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Sunday 31 January 2010

snow and weaning !

It's back! the snow came down last night and is covering the ground quite nicely , enough to mean that the animals cannot eat the grass , back to hay and warm water and hard feed every couple of hours .

Coupled with the fact that I chose yesterday to split the cria from their mums - stress! Actually , the babies are doing OK , so long as they have food to keep them occupied than they seem happy , it's the mums! they are pacing the fence lines , calling and calling for their babies . I am trying not to listen , normally they give a token call and then seem to settle down to putting back some condition on . They can't see the weanlings (!) who confined to the yard and stables , but I guess they can hear them, and with the snow I can't move the weanlings to a further field, cos they won't have access to the stables easily . Clear up snow , you're getting in my way now !

Wednesday 27 January 2010

times passing ...

It's been a while since my last blog ( confession?) for 2 reasons
1. I have pretty busy with animals , house , children etc
2. The animals are all fine and that also means a bit dull to write about ( there, I've gone and tempted fate)

We are motoring on the jobs list , the'new' house is coming together , yesterday I laid ( the cheapest) lino I could find in the boys toilet , any of you with boys can work that out , since it will have to be replaced reasonably regularly! I was pretty proud of cutting it to the right size etc. and new porcelain has been purchased for the shower room , bath sides for the bath room , new hot water tank for rental cottage . All of this is great , but it doesn't do much for the general tidiness of life , most of these things are sitting around in big boxes waiting for DH to get to them . I have toyed with plumbing in a toilet , but don't feel quite up to that without supervision just yet .

I have also bought FAB radiators for our bedroom and the second lounge ( being the only rooms without underfloor heating) really great old fashioned ones that look a bit like the ones we had in school - who would ever have thought they would be desirable?

The alpacas seem to be fine , we have had the odd limp , mainly centred round slipping in the snow , and they are all happily troughing through a small nation's budget's worth of hard feed as well as the grass and hay ! Particularly popular are the micronised peas , unfortunately this is a shared favourite of the chickens who are right in the troughs helping themselves!
Berlioz has been weaned from me - no more bottles - and after a couple of days of pestering me he largely ignores me , such gratitude! Actually , I'm pleased that he is behaving like that , I was worried about berserk alpaca syndrome , something which his sister is close to I think , and in a male would be intolerable . I still see him having a quick suck from his mum , but I have never been sure exactly what he gets if anything . All the cria are ready for weaning , some over due , and as soon as the weather is nicer I will separate them , but with more snow due on Friday , it won't be this week!

Wednesday 13 January 2010

Not more!

Yes , more snow ! School is canceled yet again and I have HAD ENOUGH ! the world has gone mad , and before you start me on global warming- don't!

Saturday 9 January 2010

chickens are so amazing .

The other day I went out to do the animals first thing in the morning . Because it was cold and I like figures I decided to open my car door to see what the temp was - there being a thermometer as part of my car . I had not used the car for at least 2 days ( the snow was undisturbed) and possibly for at least another 36 hours before that . I opened the door , strange smell unlike the usual child infested car small , and a gentle cluck! Sitting on the passenger seat was a chicken ! I knew that I was one down and had looked for her , but never checked the inside of the car . Significant amount of chicken poop, but luckily without a food intake they can only poop so much, so I rushed her inside , gave her some corn and a bowl of warm water - and she was fine ! I mean absolutely fine . She chased the cats who came to look at her . Pooped on the floor and then I let her out with the others . Ostensibly no harm done - how amazing is that!
Oh and the temp was -10C ! not bad at 8.30am !

Wednesday 6 January 2010

Finally our house!

Recognise that Eliane ?!

DH has wireless connection in the warm, but only if you sit just there!

A few pics for our friends and those who have put up with house building in an alpaca blog!!


Not a particularly original title , but true nonetheless . We have finally got some real snow , school is closed , the kids are thrilled , DH is working from home ......

The alpacas are not enjoying it very much , the blacks slept out all last night and came in this morning looking like pandas , the whites slept in and looked very smug this morning . They are all tucking in heartily to the hay , my friendly farmer next door has delivered me a large bale for the first time since we are getting throu so much - should prove interesting trying to unwind it in the confines of the garage - DH's idea ! The warm water is going down a treat as well , funny how all the animals like warm water , and the sugar beet is also proving popular . I make it up with boiling water , so it retains a bit of the heat and they absolutely wolf it down . All day they have not moved from the barns and it looks set to stay like this for a while - I think school will be shut until Monday , since the council has nearly run out of grit , so even the main roads are pretty ropey compared to normal , and DH would have done well to have bought the bag of rock salt when I asked him ......

Little Binky with the cute lips!

The poly tunnel has discovered another use , the hens have spent the day in there! I think they find it a bit tough on their feet in this weather so they have been able to do a bit of digging today , which hasn't happened for many days recently .

Back out now to make up stables with straw for bed time and some more water - I really need an out door tap that does hot water , but since we have woken to frozen internal pipes a couple of times recently , I don't think that's a goer!

Sunday 3 January 2010

Houdini x 2!

After another restful morning , where nobody woke before 9am , the peace was shattered when #DS said ' Mum , are the pacas s'posed to be in the back garden ?' NO! BY 9.02 we were all outside - the building work has necessitated the removal of several farm gates - the one to the road , the one from the garden to the bridle path......Panic . The boys live on the other side of the bridle path , and as if by magic they became aware of the girls at just the same moment we did , a race to see who could call them first . It was close , but I manged to block their imminent arrival on the bridle path and then get them out of the garden and back into their field, where it transpired they had ( again ) opened the gate . Little monkeys , they have learn to open one of the gates , an extra lock has been put on , but at some point last night someone ( me ) forgot to put the second lock on , hence the escape .

A sigh of relief , breakfast all round , relax . Then at 3pm - ' Mum , should the pacas be in the back garden ' AGAIN , NO! This time, the children had left the gate open when they went to retrieve their sledge before an epic sledging time on the mountain .
Tonight I have checked and double checked those locks , if they are out tomorrow I don't know what I shall do !