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Wednesday 23 May 2012


Despite the fatct that the cria are yet to appear , it is never too early to start planning who the daddies wil be for next years cria! Lucky old Panteg Artemis has a date with a lovely brown suri male - Raphael - from Snowshill , which i purchased as part of the Futurity event. The only problem so far is that she is still very pregnant.

My new stud Andaw Czars Aberlour , is about to complete his halter training , and then does he have a fun time ahead . I feel that a truly lovely cria willl be the result of a date with Acantha , she is possibly my most beautiful alpaca , she has huge eyes and a lovely head , a great peachy( mid fawn ) fleece and a very gentle nature. Aberlour has had a relaxing winter just settling in , but now the work begins , both for me and him! When he arrived , Aberlour could kick like I have never seen before; a most impressive flying kick which was almost level with my head , and quite scary. Gradually , with a bit of desensitisation he has stopped kicking , and has become a delight to handle and train .

Todays great weather bought a repeat of the watering from yesterday- as soon as I approach the poly tunnel a stampede occurs as the girls all line up for a bit of a dousing

Tuesday 22 May 2012

Another glorious day

Isn't it funny how the sun makes everything fine ? The alpacas looked thoroughly relaxed as they ambled around , the pregnant girls are clearly beginning to be quite uncomfortable and have started to sit with their weight slightly to one side, making them look as if they are reclining. The heat was quite immense for most of the day , so after lunch I went to water the poly tunnel , and was immediately surrounded by pregnant girls who made it quite clear that a good soaking was high on their list of desirable outcomes. For over half an hour I stood and watered them all! Even those who like to keep a reasonable distance were very happy to come and get wet, each holding out their feet for a cooling . Some were really happy to have their bellies sprayed , and they all sat around on the wet grass for a good long time after I had actually gone to water the veg.

Phineas and Ferb ( pigs ) are growing nicely , and I really need to start planning a butchering date before all the butchers go on holiday like they did last year! They have been lying around in a nice smelly wallow catching some rays and relaxing.

The turkey has finally given up her sitting , much to everyone's' relief, she was seriously beginning to smell! and after a couple of 'cooling off' days in the chicken run , she has resumed her duties of terrorising the smaller hens when they try to feed! The chick numbers are ddwindling fast - we started with 8 and are now down to 5 , one drowned , one just disappeared and one keeled over - I am seriously considering another hatch , but DH will be less than impressed , if I set them now they won't hatch until after shearing on the 8th ,any earlier and they would have needed to be in the shearing barn under a lamp whilst we are shearing , so that sounds like perfect timing to me !!

Saturday 19 May 2012

And now we wait .

Monday is B day! , that is the first day from which I will be on ' birth watch' , and when we aim to have a pair of eyes at the homestead at all times . The birthing field is ready - groomed , topped and ready for action , so tomorrow we move the girls into pastures new and WAIT! In preparation , the barns are nearly ready ( by tomorrow night they will be ) , birthing bucket freshly stocked and to hand , cria coats located , rinsed and ready to go! but good god , the weather is not with us so far . To say I am chewing my nails is pretty accurate , althou ' I really don't want to see a cria much before the 9 June , I know they could arrive any time , and I would really love it to be warm , and possibly sunny . Is that too much to ask in June?
So now we wait .

Saturday 12 May 2012

Turkeys are definitely more stupid than chickens

After last years attempt ( see ' Chickens are definitely not as stupid...) lurkey is now sitting lovingly on 6 hens eggs!! A big improvement on the plums from last year , but slightly heart failure inducing - initially I thought that the fox had eaten her , but could find no evidence apart from the lack of a turkey. After 4 days of absence I finally located her sitting quietly under a huge curtain of honeysuckle , pretending to be a bush ! Very relieved , I scooped her up and put her in a dog crate in the barn with some chicken eggs ( she has no turkey mate , so no hope of hatching her own eggs) .To giver her her due , she has been a very diligent sitter for nearly 2 weeks  , far better than some of my hens , just hope to goodness she hatches something, since I am finding it very hard to find turkey poults for her , so I hope she doesn't squash them , but Lurkey looks like she might make a great mum.

Pregnant or not ?

Today was a busy day of testing . Testing for pregnancy . The catch pens were ready , I was ready , the girls were ready , but Magic - he was not ready! After a little persuasion , he was coaxed into the pens with the first  girl to be tested- Cerys- she was having nothing to do with him , undaunted Magic had a good look at Artemis, equally mad and spitting . Gradually , Magic's interest waned , and by the time he had seen 5 girls , who all gave him a good spitting and occasionally a kick , he was paying very little attention . In fact , he was standing looking in the direction of his field mates , with a look of longing ! In conclusion , pretty sure about 6 girls , strong suspicion about a further 2 , no idea about 2 ! The date gets closer , must get my birthing bucket up to speed , 9th June is the first date - Artemis is the first , with all the rest in the following 2 weeks!! Bet your bottom dollar that it will not go to plan.