RELAXING SUNDAY

Lazy Sunday !

Toffee Apple and Treasure relaxing in the sunshine

Akela and Amaru
View from the train

River walk
Today we had the kind of Sunday I love ....  take my time doing the feed rounds and then walk the dogs, a leisurely coffee in the field with the alpacas, taking pics, and then a family trip out in Pixie Lott the camper van to give her a bit of a run, as it was a bank holiday weekend we stuck to the lanes. We ended up in Alresford, home of the Watercress Line Steam Railway.

We walked round the river and then decided to take the steam train up the line one stop to Ropley and back. The driver was a very pretty young lady... she must get through a lot of shampoo! All very nostalgic, though I'm too young of course to really remember steam trains!  Still got soot in my eyes and hair from sticking my head out the window - just love the noise and the even the smell. All in all a very relaxing day Here's a little video...

video

ROMSEY SHOW - LAST MINUTE ENTRIES

Come on you late comers - the extended closing date is tomorrow 28th August for the Romsey Show - get 'em in!!

What a beautiful morning, sunshine and blue skies, a rare occurrence this week, and a distinct feeling of Autumn, my favourite time of year. Just love those chilly starts, having bonfires, picking blackberries and X Factor on the telly!!     Really been noticing the evenings getting darker earlier too - the bottles last feed now at 8.30pm

Lucy, my Saturday helper coming in a minute and we're going out to do the weekly weigh-ins of the cria, they need to dry out a bit first though still looking soggy after yesterdays downpours. Still at least we don't have hurricanes to worry about.  Should probably do a few toenails too - noticed last week that some were getting a bit long. ...


COMPUTERS, MATINGS AND A MANGIE CAT

Been a strange week - most of it on the phone to Apple or actually in the Apple store having lugged extremely heavy iMac (assisted by extremely grumpy husband) to Southampton for not just one "Genius" but many to fix it (again)! It's just amazing how my life has changed in the last decade - previous to that I never used a computer - couldn't see why we needed one and it was only Peters job that led us to buy one! Now it seems I can't function without it .... so much of my daily life, both work and personal leads me to use it....

Anyway out of the office when its not been pouring with rain I have been busy doing spit-offs and matings with the Snowmass boys - all the girls are now pregnant or have now been mated in the last week except for Akela who hasn't been in the mood.... she better hurry up as this is the last week we're breeding here.

All the crias are fine - including the 'bottles' Bliss and Bruno, who are gaining weight steadily and playing with the others. The white crias are all sporting very smart collars for quick identification, actually I think I know them all by sight at the moment but it make it easier when they're all in the pen together...

Jerry, our black and white cat has had a bit of skin trouble - probably mange, as I know he goes down the fox holes in the woods - he's a bit of a git to treat with anything and I had to have two attempts at getting him dosed with stuff on the back of his neck, which you might think was a simple job .. ha.. think again - I got most of it! He seems to be scratching himself less now anyway, so he must have got enough of it and I certainly won't have mange....  I could have bought a whole bottle of Cydectin for the price of that stuff - what a rip off!

NEXT BEGINNERS COURSE

Having trouble with the computer yet again .. they're great when they work aren't they?!  Just so annoying as I am unable to change the date on the website of our next beginners course.  Anyway, for those who may be interested it is to be on Saturday1st October. We had a lot of enquiries on the Open Day from people wanting to know the ins and outs of alpaca keeping and breeding and this is just the perfect opportunity to spend a day with us learning all about them, with some hands-on experience. Check out our web page for more details....

Just having a swift cup of coffee now and then I'm back out to do the weekly cria weigh-ins ... most of which are just too heavy for me to pick up now. I bought some identity collars so we can tell the white ones apart - it's ok when they're out in the field with their mums but when they're all in the yard it gets a bit challenging.

Doing just a few spit-offs too.  We're coming towards the end of our breeding season - end of August being our cut off date, so keeping up with the spit-offs is really important now, especially as we have the Snowmass boys here at the moment.

SNOWMASS STUDS

For a brief time we have all 4 of the Snowmass boys here - they are just so gorgeous and make such an impressive sight in the field altogether.  After a busy time driving about collecting them and then working them, I put them all out in their field and just enjoyed watching them sort out who was going to be the boss...  Quetzalcoatl thinks he is - but judging from the amount of green gunge on him he may be mistaken...    I stayed on the other side of the fence out the way! Once they'd settled down I just spent ages taking pics of them but digital cameras are just so annoying aren't they - get it focussed, push the button - nothing happens - moment gone - click - takes the shot - out of focus - out of shot! Anyway I did get a few good ones ....









OPEN DAY SUCCESS

Our Open Day was a huge success... the weather was perfect and everything looked great. We had between 400 and 500 visitors - with a constant stream of traffic up the lane.  We had so many lovely compliments on the farm and on our animals. Loads of serious enquiries and some sales for the future. We sold lots of fleece, yarn and knitted things and a huge amount of tea and cake.

The spinning ladies were brilliant, as were all my volunteer helpers who were either stewards on the gates talking about the animals to everyone, running the shop, or doing the teas - thank you very much guys - we couldn't have done it without you!  The pacas were impeccably behaved of course - I can't imagine what they must have thought of all the people in their paddocks .. they were very bemused by the pushchairs.

My biggest thanks goes to my dear husband Peter who has worked so hard getting the farm looking so lovely and making sure that there was hardly a paca-poo left for anyone to step in, but mostly for putting up with me in my pre-open day stressed state!  I woke in the night worrying that no-one would come!

Here are some pics of the day..... hope those in them don't mind!!  Now I'm off for a takeaway and a very large G&T!!!

Crowds round the spinning tent

Beginning of the farm walk

Just couldn't believe how many cars!

Peter looking very happy - maybe it's 'cos he's taking the money!
I thought I said no pics of me!

Kids taking a real interest in the weaving

What are all these people doing in our field?

That's close enough!

LAST CRIA FOR THE YEAR

Yesterday Goldie had her cria - a very easy birth, but no sign of any milk. So a bottle of colostrum and a dollop of kickstart was gratefully accepted by the cria who was a bit weeny and needed the oomph, whilst Goldie had a shot of oxytocin ... just an hour later and the milk bar was open and the cria got stuck in. When you see him next to his sparkly white chums he is a definite light fawn.

So the tally on this years crop - 8 girls and 11 boys - and I have to say we are very happy with our Snowmass breedings and can't wait for the next lot in a years time!

Tomorrow the gazebos go up for the Open Day - I just hope it's not going to be too windy...

Goldie & Goliath

Seeing Double

CANDY'S OP AND ANOTHER BOY

We have been treating little Candy for a few weeks for a nasty eye infection - at first we thought we were winning but by the end of last week it was clear that the eye was no longer viable and that she'd be better off without it, she had already adjusted to having no sight in it anyway. So Friday afternoon Andrew our Vet operated on her on our old kitchen table in the stable yard. I have to say I wouldn't volunteer to hold an alpaca's head still for that one again!  Amazingly within half an hour of the operation she was bouncing round the stable and in the morning galloped round the field and jumped for joy. She's a gorgeous female, one of my favourites, she's been so brave and is such a good patient and is very beautiful, especially if viewed on her left!

Yesterday Akela had her cria by Snowmass Incan King - he looks just like him and I have called him Amaru. We seem to have more than our fair share of boys here, lets hope Goldie, who is our last female to birth will give us a girl to finish our birthing season....



ROMSEY SHOW

I'm trying hard to knuckle down to the paperwork needed for the Romsey Show ... not much left to organise at the moment, the hard work will be needed in the couple of days leading up to the show putting all the penning up.  Any help offered with that would be very much appreciated .....    The entries close on 14th August and as usual folk seem to be leaving it to the last minute to get their entries in - so come on everybody get them in now please...  it would be a shame to miss out, we can only take 150 altogether and this is a great opportunity to show off your animals to the public, they need only have an inch of fleece being a short fleece show and it's a great venue.

TWO NEW BOYS

We have two new little boys,  sired by Snowmass Invincibly Elite and they are both gorgeous... the first to appear was from BonBon and was a textbook birth, but rather rapid, which must have been painful judging by her foul language and attempts to squash his head with her foot! Luckily I was there and after a few minutes the motherly instinct kicked in and she stood beautifully whilst he got straight up and got stuck into the milk bar. We have called him Baylee.

The next to arrive was from one of the maidens, Medusa, and she took her time ... as she'd been in first stage for 3/4 hours I  thought it best to check her out properly and discovered she hadn't dilated much at all so gave her a bit of a sweep and after another half an hour or so she birthed easily to another little white chap... he was less lively,  a bit dysmature, and took a little while to get to his feet. A bottle of goats colostrum got him going and he was running around the field in the evening.


Medusa and Midlington

Midlington
BonBon & Baylee
BonBon & Baylee
Both mums are very proud of their new sons and I have to say I am very pleased with them too - even though they are boys!

UPDATE

Not been very good with the blogging lately .. just haven't had the chance. Anyway we have had another cria since Aglaia, last week from Bonita, started with a leg back, but then by the time we got organised to catch her to give her assistance, she'd sorted it out. However, after that she didn't seem to have any further contractions and as she had done this before I decided to give her a hand and I gently pulled her cria into the world - a gorgeous white boy - who she then promptly walked away from! So out with the lines and the penning and within less than a minute she realised that the wriggly bundle on the floor was her baby and not the lines and after another couple of minutes we couldn't get near him because she was so protective...! Keeping to the naming theme of starting with the first letter of the mum and maybe the sound, he is Bond - James Bond (well it amuses me anyway!).
Bonita and Bond
Agrippina and Aglaia


Aglaia, Mystery and Bond
Bond and Adele