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Monday 31 August 2009

lots to report

Well , finally back from holiday - which was awesome ! We had great weather and a truly great time, plenty of beaching and relaxing . Then we went straight to my nieces wedding , which was organised completely by my sister and was beautiful - we were all very emotional , and the bride looked gorgeous .

Then we got home last night - MAYHEM!

Our first house sitter did a great job and did some annual injections for us ( slight help from the vet) and managed to contain the pigs on an escape attempt ( more later) .

Second weeks sitters - disaster ! They are relatives of a friend , and have SAT for us twice before with great success , but this year it all went wrong . They found the alpacas too inquisitive ( have you ever heard ??) , the chickens too many and too nosey , the poly tunnel too full of wasps and generally hated every moment ! Que sera , however , as a result they chose to go home early ( 2 days early) and failed to communicate this properly to anyone .

Got home last night ....... piles of feathers - 14 chickens gone ! I know they are only chicken , but I just cried, my beautiful little pair of Brahmas - gone . All the last batch we hatched - gone , and one other I haven't had time to identify !

Added to this , Kevin , my fantastic cockerel , keeled over the day we left and died of a heart attack ! On the whole , chickens - disaster !

The boys are vowing never to go away again ( cheaper by far) , and frankly I feel similarly , it will pass , but I think we are looking for new sitters !

But the alpaca are good .

Tuesday 11 August 2009

So far so good...

On Sat I made the trip to W Wales with 2 DS's and 4 alpaca! I returned Teifi Magic to his co-owner , Sue , and also left Bozedown West with her since she may have some clients for him . But most importantly ,Sue had agreed to look after Berlioz and Riva whilst we are on holiday . I think she was pretty impressed with Berlioz , and Riva manged to create a good impressionas well . Sue has mated her to one of her beautiful suri boys Bozedown Bartholemew , and I am really excited about what she may produce next year fingers crossed.
I had a great time at Sue's , admiring her herd and catching up on the news , and she had some really exciting ideas ... watch this space. DS #1 &#2 enjoyed themselves , playing with Sue's niece and nephew , and then we had to come home ! It has seemed strangely quiet without Berlioz for the last few days , but I am assured that he is still feeding well and generally enjoying himself.

We are getting ready for our house sitters to arrive on Friday, it's great to have them , but for somebody who loathes housework I am spending alot of my time getting the place spotless ! I really will need a holiday!

Thursday 6 August 2009

Would you believe it ?!

The last day or two Berlioz has been reluctant to take a bottle , needing first to be caught and then persuaded that it is a good idea , which is contrary to what has been happening up until now ; previously he has run up to me to be fed , has needed no persuading and has sunk the lot ! Yesterday I managed to secure the last bag of lamblac milk powder at huge expense to get us throu to weaning , and guess what .... Riva has started to produce some milk ! Not enough to stop the extra feeds completely , but enough to make up a decent proportion of his daily need ! Would you credit it ! Of course , I am really pleased , and hope it continues - who can explain them ,eh ?

Athena is no longer limping, after a good look I could find no obvious problems and concluded it must be a sprain , maybe putting her foot in a mole hill or something , but now she is fine and I didn't even have to call the vet.

Me and my shadow !
Bourbon(r) and Bilbo

Tuesday 4 August 2009


.. on a couple of fronts ! The weather is making things difficult , everything is so muddy that I am slipping around and so the chores are taking longer , and the animals are fed up 'cos they are slipping as well ! Anyway , Athena is limping and I am struggling since I have torn the tendons in my shoulder ( a combination of horse fall and wrestling with alpaca!) and so cannot deal with her myself and am having to wait for DH to come home , which he will be thrilled about ! Also , I had a new sheep rack delivered today - which is very exciting , and so I had to put it together immediately, and it being very heavy my shoulder is in even worse shape and I will not be able to sleep tonight with the pain , but it does look great and now all the hay will be kept drier and off the ground , so more hygienic and more cost effective ! I think Athena has a cut in her foot ( I did have a quick look ) and of course the wet ground will not help - ever tried keeping a foot bandage on an alpaca at the best of times .
Anyway , on a brighter note , some of my chickens who have had a rather dramatic moult and are wandering around looking like ex- batts , everyone keeps asking if they have lice/feather peck but they don't its just moult , have started to grow feathers and now they look like ginger hedgehogs , but will be so smart soon .
Also , had a great chat with a fellow breeder who has been a friend from day1 , but haven't had a chance to talk for a while , and it is so good to catch up and share disaster / hilarious stories now that the cria season is almost safely over .

Bourbon has a surprise at the new feeder!