Yesterday I handled for the Judge Certification at Bozedown, always interesting to have a peek at other animals and a chance for a bit of a gossip. It was bloomin' cold even with my thermal long johns! So much so that the Judges panel were rescued with a patio heater as they were in danger of fading from hypothermia .... hmm I think they should get a few more of those for next year! I must applaud the candidates for going for their Judges ticket .. I can only imagine how nervous they must have been throughout the long day, with halter classes, fleece classes and written exam. It is just as well that there are those who have the time and are brave, willing and able to qualify so that we have a supply of good British Judges for the increasing number of shows round the UK and Europe. I also believe strongly that their education should be ongoing to maintain high standards and consistency between judges, and all this should be supported by our Breed Society.....
Anyway, back today, now because of all the wet weather and our lush grass and other stuff going on, I am hopelessly behind with the poo hoovering and so the only option was to harrow the paddocks the girls have been in last and leave them to rest for as long as I can. I did try using our paddock sweeper but that just made a horrible mess because it was all too wet and the brushes are a bit knackered. Now I have harrowed them to within an inch of their lives - they look a bit sad now but they will recover and be the better for it. The forecast is for more rain and the paddock they're in will last them another few days - if I carry on with this system I can rotate them on a 6/7 week cycle, but then I have to find a field for weaning which makes it slightly more complicated .... oh please can we have some hard frosts and dry weather.
This morning I gave the boys a strip of fresh grass in next doors paddock behind electric sheep fence - their first experience with it, and as I watched 3 of them got a zap on the nose investigating the fence! I never recommend electric fencing with alpacas as I know of plenty of people who's animals have been caught up in it with disastrous consequences, but these are just getting a couple of hours a day when I'm around to supervise them - soo much grass I think they thought they were in heaven!
|You can just make out the electric fence - the boys having been zapped they now settle down to some serious munching
|Action shot from the tractor - quite straight lines though I say so myself!