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Tuesday 23 December 2008


I am pleased to report that the vet doesn't seem too concerned about Athena, he thinks that she may have a slight infection in her ankles . He also asked that she be put on complete stable rest ( that is not going to appeal at all ) for a week or two !! Sadly that is not going to happen , she will go demented , but I have restricted her field , so that she cannot run about too much , although currently she seems to spend some large amount of time sitting anyway. The vet seems to think she will be fine and that there won't be any permanent damage , but he did mention that her legs are slightly off straight which is quite common in alpaca .

On the big plus side , he did ask if he could have one of my cockerels for his new hens and that is great since I have 4 and they are beginning to fight !!

Monday 22 December 2008

Fingers crossed I'm wrong

i have been concerned about Athena for a couple of days now, and today I finally worked out what was worrying me - I think she has rickets. It's not drastic , but obviously I would prefer that I am wrong ( not often you hear me say that !) it is quite a common problem in young alpaca and I believe it is easily remedied , and apparently it is most prevalent in dark coloured animals - she is black . Rickets is due to a lack of Vit D absorption which becomes a problem in the winter months when the sun is not so high or so frequent , she has been inoculated with a Vit A D & E injectable , but due to unforeseen circumstances ( lack of available supply ) it is almost a month later than usual . I doubt whether this is enough on its own , but the vet is coming tomorrow and so I shall let you know . I do love my vets - its so much easier to get a vet to visit than a human doctor , when I rang them at 5 pm they asked if I'd like someone to visit today I said tomorrow would be fine , how often do you get to see a doctor that quickly even in an emergency ? They are always pleasant and willing to learn ( obviously alpacas are not that common in the Brecon Beacons ) and they often go away and ring me with an answer and options and they have never been wrong yet . I do love them !

Friday 19 December 2008

Looking forward to a rest and recharge

The kids broke up for the holidays today and I am so ready for it . This is always a busy time of year for everyone and we are no exception- the added 'burden' of the animals does make life a bit busier but sometimes it is a welcome distraction . I have found the running around for the school particularly hard this year - a heavy cough has made it a bit harder - but I think the writing is on the wall for my time on the PTA. This year the credit crunch has made all fund raising hard work , which I could cope with , but what I ( and my colleagues ) have found hard to bear is the much higher level of negative comments and complete lack of support. It is inevitable , as the credit crunch hits , that people will find it harder to give and will also want more for their money , but I had hoped that it might bring a bit more of a Dunkirk spirit . Sadly this doesn't seem to be the case - batten down the hatches is more like it , and so a small band of us have run ourselves ragged for the benefit of all the children and I am tired - of the grouching and lack of help as well as physically . I hate to whinge and I very rarely do on my blog , but if I hear one more excuse about busy lives etc then I shall scream ! I have 4 small children and a small holding as well as a long suffering DH , who has to help more with the housework so I can raise money for the school - well , no more ! Next term will not see any fund raising , and hopefully my PTA committee and I will be less pariah -like in the play ground as well as more rested .

By January I will probably be recharged and rearing to go , but it is looking like a time for somebody else to take up the mantle of the PTA , which I will always support , but which I feel has had the best of me - my alpacas need me more , not to mention my family !!

Now I've got that off my chest I feel aloy better , even if my chest doesn't ! LOL.


I feel very proud of us ! we had another LPG delivery last week and it was just under half the amount we had last year !! all the cool ( freezing ) starts have really paid off - literally ! I am so pleased to see a quantifiable improvement in our LPG consumption

Wednesday 17 December 2008

Forgot to mention ...

I had a fab ride last week, through a beautiful conifer forest. We had a great time , I rode with 2 of my friends and we had a lovely time chatting and trotting along , I was riding a lovely little pony called Dolly , she is new to me ( second ride ) and considerably smaller than I am used to , which means she is much 'bouncier' than I have become comfortable with! We had a couple of hairy moments ,since Dolly was very excited and outside her comfort zone , but we both got through OK. It was a lovely day out , and I hope to do it again soon !

so far so good

well , so far the cria who have moved out from their mums are doing quite well . Alot less stressful than when we weaned Athena a couple of months ago I can assure you , although Artemis is very pleased to see me and cannot quite believe that I do not come bearing gifts or at least a bottle of milk - somehow the armfuls of hay and alfa-a don't quite cut it !

More of my chickens are laying and we are back to a surfeit of eggs every day - I am able to get rid of any that I have spare to a variety of friends and teachers who are more than happy to take delivery of fresh eggs . I am going to have to find homes for some of my cockerels - they are getting to an age when they are becoming very competitive and starting to fight over the girls !

Sadly I am suffering with a corker of a cold and that is not filling me with much in the way of Christmas spirit , luckily presents are all bought and tonight I started to wrap gifts for my in-laws who are visiting on Sat. still have all the gifts for the boys to wrap - DH will undoubtedly have a small fit about the quantity , but they are only small for such a short time ..........

Sunday 14 December 2008


I have finally bitten the bullet and separated the cria from their mums . i find it very stressful , as do the cria for a day or two , but the mums are clearly ready for the break and seem to put up a token resistance , but quickly get on with the daily business of feeding and sunning themselves . Artemis tried harder than most to get back to her mum ( which is odd since she has always been bottle fed ) and managed to get herself stuck in a thicket on the wrong side of a 6 foot ravine . I very nearly couldn't rescue her , she is so heavy now that I couldn't lift her and we both ended up sprawled in the bottom of the ravine - me in my pink pyjamas ( why do I always do these things in my PJ's and not my work clothe s??) and Artemis is a heap too frightened to move . Eventually we both got out and she is none the worse for wear except for a few scratches on her nose .

Finally the bottle of Vitamin supplements that I have been waiting for has arrived . It is really important for alpacas to get a vit A D &E during the winter months to prevent rickets . This afternoon we will inject them all and then every six weeks until the sunshine improves , also a bit of toenail trimming wouldn't go amiss!

Children are off to visit Santa this afternoon , so they will be really hyped by bedtime - oh joy


I have finally given in and switched on the aga ! wow , what a fantastic difference it makes . I am still determined that we shall only have it on at weekends and over the Christmas break , but it is lovely .

Thursday 11 December 2008

here he is ..!

This is Teifi Magic , who , if he lives up to his name , will be the new foundation for my black girls . He looks so special , and has already won best black male and best black huacaya (intermediate) at the 3 counties show 2007.

Wednesday 10 December 2008

dressing up..

why is it that people look at me in abject horror when I suggest that putting on an extra layer in the winter is not an unreasonable thing to do ? Seems perfectly logical to me . The day will come when more and more of us realise that dressing up more is not only good for our pockets but also good for the environment . T-shirts are not really sensible items of clothing when worn on their own in December !

so exciting....

Well ..... I have just bought another alpaca!!!!! actually I've bought half a share in a beautiful black boy called Teifi Magic - lets hope he is . A picture will follow , however , I am on DH computer and cant upload . I am sharing Magic with my good friend Susan , who bred him , and he has a fab pedigree and has won lots of prizes even though he is not yet 3. DH is quietly pleased , hard to believe I know , since he senses an income - I get stud fees from any matings that Susan arranges and vice versa . I shall pick Magic up in June , when Susan has finished her matings for her own animals , which is perfect for me , since I will be ready to mate my black girls from June onwards! The cria should be fantastic .

The alpaca actually came in and slept in their stable or under their shelter all of their own volition , that is such a big step forward .

anyway , photo of Magic will follow as soon as it is warm enough for me to go out to my study ( no heating and single skin walls - v. cold ) and use my own computer.

Friday 5 December 2008

busy busy

This has been a manic week - by that I mean more manic than usual when you have 4 children animals and a husband to run around after .
It has been school play week - don't get me wrong , I think its great that the little ones get to stand up and strut their stuff , however, watching for an HOUR seems excessive even in this day and age when we allow even the most untalented to perform . Bring back the good old days of nativity , when Mary and Joseph sat in a stable surrounded by silent , still animals who did not converse, tell 'jokes' , dance or in any other way take up precious time. My children , of course , thoroughly enjoyed themselves , and I spent far too much time at school , trying to persuade parents to part with their money for school funds . Bah humbug.

The alpaca have come up trumps and finally come in to sit under their shelter in a bed of straw on cold nights . How pleased am I ! DH was beginning to have a slight sense of humour failure about the amount of work he puts in on their behalf , and in which they largely take no interest . For a man who doesn't really like animals , he does work hard fro them .

We are still largely free of central heating , but have given in for an hour in the morning , it is really too cold to get out of bed with no heating at all and I do not have time ( on present schedule ) to build a fire before breakfast ! I guess I could get up earlier , but I am a night owl and find early mornings hard - 3am to check alpaca , no problem . 7am to build fires - no chance!

I have found some hilarious blogs and some very informative blogs from across the pond - checkout the blogs I follow, very interesting.