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Tuesday 5 January 2016

Noah had the right idea !

Well yes I know , we're all in the same boat ! But wow has it rained !
Beginning to get just a little sick of all this water - on the plus side I don't have to worry about water pressure in the house , and I promise not to moan in May when we have run out .

The alpacas are looking a little soggy ( understatement) but are happy to come in at dusk to some lovely hard standing , warm stables and full hay racks ! The chickens are enjoying the extra protection of all those lovely flock guards as well.

Yesterday I noticed a swelling on Cerys , close to an injection site I think , undoubtedly an abscess , so I have anti biotics ready to go , and am hoping that it will burst all by itself. Cerys is tricky to deal with on a good day , have a very good line in sharp kicks - mostly I expect them , so she hasn't managed to do any harm yet , but it does make the idea of rinsing out a draining abscess just a little less positive ! Fingers crossed that it bursts very shortly , my limited experience ( thank god ! Only 2 in 10 years ) and much reading suggest that they will do better if allowed to find a natural pathway out rather than being lanced..

 Laying  is beginning to get established for a few hens , and gradually most of the girls will come back on line and we will be swamped with eggs again!

The mild weather has confused the wild flowers , and already the snowdrops are coming through and the daffodils are not far behind . We will have to start thinking about planting a couple of trees soon , I know it's the wrong time of year , but sadly our 18 year old cat died yesterday and the boys would like to bury her under a willow tree , since Willow was her name . I think that's rather lovely so wrong time of year or not , we will be planting a commerative tree to help remember her by .

Sunday 27 December 2015

Back again !

It has been a long time since my last blog ! a couple of years actually - unsurprisingly many things have changed ; we have had loses as well as gains , but many things also stay the same .

My core herd is still flourishing , Bijou continues in the role of matriarch  , many familiar faces are still with me . Sadly we have lost one or two along the way , others have gone to new homes to provide joy for their new owners .

2015 saw 3 new arrivals , 2 boys and a girl - Hercules , Hiccup and Hepzibar 


All are doing well , Hepzibars unusual colouring causes me some interest , how do I register her ? Can we reproduce her again next year ?

The winter has been very mild , somewhat wetter the last few weeks , but the grass keeps on growing . I have found a new supplier of hay just down the road , and the alpacas seem to enjoy it . Wind and rain at night has encouraged the animals into shelters at night , the girls into stables , which now have a beautiful concrete area in front to keep their feet drier , and the boys into a new shelter constructed last year entirely from recycled materials - everyone is happy and dry !

The chickens are doing well , they have just started laying yesterday after a break whilst they all changed their clothes ( feathers) and now hopefully full steam ahead - supermarket eggs just don't cut it in this house anymore .

Happy 2016!

Monday 22 July 2013

Getting there !

Little faerie seems to be doing ok ! We have had a few scary days where she has seemed listless and uninterested , won't feed ..... But for the last 2 days she has perked up and is feeding from mum . 

Fleur is doing really well , still taking some from mum and some from a bottle , but full of beans and joyful.

We have also had a couple of new arrivals ! First up was Frodo , from Bijou. He is a super blue black boy , and in the tradition of Boz Bijou he is enormous . I don't know how she does it but her cria are always the largest ! 
Followed very closely by the long awaited cria , who I think will be the only progeny of Czars Aberlour who sadly died in January. Boz Hermione produced a beautiful female cria last Tuesday, she is cream by my estimation , very lively and well conformed , and equally as large as Frodo! The pair of them , although only just a week old dwarf the other two. 


Faerie with the marks from having all that treatment

Frodo and Bijou

Flavia and faerie 

Fleur and Faerie

Worryingly , we have seen a fox around during the day and peering throu the French windows in the evening , my oldest hen did not go to bed last night, but that may have been the heat , I think she was at least 7,, and I haven't found feathers anywhere. I do wish that the city folk would stop rehomimg their foxes near me , just dispose of them humanely and save me from loosing all my chickens .

Wednesday 10 July 2013

2out of 2

cria season has started with a bang ! After what can only be described as a hard winter on all fronts - weather , alpaca death - it seemed years until summer eventually arrived , but here we are basking in some glorious sunshine and the cria have started to arrive .
First to arrive was Fleur , her mum is Artemis , a white Suri. Artemis was mated to Snowshill Raphael , and they have produced a beautiful chocolate brown Suri cria , very tall and gangly and quite delightful . Fleurs birth was sponsible for the only ' late ' mark on my sons school register this year ! But who could do the school run with a birth in progress?! Fleur arrived quickly with no prob and was cushed in under a minute I kid you not . Last year Artemis rejected her cria at birth , this year she is completely different , doting mother . After a day or so it became apparent that Fleur was not getting enough milk and so bottle feeding commenced . As the days have gone on she is getting more from mum , but I am the maintainence ration , gradually the balance Is changing , fingers crossed.
Second up is Faerie , white huacaya out of an experienced and doting mum - but not this year! Faerie contracted a sepsis infection within 48 hrs of birth , a long weekend has been spent with my fab vet Kim, and now she seems to be on the mend, after a plasma transfusion ( IgG level low ) antibiotics , anti inflammatories and a drip .

Friday 5 April 2013

Tidying up the loose ends

A quick summary:-

After nearly a week of steady improvement , Aberlour died. I was astounded and very very sad, he stood up for a little while and was pooping and peeing fine , and within an hour he was dead! The pm showed nothing unusual , a mystery, and a very sad end to a life with so much potential. I have possibly 3 cria of his expected this spring with genetics from the great Czar , so I really hope that everybody holds on and that spring finally does come with a whoosh and a bang that we all need.

As you might expect I was pretty down in the dumps after loosing Veronica and Aberlour, and it was with fear and trepidation that i checked everybody every morning . Imagine my horror when I found Bijou and Esti ( my bottle baby) both scouring badly . Fecal tests were rushed off , and came back saying a small burden of cocc and round worm . Our vet seemed largely unconcerned by the numbers - I was not , so we treated aggressively for both and I am pleased to say that both are doing well.

Really could do with some warmer weather and some grass , another load of hay is being delivered tomorrow which will bring our consumption to almost double last winter! Sugar beet and alpha pellets are being consumed like they have gone out of fashion , dried grass is also on the menu .We're hanging on in there , but spring has got to come soon , hasn't it?

Monday 11 February 2013

It just keeps getting worse

Last week we had the sad task of putting Veronica to sleep. She was old and very frail , and she spent her last day outside in the sunshine with her friends , but eventually she just couldn't carry on  .

Today Aberlour is looking very similar. I put Veronicas fast decline down t old age and the weather , since the vets could find nothing wrong with her , but now I really am wondering . I've treated him for fluke and barber's pole , given vits and antibiotics , and now we just have to pray that this is enough and not too late .

This is a  short blog , 'cos I just cant bear any more !

Thursday 24 January 2013

Still hanging in there!

Like large parts of the country we are enveloped in snow . There are many mixed views on snow - personally I hate it ! The countryside is beautiful , but weighed against the amount of work it creates I'd rather do without.

Now in my last blog I talked about Veronica - she is doing fine . Every morning I cross my fingers as I go towards her barn , but so far the signs are good , she is eating well and full of curiosity  so far  so good. She has Bijou or Esti as her companions , I figure that  the weather is too horrible for her to risk being outside , when the snow has gone and the ground is easier then she can go out , but until then she stays inside and stays safe.

Well the jinx I got from my last blog - on Tues Mr Fox came calling big time ! We have lost a couple of chickens over the winter - but only those who insisted on roosting in trees not houses .At 6.15 I went out to take DS#2 to YFC and there was a commotion in the hen house which  i knew I had shut less than an hour earlier . Thrashing sounds revealed an ailing cockerel who I initially thought was dying from the cold , but on closer inspection I saw that part of the roof had been torn off and all my chickens ( 17) and my turkey were dead ! There was one survivor - who is currently in the downstairs toilet with another sicky chicky . I cannot believe the intelligence or cunning of the fox , but boy do I wish I had a gun!

All the alpacas come in for the night , but seem largely unconcerned during the day, wonder what they will think about all the rain that is due.