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Friday 5 November 2010

The Waiting Game

I haven't blogged because I thought I would wait until we had the last two cria on the ground but we are on day 388 and still no sign.  We called our vet out earlier in the week to scan the pregnant girls as they were both still spitting off and looked pregnant but we had decided that they couldn't possibly be any longer, but in the case of Rosie we were wrong.  JJ (our vet) found a cria with a strong heartbeat but also said that it didn't look as though she was ready to birth within the next week so I am still on cria watch.  It had better be a pink one after waiting this long.  I actually thought that I had put the mating date in the computer incorrectly so telephoned the owner of the stud we had mated her to and double checked the date.  She is obviously going for some kind of a record.  We had a long discussion about conception in alpacas and about how it is still a bit of a mystery as to how long after mating conception occurs but I was more fascinated about how long sperm could stay alive.  I know it has been a strange year for alpaca pregnancies but this is really getting ridiculous now.

We have been enjoying this years crop of cria though, their fleeces look fantastic and we have already started to plan who to breed them to in the future.  We let them out of their paddock during the day so that they can free range, well, they say a change is as good as a rest. 

Delilah, whose sire is Samson who resides at Wellground Alpaca Stud and her dam is Hemiccoyo Cricket.  Her background includes Ruffo and Hemmingway and doesn't she know it? 

Penny Lane lying down in the foreground and Exhibition is trying to coax her to play.  Carrie is almost hidden in the background but the three of them love pronking and charging around together all day.

Tilly helps with the chores during the day so the alpacas are used to her.  They just think she's an alpaca whose legs have been chopped off.  Cherrybomb still looking pregnant but is actually empty.  I was really looking forward to seeing what she produced.

Penny Lane is Wellground Juno's 2010 production.  I know we shouldn't have favourites but she is a delight.  She is full of mischief and if she wants the dustbath when another girl is in it she will bite their ears until they move.  As soon as she sees Tilly she comes across to kiss her.

Carrie is proof that you can use 'Alpaca Royalty' bloodlines but you still can't make them behave like ladies.  She takes great delight in rolling in the poo pile and it then takes ages to catch her to pick it off.

Si has been building the walls to the barn and it is now a mad rush to get it finished before the weather gets really bad, especially now that we are having a really late birth. I must admit he has been doing amazingly well for an accountant, even if it is slow going but there are so many other things to be done, like spit offs, toe nail trimming and stocking up the animal's hay. 

The weather has been absolutely glorious for November and we have been working outside without coats on as it has been so warm, but I think that is about to change over the next week or so and the grass may stop growing.  We have been lucky in that respect as the alpacas have not been eating so much hay.