Wednesday 30 October 2013

How big?!


Late last night we had a rather large arrival, check this out; how small does it make our trailer look?!
How Bruce from Appletree's manages to turn this beast round never ceases to amaze me, I get scared just watching.
On board was some very exciting cargo......
This was one of them, Cambridge Fair Lady, she is from Commandante and we have mated her to Lavender Park Tulley, one very nice fawn male!  This was her this morning looking into my bedroom window.

The shed had progressed well again today, at this rate it will be well and truly up before the predicted snow arrives next month (fingers crossed!).

Tuesday 29 October 2013

Onlookers supervise!

Oops, over a week since my last blog, I feel like I am off to confessions to apologise!  There just aren't enough hours in the day or days in the week at the minute to do the required number of jobs.
Following the arrival of the steel yesterday today the new barn erecting has begun, this morning when I went in for my cup of tea the first steel went up.  This as taken from one of the kitchen windows.
By feed time this afternoon this is the view from the girls viewing gallery!!

Following on from our various newspaper articles lately we had another photographer round today taking photo's for a magazine.  He was a great guy and took some fabulous shots, I can't wait to see the finished article.  I'm  hoping they are mainly animal photo's and don't include me!
We have also had another very exciting delivery today, but it was too dark to take photo's so you will just have to wait and see what that was.........
Oh I do love my job :-)

Thursday 17 October 2013

Is she, isn't she?!

 It's actually more a question of when?!

Lucia, one of the grey girls who joined us back in the summer was supposed to be emptied, so after being sheared she was mated to Sunburst.  She was in fact mated twice as she didn't ovulate, which didn't really come as a surprise as she's not has a cria for a few years now.

We scanned a batch of girls including Lucia last month and great news she scanned positive.  We did a big batch at various stages but there were no comments made about any way out dates although the vet was using fancy new kit and we were getting some great pictures.

Now this is were things start to get interesting.  Lately her shape has been changing and she is spending more time sitting down and just look at the shape of her!

Today she is exactly 80 days pregnant?!  There is an awful lot of movement going on in there for 80 days.............

As well as keeping a close eye on LL (Lucia has a nickname!) there are lots of other exciting things going on here at the minute and this bit of concrete is one of them.  You wouldn't believe how excited we are about this and a few other bits of concrete!!!

Sunday 13 October 2013

Yorkshire Alpaca Group show

What a fantastic weekend we've had, Saturday morning was an early start as we were heading off to the YAG (Yorkshire Alpaca Group) Show at Thirk.   

It was actually the first show I've actually managed to get to this year, thanks to Jan & Phil at Castleside Alpacas who were on bottle feeding duties for me, and to all our family and friends who helped us on the day.

We were taking a show team of 6, 3 boys and 3 girls in four difference classes.  I'm always much more relaxed after the inspection, despite checking everyone microchips (and bits) the day before and taking our own chip reader which found said chips, I'm always paranoid there might be a problem.  It's probably down to the first ever show we went to, an alpaca we had bought had been registered with the wrong chip number so we couldn't show her.

Anyway first in for us was the grey girls, we had two in the Intermediate Female class, Lily and Strawberry Hill.  My mum had the pleasure of taking Lily in and I had strawberry.  Both girls were impeccably behaved, and first place went to strawberry and second to Lily.  They both received fantastic comments from judge Mary-Jo Smith who then awarded Strawberry Grey Female Champion and Lily Reserve Champion. 
Strawberry Hill 
Next in was the 'Man' himself Sunburst, he was up against two boys I'd not seen before so I had no idea what the competition was like, but I know how much I rate him and four different judges have rated him before so no pressure Sunburst!
Mary-Jo obviously liked him too, he's not been judged by her before and all judges are different but he was 1st Adult Grey Male and then in after a tense build up, Grey Male Champion.  That's five championships he has now.

Next in the ring was Ankha, Brown Intermediate female, and as usual Ankha got slightly bored whilst waiting for Mary-Jo to judge the rest of the class and kept wanting to sit down.  Whoop whoop, first place and another glowing summing up and again she went on to win Brown Female Champion.  That was her 3rd Championship so she has now matched the show record of her full sister Meketaten!  The commentator Shaun Daniels wasn't very hot on his Egyptian (Ankhesenamun was the third daughter of Queen Nefertiti - and Nefertiti is Anka's mum) and so made me pronounce her name over the microphone - I didn't like doing that! 

We didn't take any Fawns or 'Lights' so we had a little break before the whites.  We had taken two Intermediate boys, Thor and Inglefield Linus who was born here on livery, and has always been treated as one of our own (we actually co-own him with Hilary Cross).

Whites are always a tough one and in a class of 12 we didn't really know what to expect, Hilary took in Linus and I had Thor (Paul was supposed to be taking him in but had vanished!).  When Mary-Jo did her initial inspection I thought she had discounted Thor and Linus was behind me so I didn't really see what happened there.

After a lengthy and thorough assessment both Linus and Thor were pulled forwards into the front six, now I was getting hopeful, Linus was first and Thor second, but would they stay that way?!  Yes they did, how impressive was that. I was so proud.

Not only was Linus 1st but he then went on to win white Male Champion - wow!!  In her summing up of the Champions Mary-Jo also said that it was a close call with Thor almost getting the Reserve but she would have liked to have seem him grown out a little more.


We were so pleased with our days rosette haul we were buzzing all the way home, what a fantastic way to end the show season!

Thursday 10 October 2013

Out with the camera

It has been a real mixed bag of weather today, one minute lovely sunshine the next torrential rain and gale force winds.  I decided to leave the show team out, but listening to the rain on the window I'm now regretting that discussion!
I have also been thinking long and hard about some of the young boys, we held some back who were potential stud grade and I think I have now made the decision to put two of them up for sale, Delgardo and Luca.
Delgardo has some fantastic Bozedown genetics including Rodrigo as his sire and Tudor and Galaxy on his dams side.  His 1st fleece was classified as ultrafine at 17.6 micron, SD4 and 100% comfort factor.
Luca, who refused to pose alone for the camera (photo to follow!) is from Cambridge Navigator and also has some very impressive names in his pedigree including Peruvian Spartacus and Accoyo Remarque.  His first fleece stats were also ultrafine at 16.7m SD of 4.1 and 100% comfort factor.
I now need to get their sales pages up on AlpacaSeller before I change my mind!
Whilst I was out trying to get some boy shots I thought I'd get a few girlie ones that I know one excited couple will love to see.



Tuesday 8 October 2013

National Arthritis Week

This week is National Arthritis Week so we have decided to donate 10% of all sales to support Arthritis Research UK, so if you haven't already please spread the word and visit our online shop or come to our lovely shepherds hut and whilst you are here you can meet the alpacas!

Arthritis is something I have a lot of experience of as my dad is crippled with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.  My dad is a real inspiration to me, he ever complains about the constant pain he is in but just by the look on his face you can see every movement is agony.
Dad would be far too embarrassed if I wrote a whole blog about him so I won't, but believe me I could.  You can never be too thankful for your health.....
So instead I will leave you to think about what in your life you are thankful for, my alpacas are one of many things I'm very thankful for.

Monday 7 October 2013

Ooh look who arrived today.

As usual we seem to have had a none stop weekend, Saturday was lamb delivery day which seemed to take so much longer than it should have done, but it needed to be done, fresh lamb must be fresh!
Sunday we began by putting up a temporary fence so we can take down some of the fencing we have been erecting over the past 18 months; well it is in preparation for of nice new barn which should be up and functional before winter arrives.
Then today it was over to see Barbara at Beckbrow to remate Sahara who is being a complete pain, she was mated some time ago and took and held for a number of weeks only to drop the pregnancy, then following her mating a couple of weeks ago she ovulated but did get pregnant, so third time lucky!  So a month later than I had planned we did our last mating of the year - I'm not changing my mind this time!!
We were also picking up one of our purchases from Anzac, Dreamweaver, who is from Shalimar and has Highlander and Commisario in her pedigree (and her cria from Czar).  She had at Barbara's to be mated to Explorer.
After a quick pedicure and weighing the girls were heading off to join one of the quarantine groups.  Dreamweaver spotted the main herd on the way up!
I was wondering if Pressure would be pleased to see her old mate, as you can see the two new girls proved popular when they arrived. 

Ashling (grey cria) was in full show off mode on the return journey!

Was Pressure pleased to see her old mate; obviously not that bothered as feeding Diamante was much more important.

And Asher was far too hungry to be interested in new arrivals!!

Wednesday 2 October 2013

Azrael update

Following Azrael's trip to the vets this morning I thought I'd give you a quick update.  This morning, just  like the last few mornings Azrael's jaw was back to normal, but as it has been swollen by evening the last few nights he was going to the vets anyway.
He obviously knew he was off somewhere not very nice because he refused to walk down the hill, even though I was taking Thor along for company.  He plonked himself down and point blank refused to walk; marvellous!  I didn't want to pull him in case the head collar hurt his jaw so eventually I decided I'd carry him - it's a good job I'm strong!
Next issue Thor clearly thought if Azrael was being carried then he wanted to be and proceeded to sit!  Thankfully he soon remember he had legs and walked down to the yard.
Once at the vets, Sam Prescott agreed with me he didn't look anaemic, no sign of jaundice, his chest and lungs sounded fine, and as I said his jaw was perfectly normal as it was the morning.  Bloods have been taken and we will have to see what they show up.
Can you believe it, tonight is jaw remains fine!!  I'm not complaining because it's good new but why has it been swelling.  Just to show you what it's like tonight, compare this to last nights photo!  Which I had taken to the vets so he didn't think I was insane!!
Whilst I was out on the evening feed rounds I saw one of our local deer families, this is the mum to last years twins who spend a lot of time in our wood I think; in fact they were in there whilst she was in the neighbouring paddock.  She is looking rather thin.

Tuesday 1 October 2013

Bottle Jaw in alpacas?

Look who came to poke his head through the fence this afternoon to see if it was bottle time?!  Little Asher does think he's entitled to food whenever he sees somebody.  He's on four feeds a day at the minute and is growing nicely.  Thankfully he will take his feed from anyone too which is a real treat for visitors.
I actually went out with the camera to get some photo's of poor Azrael who seems to be showing signs of bottle jaw, a swelling to the lower jaw.  I've never seen this in alpacas before and I'm not entirely sure that is what this is, but the symptoms fit, it seems to flare up as the day goes on and is back to normal in the morning. 

Azrael has been recently wormed so shouldn't have a worm burden and isn't looking anaemic but by the end of the day he is salivating more than normal.  He is off to the vets tomorrow to get some bloods taken and see what he says.  Poor little Azrael, thankfully he is fine in himself and isn't letting the swelling interfere with grazing or his tea!
Loki, Azrael's dad was doing a bit of lady watching with Golden Guinea, these two are the best of friends and as usual this ended up in a bit of a skirmish as Loki went to pose on the ever so slightly higher mound!