Wednesday 13 May 2015

Twins and a prolapse

I had been hoping that I would have been able to blog with cria photos by now, however the first three are now overdue, Elysian is on 365 days, Gabby 354 and Chiquita is on 345.  In fact we have 15 girls over 330 days gestation!

Sadly Venus gave birth in the early hours of Saturday morning in the pouring rain to twin girls, she had managed to carry them almost ten months.  I found her stood over them in the field at 5am (my usual early morning check), she was a first time mum and clearly very confused by things.

The girls were solid brown weighing 4kg and a tiny rose grey weighing 2kg, I spent the first few hours beating myself up about the bigger girl who may have stood a very slim chance had she been born during the day.

Disturbing pictures follow.......

Of all the alpaca lines we have Venus is from a line of girls who produce big babies so if anyone stood a chance of managing twins it would be this one, Venus's mum star was our biggest cria ever at 13kg.

Sadly the loss of the twins was only the start of it, Venus seemed to be taking a while to pas the placenta, and I was beginning to think that some oxytocin may be required but then she started to stain and out began to come the placenta.

It took slightly longer than usual, breeders out there will know that gravity usually plays a big part once the afterbirth starts to come away.  However this didn't happen and it soon became apparent that things weren't going to plan and she was prolapsing.

Poor Venus ended up with a double horned prolapse!  My phone went flat after this photo so you will be pleased to know you don't get to see the worst of things.

Venus isn't the most cooperative of girls and hates the halter and not getting her own way so catching her to resolve this problem wasn't going to be easy.  In fact it took us the whole time it took the vet to arrive to actually get her out of the field!  Thankfully I'd just managed to wrap things in clingfilm before she threw herself onto the ground squealing.

Sam Prescott, our vet,  is fantastic and after giving Venus an epidural soon got the left horn hack into position but the right was much tighter and took some doing but he managed.  Paul did ask if he was attaching it to her tongue at one point as he was having to go in so far!

Venus is now sore and not happy about being in but things are looking much better than they did.

The jury is out on whether to mate her again or not.  Has anyone else out there got any experience on prolapses, particularly double horned ones following twins?

I'm not looking forward to a straight forward, text book baby please girls.

Tuesday 31 March 2015

Big boys and little boys

I'm under strict instructions to take things easy so I thought it would be an ideal opportunity to tell you a bit of whats been happening.

The sun has made a welcome appearance, although it seems to have been replaced today by frequent hail and snow showers and a howling gale!

We decided to put the two groups of boys together last week, usually the adolescent boys don't join the stud boys until after shearing when everyone looks and smells different and they go into a new field for another distraction.

However as we were moving the studs into a new field and seeing as they are all very well behaved we gave it a go  We have a few boys who will start their working life this year, including Supreme Champion Thor, double fawn Champion Zoom and another of our white champions Linus, all unrelated and with very exciting genetics and fleeces (introductory discounts will be available on these boys so please get in touch if you are interested).

All went very well, it was head down munching....

With the odd bit of posing...

Until Loki remembered the burried wall, it makes a fantastic posing platform!

Loki is very proud of his tackle and likes to flash it to anyone and everyone, particularly Golden Guinea who is the boss.

Guinea tends to ignore the other boys for so long and every now and again reminds them he's the boss!

Frequent followers to our blog and twitter (@barnacrealpacas) will be aware that we also have a few sheep here too.  Lambing isn't supposed to begin until 17th April, well after the NWAG show however someone seems to have forgot to mention it to this little cutie who arrived on Sunday from Bella one of our Texel girls.

There is also a pair of blackie twins on the top of the hill who have managed to avoid the camera so far.  I love birthing season; alpacas start next month too :-)

Tuesday 17 March 2015

Work Experience and job week

I'm pleased to hear my last blog went down well, so I thought I'd better make sure I didn't leave it long before I did the next one before I am in trouble again!

We are so busy what with one thing and another it's difficult to find the time to fit in sitting at the computer, but here I am whilst I have a cup of tea and sneak one of Paul custard creams whilst he's not here.

I've had a lovely young girl called Lucy here for some work experience for a few days which was great, she's wanting to become a vet and off to uni later in the year.

It's the second time Lucy has been and she is great, first job on our list was to get the littlies weaned.  I have to say they have been a great bunch so far and with a couple of exceptions, Khaleesi and Xanthe.....

.......... they have all been good.  They did crack it in then end though!

We like to get them used to walking on all surfaces and coming across different things so someone always accompanies me and on this occasion Lucy) to the post box.  Selkis and Aryana are so friendly and happy to explore they love a stroll down the drive.

I also like to halter train them to walk onto the scales which always makes life easier in the future as some of the older girls and purchased girls do find the scales a bit of a scary experience!

Whilst Lucy was here all the girls got weighed and wormed and had a pedicure where required.  Other than the usual drama queens it went quite well and for the first time ever we managed to weigh Venus (nickname crazy horse!) who was a hefty 80.4kg.

Porker award went to Vitoria who came in at 99.4kg although with a bit of luck she's pregnant.  

Lucy also got to do the oral AD&E paste which all the littlies are happy to take.

It wasn't all hard work she did get to play on Paul's toy, although I don't think he realises us girls don't find it as much fun as he does!

Bottle feeding is a much more fun job if you ask me!

Weaning continues, I've added another four to the line of bums, they do have more troughs these two are just the favourites!

Arty, Pixie, Pandora and Stella have all settled in nicely although Stella has made it quite clear that she doesn't think she should have been stopped from having her bottle and had a few stroppy tantrums initially!  

That just leaves the youngest two cria Oscar and Peaches to wean along with tiny Nelson, Slug and Eclipse who are on a go slow.  They will be all weaned by the end of the month though with a bit of luck. 

Friday 27 February 2015

Alive and kicking

Sorry for the lack of blog post and thank you to those of you who have been in touch to check that we’re ok. Yes we are ok, I've just very busy, but have continued to tweet (you can follow us @BarnacreAlpacas) as I can do that whilst walking round the place!

I really can’t believe it was October when I last blogged, I’m ashamed.  Many nights I've sat down to write a blog but either fell asleep over the computer or started doing website updates. There is so much to tell you I’m not sure where to start.

Yesterday we celebrated our 8th birthday, the alpacas got lots of bonus veggies and I got treated to a bottle of Prosecco; thanks Lizzie and we even saved Paul a small sip!!

Last year we had our best ever year for knitwear sales and for the first time ever I went into the new year with a long order list of special commissions, so the knitting needles are still smoking!!

Like most other people we have mud, mud and more mud, I've never known it so bad, the alpaca are so dirty I’m not sure they will ever recover!  The boys are absolutely filthy and the girls have mud dreadlocks!  

Ankha here not only likes to paddle backwards and forwards through the mud she likes to roll in it too!

At least the snow gave us a bit of a change from brown to white…….

And the girls are soon in the minute it starts to snow (or rain!); they’re not daft!

Oscar and Nelson who were featured in some of my last blogs are doing well, I’ll tell you more about them specifically later, sadly the same can’t be said for little Black Betty who I mentioned in my last blog, she continued to lose weight and despite being bottle fed and put on a drip towards the end she lost her battle with life. 

We've now weaned most of last years cria and I've already sold some of them, and as you can imagine already regretting agreeing to sell some of them!  They are currently being halter trained and adjusting to life without mum which I have to say is going very well, in fact I think with one exception they have hardly noticed they have left!

I don’t think the same will be said for the next few to wean because some of them have been having a bottle.  Pixie and Stella have been getting a milk top us as their mums don’t have much milk and Arty (work of Art) has been fully bottle fed since the death of his mum Cara just before Christmas, which was very sad, she suffered a Colonic torsion. 

Arty is such a sweetie, he likes his speedibeet too….