Wednesday, 9 June 2010

The Course of True Love Never Runs Smooth

I know, I know. It's been a while since we blogged.

We've been rushed off our feet recently. We played host to the Westhill boys for the rest of the shearing last weekend and I have to say they have done a cracking job, especially considering they are relatively new to it. The blankets that are to go to the GWR fleece show in September hav been bagged up carefully ready to take to Wellground. We are hoping to go in person but we have checked and we have two births due that day and three the week before. At the same time we have taken some samples for analysis, this is to help us with our breeding program.

We have been spending the long days and nights tackling the docks and buttercups with a combination of Grazon 90 and the ride-on mower. Some nights only finishing when the light completely goes at around 10pm. However we seem to have particularly sneaky buttercups that are chosing to stay just half an inch tall to avoid the chop.

All the alpacas seem well and the pregnant females are growing nicely.  Cricket is the first due to birth at the end of the month and we actually watched her cria moving this evening, it looked as if it was rolling over the way her stomach moved.  We are still having no luck with Cooper, he probably isn't ready yet but we keep introducing him to Mimi and they just take one look at each other then carry on grazing.  How many meals out together are this pair going to have before they get down to business?

The vegetable beds are also coming on a treat, we just need to remember what we've planted, I suppose we'll find out in a few months.

5 comments:

  1. Please be aware that Grazon contains 2,4-D which can be lethal to alpacas. They should not be allowed to graze on a treated field for a minimum of 60 days. The label directions are suitable for hoofed animals like cattle and horses - alpacas metabolize the chemical differently, and also apparently absorb it directly through their pads. Dr. Steve Hull at Timberlake Farms here in the US can give you numerous examples of fatalities associated with this product - steve@timberlakefarms.net Hopefully you're already aware of this, but I wanted to make sure you knew, just in case!

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  2. Hi Guys, good to see you back. On the buttercup issue, Grazon 90 is fairly inaffective. In fact mostly inaffective. We have been using a product called 2.4D which is often labelled up as Herboxone, ask at Mole Valley for a 2.4D derivative, they may have several in different names for it. You need to let the plants grow until they are in flower and spray them in full flower. Then only the plants with flowers on will die. But it will seriously reduce your buttercup burden.

    Hope that helps.

    Looking forwrd to seeing what Cricket produces ;o))

    Rob

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  3. Jill, thank you for your comments it may actually save a few alpaca lives over here. We only use Grazon on empty paddocks and don't move animals onto them for a few months but that information about them absorbing it through their feet is alarming as the bottle says that it is safe to graze after 7 days.

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  4. Rob

    We are getting excited about Cricket's birthing. Samson gave us a future stud from Juno so can't wait to see what this match produces.

    The buttercups look pretty but are taking up valuable grass space. Liming looks like a possibility for the autumn, that should help reduce them. I'll ask at Mole Valley for something specifically for the buttercups next time, we may actually be winning on the dock front though.

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  5. Im very pleased I've just read your blog !..Im about to spray my fields..with Grazon !..soon !!....Jayne

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