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Sunday 29 May 2011

To quote from pygmalion

- he's got , I really think he's got it ( apologies for the slight mis-quote) . Diablo is feeding himself!!! It's a bit messy and slightly unorthodox , but feeding himself he appears to be . Friday midnight feed found a cria with milk on his face , I waited a few hours and checked again , and whilst he is hardly an elegant feeder , he is managing , and Veronica's udder is reassuringly less full. Initially I was concerned that her milk supply was drying up , but after 2 days all is well , her udder is covered in the remnants of his feed and Diablo is out in the fields frolicking with the best of them. He has put on a little weight - 200gms - but now that nursing is being established I hope that we will see a continued progress. Diablo has fast discovered the power he has over the 4 girls in his field , if they get too close Veronica objects most strongly , as a result they are all keen to keep their distance if she is watching , so he has taken to running up to them and then chuckling to himself as they turn tail and leg it before Veronica gets any ideas - he has the makings of a holy pasture terror!

Wednesday 25 May 2011

Beginning to see the light

.. at the end of the tunnel I hope ! Diablo , as he will be called, is making progress thank God. Monday night was stressful , with a couple of night feeds from me , so I was tired by the morning . Luckily Tuesday was glorious , and so the little chap went out to meet some of the herd , red cria coat and all. Everybody was very excited to meet the new cria and there was alot of running around and of course lots of sniffing . Veronica was torn , on the one hand she wanted to get at the grass and on the other she really didn't like the others getting too close to her baby . In the end a compromise was reached by putting her in a small filed next to the rest of the herd . Diablo took it all well , initially he couldn't get up by himself , but once up could stand for a short while before folding himself back into a perfect little cush. Despite being over due by forever , he is tiny at just 5.8 kg , by far the smallest cria we have had.

Today he is able to stand and walk about by himself and he has spent a large portion of the day outside. The yearlings are very excited and there has been a lot of skittishness , Diablo is keen to join in but the flesh is not quite up to it! I am still milking mum about every hour and then giving it to her cria , his sucking reflex is a bit weak , thou' it seems to be getting better , and he is having trouble keeping his tongue under control , but that too is getting better. He is keen to feed from mum , but with a slightly out of control tongue and still wobbly legs he has not managed to perfect latching on , he knows where to go and is very keen so I am hopeful that within a couple of days it will all come right , meantime I am milking mum and supplementing with goats milk from a bottle . Still fingers crossed!

Monday 23 May 2011

At last!

Finally , on the day with the worst weather conditions for at least a month, Veronica has had her cria!!! A beautiful dark fawn boy , the spitting image of his dad West who sadly died last year. It has not been a smooth start , hence no picture yet , I just haven't had time , and I don't want to tempt fate.
After a gestation which must be the longest in history, 391 days, Veronica chose today to give birth. It is about the only day for weeks which i discounted due to the appalling weather conditions- we have had rain or drizzle all day alongside a gale force warning and incredible winds - and here in lies my mistake. I checked her a couple of times this morning - nothing , checked again just before I sat down for lunch - nothing . Then at 2.20 something made me check again - somebody shouting nearby I think - and she had a cria. I pelted outside with a towel to find a flat , wet , cold cria with the sack still over his nose , and a mother who was clearly concerned and had already delivered the placenta. Quick run to the stables , lots of rubbing and several prayers , and I was getting nowhere fast. Grabbed the heat lamp - ping! the bulb blew! Don't own a hairdryer - slight panic setting in .Called a neighbour who was luckily in , and had a heat lamp which he bought over pretty fast- things were looking up , but the crias temp was very low , so I decided to stick him in the bath - which i had just un-plumbed in readiness for moving it - oh s**t. Large tub trug came to the rescue and after half an hour in hot water inside a plastic bag , the cria started to struggle and hold his head up - success.

We are not out of the woods yet, he is finding leg co-ordination tricky , and cannot stand for long periods , so I have supplemented with mothers colostrum ,they are both having a rest at the moment, and i shall be back out every 20 mins or so for a bit more colostrum until he can do it himself!! Now to choose a name!

Wednesday 18 May 2011

Still waiting!

I can't believe it - we are still waiting for anybody to produce . Veronica is at 378 days and Kirsty is at 373! Veronica particularly looks like a battle ship , she is so huge , everyday I've looked and agreed with myself that today will be the day , but no , so far I have been completely wrong . All the signs are there for both girls , but neither seems in a hurry to produce . Both these cria are from Boz West and are the last of his line so I am really hoping for something special.

I can see that this year is going to be a long one ! I have decided to have a go at field mating , to that end I have put Magic in with a filed of perspective girls with high hopes that nature will take its course and I will not spend so much time walking him backwards and forwards to the mating pen , which requires haltering him first - an activity he does not like and makes as difficult as possible. 2 days now and no mating has occurred ! At first he was quite keen and the girls were pleased to see him , but within a few minutes they had chased him just a little too much and he is not remotely interested . All that posturing is fine when there's a fence between us .... he's turning into a bit of a wuss. So back to the drawing board , he will go back with the boys and we will return to pen mating !