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Saturday 30 April 2011

things are progressing ...

just not quite the right things! No , we still don't have a cria on the ground - Veronica is at 368 days ( our current longest gestation ) and looking huge , very uncomfortable and hot. She has been coming down everyday for a good soaking from the hosepipe which she plainly loves , and I have been telling her how much better she will feel if she would just get on and have it , but to no avail.

My broody hen has produced 6 chicks - would have been 7 but she trod on one - so I hatched the rest in the incubator for the last 24 hrs just to be safe , she is happily touting them around the garden showing them all off.

Finally we have aquired 2 new pigs ! Petunia and Daffodil ( don't ask) arrived yesterday and are saddleback piglets , 9 weeks old . Amazingly , our pig rearing feats range far and wide and we are well known!! When DH went to collect them , the breeder , whom we purchased from 5 yrs ago , said that he had heard about our first pigs from the butcher - I did say infamous didn't I ?- who apparently still recalls the 2 elephants we took to him all those years ago , and the breeder is in a different county!! These 2 are not destined for such greatness , a modest 70kgs will be fine !

Monday 18 April 2011

Observation of the day

... spring is truly here! How do I know ? Well , simple really - the alpaca are not showing much interest in their daily ration of hard feed , so the grass must be really good !

Currently I am waiting on a new cria , which should have been due on the 13 April , judging by last years days , 351 to be precise , but now we are into the final run up to 365 and still no sign , Veronica is very large and clearly uncomfortable , and the weather is perfect so it has to be any day now , but when ? Every morning I 've got up and had a quick look and thought' today's the day' but clearly I am wrong. I have had everyone on standby whilst I was away in Mustique , but nothing , so expect the news very soon , with pics I promise . This also means that mating must surely be on the horizon , still a couple of decisions to make , and plans to put in place , but on the whole we are ready to start , and I even heard from the shearers today - nothing concrete of course , but progress.

The sole remaining turkey has started laying , which is very exciting but not as exciting as if we had a stag, DH is dying to try soft boiled turkey egg , watch this space.

All our chicks seem to be growing fast , and since I have a broody sitting on 10 eggs I am debating the need to incubate another clutch myself , well in an incubator actually , ha ha . If I do hatch another lot and the broody does well I could end up with a grand total of maybe 42 chicks hatched this year , if they can avoid the fox I may at last have enough to sell !!

Since my last post we have been battling lumpy jaw in one of the young males , daily antibiotics have certainly helped and the swelling is less than a quarter of what it was originally , but after 6 weeks it is still not quite gone . The vet is unsure as to what may have caused it , a kick maybe , or bizarrely , hay that was too ' nice' - not enough hard chewy bits ?? Luckily Bilbo has started to put some weight back on , having got pretty skinny , so things are looking better , it would just be nice to see the back of it once and for all.