and no baby, and as Casiphia had no milk I began to doubt that she was actually in labour.
Jan eventually had to go home and at 8.30pm a little nose appeared!  Still no pushing and with just a head and two feet out I decided it was time to help this little one out.  Hardly alive I had to give him a swing, lots of massage and simulation and he finally started to gulp, his breathing was terrible, and poor Casiphia had no idea what this alien thing I'd placed next to her was.

Into the shed we went, thankfully once he was settled and warmed up his breathing improved and he had a good suck reflex, unfortunately with no milk from mum I resorted to the frozen colostrum in the freezer.
Another night of hourly visits to the shed for me!
Thursday I had a prearranged visit to the vets booked for Niveous and Emery who both have tooth root abscesses which were being x-rayed. I also wanted to pick up some medication to try and bring on Casiphia's milk and a miracle cure for Cassiopeia (more on her later).
Thankfully Casiphia is now back out in the field with her little man who she now knows what to do with and she has some milk (not lots) so they are doing just fine.
Friday morning wasn't a god one either, it started off with me finding that the fox had realised that there was a fence between the hens and the alpacas and he/she had trashed one run and got into the coop and taken Dave the cockerel and all his ladies.  Not satisfied with that it had broken the door of the other house and gone upstairs and taken/killed all those too.   In all we lost 10 hens; very sad.
Then I walked into the girls field to find Cara down, phone call number 4 of the week to the vets and out he came.
I'll fill you in with the details tomorrow as the batteries in t keyboard are going and I keep having to press the keys about three times!!


Saturday 1 June 2013

Four babies needing names

Today has been a rather busy one, we had arranged for a couple to come this morning for some husbandry training, however Nicosia and Carina decided that they would like to steal the limelight, so not much husbandry training took place but lots of baby admiring!

Debs and Gary had not long arrived and we let the girls out and in the time it took us to walk up to the boys field and back again Nicosia had given birth to a lovely fawn boy. His rapid birth clearly came as a shock to him so it took him quite a while to get himself sorted and stand, but he got there in the end.

Whilst we were watching Nicosia's baby it soon became clear that Carina was also in labour.  We actually bought Carina unmated or so we thought so this fawn GIRL is a real bonus!  She is a big girl and was soon up and exploring.

Cara's baby continues to do well and has enjoyed some time out in the field when the sun has been shining, here she is having a little run.  We have now decided that we should give her a name and we thought it would be nice to put it out for a vote.

So do we call her Janjan after my mum (Janet) and Jan at Castleside Alpacas who did a great job with her when she was first born (Sorry Phil but I couldn't work Phil into it as well!).  Or do we call her Diamanta meaning diamond like, precious as the rarest gem.  Cast your vote below on and the winner will be announced on Mondays blog.

Finally here is our fourth cria, a lovely Fawn girls from two whites, Little Miss Irraqouy and Gianmarco's Masterpiece.  LMI seems to be making a habit of producing lovely fawns for us.  She also needs a name....