Monday 28 July 2014

Make hay whilst the sun shines

Well yesterday saw our hay rowed up and baled, we got 19 of them which is fantastic, the most ever so we are very pleased.

Once they have sat for a few days they will be stacked along with the other 70 odd we have ready for the winter.  With as many mouths to feed as we have we get through a fair bit of hay over the winter months.

The grass is continuing to grow at a crazy rate and grass cutting seems to be the order of the day most days which is rather annoying because it means Paul has been pinching my quad so poo picking has been resorting to makings poo brick ready for the Christmas Fairs!

Not only is the grass growing but so is the thistles, however despite there prickly exterior they seem to be rather tasty with the cria.  Soxxx here was tucking into this one.

Whilst further up the field Khaleessi was loving this monster thistle!

Whilst this chunky monkey belonging to Kealani was munching away on this one! 

Delicate Pandora thinks thistles are far to prickly and prefers to carry a blade of grass round as her little trophy :-)

Thursday 24 July 2014

Hay time!

So much for frequent blogging, another week has past!

We've been busy as always, baby's, inside and outside matings, visitors, Glendale Festival, hospital to name but a few of the activities we've been up to.

The girls are enjoying their big field with lots of grass.  The footpaths Paul cut them are the main routs however they are loving laying in the long grass to stay cool it the stifling heat.

Last Saturday we had a lovely blue black boy born to Andromeda, he was only small but full of life and has kept mum on her toes from the minute he found his legs.  W'e named him Nelson as he was born the day after what would have been Nelson Mandela's 96th birthday.

He actually arrived just before walk and talk visitors were due to arrive.  They might have missed the actual birth but they had a fabulous walk with Jack and Stargazer and got to see the little man finding his feet.  

On Monday our hay was cut, we had been starting to get paranoid about it not getting cut.  Our neighbour does it for us and has always timed it perfectly so I don't know why we worry but we do. 

Yesterday he arrived with his flicky flicky machine and it has all been turned.

There actually looked a fair bit there when he was flicking it, so we are hoping for a few more bales this year.  It's had more muck than ever before, been limed and I over sewed one corning which was looking a bit bare so we will have to see.  The decision has been made to get it reseeded for next year if the number of bales goes backwards.

Thursday 17 July 2014

Full on fawn

There has been lots of excitement here today, it started off with a call from Jan at Castleside Alpacas to say that Molly was in labour.  This was good because Paul was over there yesterday alpaca sitting in case Molly went into labour as it was one of their daughters graduation; I'm so pleased Molly hung on for them to be there.

Before I got the next update I had a call from midwife Joe at Rivenherd Alpacas to say that Carina had given birth to a big lively Sandstorm boy.  He looks a lovely chunky monkey, say hello to Azlan! (Thanks for the photo's Jackie)

The next call from Castleside, whilst we were doing a batch of lambivac injections, was that Molly wasn't getting anywhere so I was chatting Jan through what to do next.  She did a fantastic job of finding and re-positioning a leg which was back and safely delivering Sandstorms second fawn son of the day.  Well done Jan, you deserve a glass or two to celebrate!  And here he is....

Whilst all this was going on Willow was quietly getting on with giving birth without us even noticing!  She has a tendency to birth during the night so a mid morning birth is slightly out of the ordinary for her.  As I approached the girls field I saw a gathering and immediately knew someone was giving birth, I thought it would be Dawn though.

Willow had just given birth to a lovely little fawn girl from Gianmarco's Masterpiece, that's his second fawn female to a white girl this year. She is 6kg and was soon up and at the milk bar.

We were planning on moving the girls to fresh grass today so all seventy off of them set off down the hill, I'd kept Willow and Lucia back so their babies didn't get bashed.  I had planned on keeping Lucetta back too but she had other ideas!

It didn't take Willow's little girl long to catch everyone up, Willow was in hot pursuit.

Here they are on the nice fresh grass, this is Willow's sixth girl on the trot.  She was our first ever alpaca, she's one of those you'd never buy again but I'll never part with her, I love her to bits!

It's actually her first grandsons 4th birthday today, happy birthday Minimus!  Another Gianmarco baby with a very fine fleece.  His fourth fleece was tested this year at 20 micron, an SD of 4 and comfort  factor of 97.8%

Tuesday 15 July 2014

One of the boys

There's been no new cria since my last blog, but lots still going on, including matings and spit offs.  As well as a Gianmarco mating at home today two girls went over to Beckbrow to see Explorer, mind you Irraquoy was nearly left at home as she didn't want to come down the hill this morning.  

Walking past the boys just wasn't happening, but after resorting to the sheep taxi we got her into the trailer!  Then after her mating to Explorer she clearly didn't think 10 minutes was enough and refused to stand and go back into the trailer!  Funnily enough when she got back home she couldn't wait to walk back up the channel.

All the cria are growing nicely, we have 19, 10 girls and 9 boys, although Eris is doing a job job of being a tomboy to level things off 9.5/9.5, this was her playing with all boys as usual!!

Anyone who follows us on twitter will know we have had a bit of a saga with our electricity and have been on a generator for a couple of weeks.  Well on Saturday at last the noisy, smelly generator was set to be switched off and leave.  We it left alright, unfortunately they also tried to take some of our nice new fence with it! 

 The company who will remain nameless have been useless from start to finish, showing no consideration, customer service skills or common decency so I suppose it should really have come as no surprise that they didn't even have the courtesy to come and tell us they'd done it! 

Not happy with trashing the fence yesterday the helicopter coming to check the power lines (I'm guessing) decided it would be nice to take a little detour to look at the alpacas. I don't mind but was it really necessary to circle about 20/30 feet above a field full of babies and pregnant girls!

It looks like it wiped out Coco and her daughter Wonder!

Saturday 12 July 2014

Popping out & paddling pool popularity

Bang on her due day Lucetta gave birth to our only Loki cria of the year, and what a little sweetie.  Almost immediately after breakfast out squeezed a nose.

Lucetta had decided that standing on top of the mound would be a good idea, so I was keeping a lose eye as it could have added an extra two or three foot to the babies arrival fall!

Once the neck and legs were out and the baby started making a noise first time mum Lucetta was very keen to investigate, which meant lots of circling and thankfully a move to lower ground.

Nothing like a quite birthing spot here, everyone is always keen to get in on the action!

Precisely 23 minutes from the nose merging there was an almighty splat, and she had arrived into the Barnacre world.

Murphy had to be first to get in there and introduce himself and whisper a few sweet nothings into her ear; he's a real little charmer.

There was lots of nose dives; it's hard learning to stand on a slope!

But she got there and was straight to the milk bar.

She has a lovely silky soft fleece, so w're looking forward to seeing how it develops.

Yesterday was so hot we had 8 paddling pools out which proved very popular, except with the girls here for on farm matings who clearly thought I was mad for putting some bright yellow thing in their field then filling it with water! 

We even had a baby pool; no prizes for guessing who this little man is from; yes you guessed it, Amata! 

He soon had a playmate. 

But it was far too hot and exhausting to play!

Wednesday 9 July 2014

Cria chasing

We are now up to 18 adorable and very mischievous cria, 9 boys and 9 girls, a mix of white, beige, fawn brown and grey, so we just need a black not to complete the set!

Sandstorm has been out on the road today to see a very lucky lady, it's his birthday tomorrow so he can call it an early birthday present.  Loki had to stay in the trailer has his conquest from a couple of weeks ago spat, which was great for her owners but not so great for Loki, to add insult to injury another open female plonked herself at the foot of the trailer!

Darwin and Gianmarco's Masterpiece are out tomorrow and we have spit offs to do for some livery girls so no Barnacre girls will be getting mated for a couple of days.  If the boys are doing outside matings we save them for that rather than cover our own girls. 

I did manage to find time to get out with the camera for some cria photo's as I know they always go down well and I'd promised a couple of people photo's of a couple of cria they are interested in.  Here's just a small selection
First up we have Cara's little boy from Gianmarco's Masterpiece; now he's looking fantastic, I like him, I like him a lot.
Next up a nice dry photo of Veruschka's son, he is from Heart Throb, I can't quite decide if he's white or beige yet.

Next up it's Cacace, she's a Darwin baby.

And I couldn't go in the field without getting another photo of little Soxxx and his mum Lucia.  I know he's not ideal but I love him!!!

Here we have, from left to right, Murphy, Leyton, Nerfers big boy (still be to named), Pixie and Kealani's daughter still to be named.

And leading the charge we have Oonagh's daughter, Eris, Leyton (again) and Del Boy (Shear delight).

Leyton is a complete thug, this time he's trying to beat up little Pixie who was happy to give as good as she got!

Tuesday 8 July 2014

Weekend arrivals

We had another busy weekend with visitors, new cria and a local show.  Whilst doing a couple of matings on Saturday morning I noticed that Lucia (the very big grey girl) was looking like she was going to give birth.  Having never seen this baby move I was slightly concerned about this one!

Anyone who follows our tweets will have enjoyed a shot by shot account of the birth, which was text book, however what arrived was a first for Barnacre, like Barbara we have our first fancy.  Having so many grey girls it is surprising really it hasn't happened before; but meet Soxxx.

He is tiny despite Lucia being huge and at 340 days he was a tiny 5.23kg, which is the smallest baby of the year so far, en smaller than our 304 day prem baby.  I couldn't resist this little and large photo opportunity, here with Invisible Sam.

Our second arrival of the day sneaked out whilst we went in for lunch, Veruschka had a lovely whit boy who looks very big in comparison.  He was very early for her, she is usually a well cooked baby sort of girl with an average of 358, but this little man arrived at 329! 

As you an see he's a sturdy chap weighing in at 7.13kg.

Then on Sunday whilst we were at a vintage car rally in Corbridge with the alpacas and our knitwear Cara decided to give birth.  Another boy, but a very nice boy from Gianmarco's Masterpiece, also born at 329 days.  I only hae photo's of him on my phone so will have to get out with the camera when it stops raining!

Wednesday 2 July 2014

Happier times

Since my last blog I'm pleased to say things have improved.

We were at Woolfest over in Cockermouth on Friday and Saturday with the Border Mill stand which is the first time I've been as a stall holder, I'm usually the other side of the counter, but Paul kept me wedged in to make sure I didn't spend too much.  I did manage to reserve myself a few new four legged friends, but more on that another night!!

Friday Jan and April from Castleside Alpacas  had kindly agreed to farm sit, thankfully everyone behaved and Jan managed to get a kiss from Murphy; he's going to make someone a lovely pet!

On Saturday farm sitting duties were left in the capable hands of Gill, Ross & Taylor.  I was sort of hoping that Gill would get to see a birth as she's never actually managed to see a text book delivery yet!

Unfortunately they were met at the gate by a convoy of Northern Power Grid vehicles; long story and one that is making us rather angry so I will refrain from getting on my soapbox, but if you follow me on twitter @BarnacreAlpacas you will have got the gist of things!

Anyway dealing with them meant that she missed Lualeni giving birth to a lovely fawn female by just minutes!!  Text book and fantastic, Gill was loving it anyway.  Meet Pandora, not a great photo, I must get one tomorrow.

Then Sunday, whilst we were recovering from a manic few days, trying to catch up on farm jobs and taking delivery of two wagons full of hay (our top quality lowland supply that we buy in) Oonagh fired out her cria.  It has to be one of the fastest nose to fully in control kushed position births I've ever seen at 8 minutes.