Our Website: www.ashdalealpacas.com

Saturday 28 August 2010

Why does it always rain on me?

Not a lot has been happening for the past couple of weeks, it's been either too misty or too wet to take any photographs but at least the grass has started to grow again, also OD and her boyfriend have been staying for the past week so we've been sitting chatting and playing computer games of an evening.  Laura can't believe how much it rains down here as everytime she comes down it pours the whole time.  She reads the blog when we're practically begging for rain and typically the weather forecast now shows that now she has gone back to Liverpool there is no rain for the next week.

 Exhibition showing her best side

Temple looking as though she has a piece of hay stuck up her nose

We've just been enjoying watching the babies when it has been clear enough and waiting for the next lot of cria due later in September.  Yesterday when I was doing the evening feeds I noticed that Cherrybomb looked slightly red in one of her eyes, she has been prone to eye infections, so bathed it with cold tea.  This morning it had clouded over so we telephoned for the vet and luckily it is only another infection, I must admit that I thought it looked like a cataract, our vet gave her an injection straight into her eyelid of antibiotic while I chickened out and looked the other way.  We now have to put in Orbenin for the next couple of days. 

We spent the afternoon disinfecting water buckets and feeders then doing some pedicures on the alpacas.  It will be the goats turn tomorrow.  It does seem that the white alpacas have faster growing nails than the darker colours.

Monday 16 August 2010

Chewing On A Piece Of Grass

We've had a really busy few days again.  Si has been doing more groundwork on his time off and on Saturday we attended a show with Carl and Sam from Westhill Alpacas.  It was a really enjoyable day and Rosemary's knitwear was admired by a lot of people and we sold quite a few pieces along with balls of wool.

Exhibition copying her mum, Larraluh

The cria have now learnt to pronk properly and it is lovely to watch their dancing of an evening when they are supposed to be settling down for the night.

Today has been spent doing spit offs and another mating with Cooper, this time with Larraluh. Cooper took so long this time that I think that Larra was mentally decorating the paddock.  Unfortunately, Halo went down next to the pen where the mating was taking place so it looks as though she is now open but it could just be her being hormonal.  She was actually due to give birth next month and we were really looking forward to seeing what she would produce as it would have been her first cria.  She still looks pregnant but that may well be wishful thinking on our part so we will just have to wait and see.  All the  girls that Cooper has mated with have spat off though and now that we have our own top quality stud working it isn't such a tragedy for the future years as it will be easy to just put him back to the female.  Next year we are hoping that we have another stud male working with completely different bloodlines.

Monday 9 August 2010

Reach For The Stars

Exhibition's ears are really improving now and are straightening out without any intervention.  They still bounce a bit when she runs but most of the time they are pointing upwards.  We did want to check her teeth but we couldn't catch her as she was having so much fun with Delilah, Timothy and Carrie. 

Si did the paddock cleaning this morning while I caught up on some paperwork.  MY alpacas don't sleep at night they just stand there pooing.  We then did some spit-offs on the girls that Cooper had mated.  HIS alpaca is brilliant as they all spat off.  We then let him mate Chance, it was really a few days earlier than we would have liked but she kept kushing next to the fence nearest to him so we thought we should maybe take our lead from her.  Oh Boy, he's noisy.  It must have sounded as though we were trying to kill an alpaca. 

Neema is due to give birth later this month but I'm not so sure that she has held her pregnancy.  We tried ballottement on her and couldn't detect anything but that may be down to inexperience.  She had been scanned as pregnant earlier this year but it looks as though it could be a late absorption but we have heard of other people this year who have thought their animals weren't pregnant and then they gave birth so we are still watching her closely, just in case. 

Thursday 5 August 2010

Super Furry Animals

We managed a day out today.  This meant that we had to dash around doing the morning chores first, then get changed.  I got to the car and then remembered I had left the camera on the table.  I ran back in to grab it as we were going over to Rosemary's and I wanted a few shots of her new cria.  We had to go to Sherbourne first to pick up a new floor kit for the horse box as we couldn't get one locally.  We managed to get lost on the way but this is about par for the course. 

As soon as we met up we started chatting and making plans for the future, in fact Si reckons we didn't stop all the time we were there.  He left us to it for a while and talked about computer games with Sam.  After coffee we went across the road to meet a few old friends along with the new cria.  Rosemary has the most cuddly, cutest alpacas in the whole wide world.  As soon as we went into the paddock, Rosemary armed with a bottle for Greeves, Greeves came over obviously expecting to be fed.  We took the opportunity to have a good look at him and we were impressed with the quality, it looks as though they could have a future herdsire there.  I was so happy to meet up with her girls again and a few of them came straight over for a kiss.  When we went into the next paddock Bert came over, she loves to be stroked and fussed over and once she had the three of us paying her the attention she thought she deserved she sat down so we all got on the ground to make it easier to stroke her.  The only problem was once we walked away to go and have a look at the boys she attempted to follow us for more attention.  We were so enamoured of all this alpaca attention we forgot to take the camera out of my bag but Sam was standing by with a very impressive camera round his neck which he pointed to us on occasion so I am sure they have put the photos on their blog http://www.westhillalpacas.blogspot.com/ you will have to click on the link to see them.

We went back to the house to compare knitwear and plan what we were going to make next and I stood admiring the views from Ibberton Hill while drinking another coffee.  I don't know where the time went because it was soon time for Rosemary to take another bottle to Greeves.  We had to leave to get back to our own animals as we wanted to do some more preventative treatments and the never ending paddock cleaning.  A day well spent and the best thing of all, Rosemary gave me a list.

Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head

This morning we woke up to the promised and much missed rain.  We are promised more for later in the week so hopefully this will kick start the grass into growing again.

I think the cria have been planning to scare us and this morning they seemed to be taking it in turns to pretend to be dead and I kept getting soaked going out to check on them.

Exhibition's ears are continuing to improve but everytime I pointed the camera in her direction she tucked her head back under Larra to feed.  She should soon catch up with the others in her weight gain.

 Exhibition and Larra


Carrie (she won't pose for the camera either, she just wants to see what it is)

We had to put some antibiotic drops into Cherrybombs eyes tonight as she has developed a discharge in both of them and also putting some fly cream on her top knot to deter them from settling on her eyes.

Wednesday 4 August 2010

Boys Will Be Boys

We've been spending a lot of time just watching and getting to know our new babies so that we can tell if there is anything wrong with them (well that's the excuse we're using).  I was messing around with the camera and filming Exhibition just for fun, it wasn't going to go on here but we thought it was really funny that the boys in the next paddock were obviously feeling left out and decided to run across in the background.  It reminded us of the news reports when some idiot decides to play up behind the reporter.  Timothy also had to get in on the action.

We've been working really hard today, working on the rest of the layout to include a new area for the pigs and a paddock for the goats.  Si has been laying pipes in the trenches which Ollie and I are supposed to fill in tomorrow while he is away doing hard sums.

We checked out the new cria and are really pleased with the quality of them.  We can definitely see that we are improving year on year.  Poor Delilah had her first injection of Lambivac today and I had to hold her while Si stabbed the needle in.  It's always a good excuse for a cuddle and I love rubbing my face into her neck, the softness is incredible but Si thinks that the crimp is the most important point.

He then dragged me away from my babies to give the boys some preventative treatments.  They aren't as cuddly but they behaved well which was a change for them. 

We are now in desperate need of some rain as the paddocks are really starting to look yellow and are getting bare now; it doesn't seem that long ago that we were wanting it to dry up.  We have loads of vegetables planted and I had forgotten to water them this evening so had to dash out at 11 tonight to give them a good soaking and then water all the tubs with flowers in the dark.  I was actually sorry that I had planted them all in the spring.  I was feeling really fed up with myself tonight though as I had decided to pull out some nettles that had grown around the field shelters, not the best idea when you are only wearing a t-shirt and shorts.  I have arms and legs that are driving me wild with a delightful itchy red rash.

Monday 2 August 2010

Prick Up Your Ears

We've had another busy day watching the babies.  Exhibition's ears are actually starting to improve slightly although it will probably take a few weeks to correct completely. We are sure that the other two girls are fawn now because Exhibition is such a dazzling white next to them.  Poor Delilah seems to be plagued by flies around her face so I rubbed fly cream into her top knot to see if that would help.  I don't know what it is about Chance and her daughters that the flies love so much but they seem to attract a lot more than the others.

Cooper obviously enjoyed his first mating yesterday and while we were trying to get Cricket into the catch pen to try with him today he actually leapt over the 4ft fence into the next paddock in an attempt to get to the empty girls. I said to Si that although he is getting down to business we won't know if he is actually working properly until we get the first spit-off.  Si pointed out that Cooper seems perfectly willing to put in the hours though.  It is amazing the change in him the past few days, he has gone from being a little wimp wanting to play with the babies to being quite masterful.  He pushed Cricket to the ground and jumped straight on and the noise out of him was horrendous.