Wednesday 27 August 2014

Stressful outings and a kiss goodbye

Eek another week has been and gone since I blogged, that wasn't supposed to happen!

As usual things have been non-stop, we have had human visitors, alpaca visitors, been out and about, sold some girls and managed all this with a very sick car.

Thursday last week we had three girls head down from Scotland to stay on farm for matings to Loki, Sunburst and our new grey boy Boulevarde.   As you can imagine the boys were rather pleased about this.

Leaving her three girls here Alison obviously thought it would be a shame to head home with an empty trailer so managed to somehow get me to agree to sell one of our grey girls, Midnight Star with her female cria now called Cerys (sired by Sunburst).

Alison has been trying to get me to agree to sell one of my grey girls for a number of years now, so it was about time I agreed and what better birthday present could a girl want - hope you read this Paul it's my birthday a day before Alison's!!

We had an eventful day on Friday, I was waiting for a delivery of camlibra which was very late, when it did turn up the driver had been forced to take avoiding action on the A69 from a car driving too fast round a bend and my feed had ended up shewn all over the back of the wagon.  Not only were we already late for mobile matings we now had to unload every bag by hand individually.

Things were just set to get worse!  Off we set with three boys in the trailer and going up one of the big long hills over at Rothbury there was a pop and hissing noise, fantastic; a puncture, or so we thought.  Changing wheels is a pink job in our house!  When I got out the car all the tyres were in tact and fully inflated, umm so what was it?

Off we set again but with something not quite right however by this time we were on the downhill section and got to the A697 ok, but on the flat it was obvious things weren't right, smoke and not much power is never a good sign even less so when you have the trailer attached.

It turned out to be a split turbo pipe, thankfully Jackie & Joe from Rivenherd Alpacas (where we were heading) offered to come and get the boys whilst Paul waited for the AA who kindly did a temporary fix until the garage can replace the pipe.  The trailer now has recovery cover!!

Unfortunately the garage (the car is still under warranty) couldn't get the car booked in or provide a courtesy car for the weekend which wasn't great as we had outing booked for Sunday & Monday with the alpacas. So it was off to another garage for a stronger temporary fix to allow us to tow the trailer this weekend until we could apply more pressure to the dealership!

Saturday we had a number of walk and talk visitors who all thoroughly enjoyed their alpaca experience, even if the last couple did get well and truly soaked.

Sunday we were off to Nissan in Sunderland for their family fun day and Monday was our annual outing to the Glendale Show.  Both events were fantastic and the alpaca were a huge hit as usual as was out knitwear and alpaca goodies.

This morning Paul has headed off  down to Bozedown Alpacas with a couple of girls to be mated, Im staying home because we still have a few girls due, including Marne who is now on 393 if she is actually pregnant and Pressure who is on 347 and looking like she wont be long.

Tuesday 19 August 2014

Fantastic grey addition.

It's no secret we love our greys here, so I'm sure it will come as no surprise to some that our latest shopping spree has resulted in another fantastic grey addition to the herd!  I blame Paul and he blames me so that must mean it was ok.

18 months ago we were lucky enough to purchase our rose grey stud Sunburst who many of you will know went on to win five championships.  Well, he has an equally impressive medium grey half-brother (same sire) who goes by the name of Wyona Sunset Boulevarde.

We are delighted to announce that we have been successful in securing this fantastic male, who after travelling half way round the world from Australia has been reunited with his half-brother and has joined our stud line up.  Meet Boulevarde.

Just like his brother he has a fantastic pedigree, in fact Boulevarde has even more grey in his pedigree, all the details are on his stud page so I won't repeat it all here.

This boy is impressive, he has the densest grey fleece I think I have ever felt, he is a lovely consistent medium grey with great character and handle, and he is a real gentleman.

He has tonight covered his first lady on Barnacre soil, Nicosia, don't worry Sunburst got a go too, he was mating Shaylee!

Changing the subject, I'm pleased to report that Nelson is doing well and tonight is the heaviest he's ever been, 6.2kg; go Nelson!!

Sunday 17 August 2014

I've bean!!!!!

Thank you for all your kind comments and offers of advice following my last blog.  I have now joined the Paca This page, and thanks for the name of another pro-biotic Jayne, I've tried a few different ones with no change but have some on order just in case they are different.

However, that said I am pleased to report that Nelson is much improved, he has gained weight for the last 7 days, ok not a lot but half a kilo in total and 102gm of that was today.  There has been an even bigger improvement today, he's passed a proper bean!!!  Well the right consistency, just the wrong colour and there were only three but its great news.  You have never know anyone so obsessed with poo!!

Since my last blog Geena has given birth to our last Sunburst cria of the year, a lovely dark rose grey girl. Seeing as it seems to have turned to autumn over night this week she's had her coat on pretty much since birth, but I'm already loving the character in her fleece.

In typical Geena cria style though she is currently refusing my milk top ups which isn't ideal as Geena only has half a working udder so cant produce enough milk for her babies.  Hopefully bottle top ups will become much less stressful over the next few days!

Marne still has her legs crossed, in fact despite being scanned pregnant and spitting off I'm beginning to wonder if she having us on, however she does look very pregnant, but she is now on 384 days! 

Wednesday 13 August 2014

Happy 1st Birthday Isla

 Today we have celebrated a day, at one point, I never thought we would, Isla's 1st birthday.  Back in January Isla broke her leg, we were able to see from our CCTV that she had been pushed (not really with any great force) again the ring feeder, and that was enough to break her leg.

Thankfully we have a fantastic vet in Sam Prescott at Robson & Prescott and following xrays she was soon in plaster and appearing none the worse for her ordeal.

As a growing cria we had to change the plaster after about three weeks as it was starting to get tight, but after six weeks and another xray the plaster was removed.  Just to make sure it was ok she was on box rest for a few days but she seemed perfectly happy.  Then on day four I went to give her and mum Bambi their breakfast only to find Isla holding her foot up which was one again swinging in mid air.

Back to the vets we went, another set of xrays revealed that not only had the leg broken again in exactly the same spot but the bone was starting to waste away.  Now we had a decision to make, there was no way I was giving up on her and Sam was prepared to do whatever he could to save her leg, so it as decided that she would be booked in for surgery the following day to have a metal plate fitted.  So home she came with a hugely bandaged leg to prevent any further damage!

Nil by mouth for a six month old isn't much fun because milk is the cure for everything, so she had to come in away from mum but quite enjoyed exploring the house.  

And checking the table for breakfast!

The operation went well, plate fixed and bone graft completed Isla came back home 3 hours after surgery and has never looked back!  Here's her fancy metal work.

And three days later she was back for a wound check and we got to see the site for the first time.  It was fantastic, clean and looking good.

So good she as allowed home with just a small dressing.

I was paranoid for weeks, in fact if I'm honest it was months, I didn't halter train her until recently because I was worried about it getting knocked or bashed.  As you an see she has a perfectly straight leg and walks very nicely on the halter too! 

The plan is for the plate to stay in her leg long term but it is something we will have to monitor, but early indications are you'd never know it was there!

Sunday 10 August 2014

Nelson update

Since blogging on Thursday Nelson has continued to tuck into his food, he has his own little bowl of Camelibra.

And he's munching on the grass and hay.

But despite this and his green slop he still continues to pass coloured water, albeit slightly thicker constitution and now green, the colour of his medicine.  His weight is up one day and slightly down the next, but since Thursday he's gained another 50gms and is now 5.55kg!

I am really running out of ideas so if anyone has any please do share them, what else can I try.  He is still down at the house with his mum and Rose and Selkis for company.  Selkis is so greedy she's striped her mum of all condition so I'm trying to feed her up.

It's like little and large, Selkis on the left at 11 weeks and Nelson at 3!  Selkis is nearly as tall as Andromeda (and her mum for that matter who was sat down so she couldn't feed!).

Whilst I was out with the camera this morning taking photo's of knitwear for our online shop I couldn't help but notice Perry posing to me!  He is our youngest cria and from Layla and Sandstorm and just like his dad he thinks he's something special and poses to everyone; I love him, he has a lovely fleece too!

Thursday 7 August 2014

Nelson and a shiner

Regular readers may recall just over two weeks ago we had a little black boy born who w called Nelson, well Nelson has been causing me some serious worry lately.

The weekend before last, when it was seriously hot and at one week old I found Nelson stood in one of the paddling pools not quite right, he was just staring ahead looking like he was away with the fairies. 

On inspecting mum I could see he'd not fed from her in a while as her teats were big so down to the shed they both came.  I was convinced he had heat stroke, but his temperature was normal, but he was far from normal.  He had lost 300grams and was very listless, I couldn't get him to feed off mum, despite all my best efforts I couldn't get him to suck on a bottle either so in the end I was forced to tube fed him.  If I didn't he certainly wouldn't have made it through the night.

By 2am he was stood feeding from mum all be it only very small amounts but he was looking slightly better.  By morning he was looking more with it however the next issue was his poo.  He was passing pure liquid, a horrible grey colour.  Literally as soon as he had a drink it went straight through him.

I managed to catch a sample in my hand; don't worry I did have a glove on at the time, unfortunately for Craig (one of our clients) he was in the vicinity when I caught it so he got the job of drawing it up into a syringe, there wasn't much and I didn't want to lose any! Off it went to the lab for testing.

In the meantime Nelson has lost more and more weight despite appearing to be ok in himself.  All the test have come back completely clear of parasites and bugs, cultures have been grown and nothing.

We have been trying all sorts to try and line his stomach and try and get his gut working again before he goes too far backwards there is no return, by Tuesday he was down to 5.27kg.  I don't give up and thankfully nor does my vet; as well as his precautionary antibiotics he is now on some horrible green powder (meant for small herbivores) mixed with tagemet and natural goats yogurt and despite having to feed it through a syringe and getting very messy I think we might have had a break through.

Yesterday he gained 40grams, not a lot I know but it was the first day for over a week that he hadn't lost.  Today he had  gained a huge (for him) 180grams!!!  I'm hoping we have now turned a corner.

Nelson isn't the only one who's been in the wars lately, I have a little owey of my own!

Last night I got kicked in the face by Gypsy, not intentionally I just happened to get in the way of her foot!  Thankfully she just missed me eye so no permanent damage I just have a bit of a shiner to walk round with for the next week or two!!!  Tonight my eye is now open so it's getting better.

Monday 4 August 2014

Slugs n snails verses Sugar n Spice

In between scrubbing the shed floor after sheep shearing yesterday and skirting alpaca cria fleeces I've been doing a spot of cria watching; well I need something nice to do after those two jobs!

The difference between the boys and girls is already very evident, the boys are always looking for mischief, these 7 here are all boys and the chase usually ends up with them bombing into one of the girls or a mass brawl.


This time it was the brawl, with auntie Barbilla turning her head in disgust!

Whilst all this is going on the girls are looking all delicate and munching, and if your name is Pixie it's on thistles.

Or if your name is Eris you are smiling for the camera!

We are up to 23 cria on the ground with 5 (or 6 depending on Sahara!) to go.  Marne (below) should be next as she is now of 371 days, but looking at them Geena will beat her to it!

I wonder what tomorrow will bring......

Saturday 2 August 2014

Little helpers & spinning wheels

We've had a lovely week here this week, busy as always lots of exciting goings on and some great visitors.  My niece, Faith, has been up visiting this week without her parents, imagine how exciting that was, as for the first time very she'd left mum and dad at home!

She's been helping with with lots of the daily jobs, on of her favorite being feeding Pixie who is being topped up with goats milk as she seemed to be struggling to gain weight on mums milk alone.

She almost managed to see Princess Mallika give birth to a lovely brown girl from Sandstorm.  We weren't quite quick enough as when w stopped her she was already on the ground and she was passing the placenta, or in Faiths words 'the plastic bag she'd was living in inside mummy'.  She was obviously listening when I was explaining things at lambing time!

Today we have had a lovely group of ladies visiting from the travelling spinners group.  The plan had been to sit out in the field with the alpacas however the weather decided to change those plans so we sat in the shed and watched the alpacas outside instead.  Even I managed to join in the spinning.  I think that is the first bit of spinning I've done since Christmas!

Pablo and some of the boys came in to join us for a little while!

During one of the dry spells we managed a walk round to meet some of the fibre producing beasties on the farm, which went down a treat.

Especially when I spotted Layla had decided that despite the awful weather today would be a good day to give birth!  In honor of our visiting travelling spinners we have decided to name him Perry which means traveler!