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Friday, 30 July 2010

peace - and quiet / of mind

The VLA got back to us today with the results of the pm , and they were as good as could be hoped for - perforated ulcer , no parasites or worms , no threat to the herd . Thank God .

In celebration DH has taken the boys camping on the coast for at least one night , so I am peacefully sitting with a curry , a bottle of perry and some chocolates with the TV remote on the arm of the chair , rubbish TV is beckoning , a good book is also waiting and I might get to have an undisturbed bath as well - luxury.

Tomorrow brings a new dawn- chicks are due to hatch , they are jumping and wriggling in their eggs in preparation , and I may get to sell my first alpaca...........

Thanks for all the support over the last few days - much appreciated , hope I don't have to do it for you !

Thursday, 29 July 2010

what can i say...

Sadly , after every-bodies best attempts Panteg Binky died during the night. I felt in my heart of hearts that she would not see the morning , and I hope it was quick and as painless as possible .

So this morning we set off at 8 am with 4 small boys and Binky in the back of the people carrier ( mercifully not a hot day and the air con is powerful) and took her on a last , in fact her only trip from the farm , to the VLA for autopsy. After along journey we delivered her and answered endless questions , the best guesstimate being that she died as a result of an ulcer , possibly brought on by the stress of shearing . Since we run a closed herd largely , and have certainly had no additions ( apart form our own cria) since last Sept , the likelihood of coccidia or worse , E.Mac , look remote. The grass is not grazed by other animals , and is kept clean as Eliane can testify after her first experience of poo picking, All her jabs are up to date and a worm count revealed nothing. Now we sit and wait , and try to remember that things could be worse. Also we shall think about the joy she brought us and try to decide whether to still enter her fleece for the GW show.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Still on a knife edge

Mixed results toda y.

Small miracle - Binky is still with us ! I was prepared for the worst this morning , but at 6am she was sitting up with her mum cudding . By 9 am she was looking a little less bright .I made 2 trips to the vets today - the first to pick up anti inflammatories and anti biotics .The second to pickup more antibiotics and wormers . Advice from the RVC camelid department suggested that we should hit every option hard, and that is what we are doing. twice daily anti biotics and antiinflammatories , plus panacur, for 5 days .
Binky is very weak, but still alert and eating , all be it very small amounts , but she always has grass in her mouth when I go to inspect. Tonight she is in a stable to keep her warm, she cannot stand alone , but is still alert. I hope that the anti biotics will begin to kick in . We are still not really sure what we are dealing with . Fecal tests have not found any worm burden, but we are assuming the worst. Yet again I'm not sure what to expect in the morning. Pls don't uncross everything just yet - I hope we have a way to go!
ps . thanks for all the support

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Prayers please , or at the very least crossed fingers!

What an afternoon !About 4 pm I went to get the mums in for their afternoon tea - extra rations for mums - and as the herd advanced to be sorted into eating and 'not eating' Binky didn't come with them . At first she looked like she was enjoying a spot of sunbathing , but in a twinkling of an eye it became clear that we were in a very bad zone. She was almost cushed , but sitting on one side like they do when they are heavily pregnant , but she is only 14 months and not bred yet, she didn't even attempt to stand and paid no attention as the herd headed to pastures new without her. PANIC. I pushed her into a cush , and knew that with all the flies around her she must be ill- CALL THE VET.

The vet arrived within 40 mins , meanwhile I had a clean bucket of water which she had manged to stand to drink ( good sign ) but had dreadful scouring ( bad sign) , she also looked a bit bloated - my first thought was burst ulcer , peritonitis etc. and so was the vet's! Not hopeful. He ran some fecals-no worm burden- and other bloods which indicated a serious infection . Penicillin was already on board , but he rang to say that if this was cow or a horse he would recommend euthanasia . Finally , he came to have a final look and do what had to be done - and Binky was hard to catch in the field! She looked perkier and a stomach puncture relieved a little gas and she belched a few times , even began to eat a little Camelibra . We decided to hold off until tomorrow - antacid and pain relief were administered , and she trotted off to join the herd. I have hand fed her some hay and she was last seen munching on the grass.

Time will tell - if she is still with us in the morning we stand a chance ..... pray , dance , cross what ever you can, I would so like a little miracle please

Sunday, 25 July 2010

the good news or the bad news?

The good news is that the fox trap works !

The bad news is that we have only managed to catch nosy chickens so far! Oh the irony of it.

Today we were brave , and let them out all day , which is the first time in a week , and I was very nervous all day. DH and I were outside nearly all day doing various jobs that we had held off whilst we had visitors ;the polytunnel has been weeded to within an inch of its life , and new rocket , lettuce , spring onions and carrots sown. I have also planted the cucumber plants I have been nurturing and also the pepper plants ,so the tunnel is full.
In order to do this we had to pick a cabbage ( which we had for supper fried with bacon and mushrooms in cream ) and ditch some lettuces which had gone over .

We cut down an oak tree which had not survived the winter , and I topped off 2 alpaca fields and mowed the front lawns - all in all we look pretty neat and tidy.

The cria are doing really well , Calpurnia seems to have regained full movement in her ear and they are all running around like mad things enjoying the summer weather .Hermione seems to have gotten over her desire to keep Cressida away from the others and now allows her to join in their games and sometimes even instigate them!

One week into the holidays - only 5 to go!

Monday, 19 July 2010

From near disaster to disaster

Oh how life is sent to try us !
Yesterday we had 35 people for a bbq - in honour of friends returned from far flung places - just before they arrived there was a sudden yelling from DH which was frantic , ' get me a knife ' is not his usual cry , but he really meant it . On going to do a final tidy of the yard he found the alpacas humming in a desperate sort of way , and found that Calpurnia had become entangled in a football net that the boys had left in the field ( Yes I know , it should not have been there , that said ) she was hanging lifeless by the neck - panic , but luckily she was 'just' in shock . Mad cutting of said net and some rubbing , she returned immediately to mum , apparently none the worse for her ordeal - I needed a strong drink, and since it was 3.30 on a sunday , I had a strong drink!

On closer inspection , one ear is not working quite right , I hope it is a temporary thing , but honestly if that is the worst that happens - I'm lucky. Disater averted.

Today I made my annual pilgrimage to The Royal Welsh show - truly a day not to missed . 8.30 arrival then 8.30pm departure - 12 hours well spent, sans enfants. On my return , chuffed with my day and head buzzing with the antics of the Royal Kings artillery , my house guest tells me that at lunchtime he saw the biggest fox ever wonder throu the back garden having killed another chicken! I do not know what to do with the bloody thing, any printable answers would be most welcome . Shooting is clearly very tricky on two fronts
1. it is so unpredictable
2. I don't want guns around the alpacas

any other suggestions pls. At this rate by the time the kids go back to school I will not have a single chicken - damn that bloody fox.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Perfect trio

At last Hermione has produced the baby I have been waiting for , for the last 3 years! Actuallythis cria has been cooking for 358 days so it has been a long wait but finally we have - a girl! A beautiful light /mid fawn ( hard to tell since she is still wet ) , typically Hermione waited until I was out at the Year 6 Leavers assembly to produce , but the cria was still wet and wobbling so I think not more than an hour old . She has gone straight into a stable with mum , to keep warm , she is keen to feed bubt is taking a while to find the right place , I haven't weighed her , but she feels the smallest of the 3 cria , but she is super special being the last cria born to Bozedown West , god love him , and so I am thrilled she is a girl .
So this little girl makes 3 cria for the year - 2girls and a boy, one fawn , one dark brown and one black - a perfect trio!

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Bloody foxes

Well they would be bloody if I could get hold of the damn thing !

Another visit from the fox , this time in broad day light, mid afternoon. Lost 8 hens , and I am really p*****d off . I cant poison it , in case something else takes the bait like a dog or a red kite , and I can't shoot it cos I never see it , so trapping is the only answer , and I haven't got a trap! Hoping for a nasty road accident.

The alpacas did save some hens , they were making such a racket with their alarm calls that DH went to see, cos he was in at the time!! and I think between them they scared the fox , but not before he had taken my beloved Brahma !

And yesterday I heard of somebody in a town near here who feeds the damn things ?! ....

Thursday, 8 July 2010

And now a girl!

Yes , finally , Cerys has delivered a beautiful dark brown girl! She is up and wandering around , seems to be feeding well - mum is not very interested and is content for her to sit with the rest of the herd while she is off eating grass, in fact she is the same as last year! Cerys takes a couple of days to become really engaged with her cria , this year she is better than last and is letting the baby feed and is quite agitated if I pick the cria up and take it to her , butt otherwise content for her to run riot around the field with whomsoever she likes . Consequently they are now in splendid isolation with the rest of the herd in the neighbouring paddock , until the bond has strengthened.

Sadly , i am unable to give details or even time of birth , DH was home all morning on alpaca watch , but failed to watch very closely, despite sitting with his feet hanging out of the window facing the birthing field whilst he varnished frames! The first I heard was after I got back from pilates ( yes , I know I swore I'd never exercise ...) and he yelled ' I think there are 2 black babies - are there s'pposed to be ?'

Anyway , all's well etc . Now just waiting for Hermione......

ps . She's called Calpurnia!