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Thursday 28 June 2012

Lots to report!!

Well, since our first cria , now named Estrella (swedish for star , Esti for short ) we have had a few more additions. But first Esti, she is a super star , hence the name . I am feeding her 6 or 7 times a day and she is a dream, needless to say she is growing fast and very friendly . I am slightly cautios about the 'friendly' bit, I know it can be a bad thing later , but for now we are all enjoying her . She comes when called and the boys love racing around with her , of course Esti never gets out of second gear but they all seem to enjoy themselves .

Next to arrive is another light brown female , as yet unnamed , who has slightly bent ears . She is a beauty with a great fleece , and the ears give her a very elfish look, I know that they need to be dealt with , but I have not yet manged to catch her and wrap them , her mum is super protective and will not let me near. DH thinks they look cute , however, they should be straight and thats how they will be - eventually ! When she was born, her ears were wrapped around the back of her head like cabbage leaves , each day they look a little straighter ..........

On Tues arrived our first male of the season , a dark fawn with a fab curl. He is the smallest of
the lot to date , but none the less up and away without any help and doing really well. His mum , Cressida, is really a teenage mum , being only just 2 herslef and on the petite side , but her cria is great , also unnamed , but I am leaning toward Evan .
Yesterday( Wed) we had a giant delivered. Elvis is Bijou's 5th cria for us , and a corker! He is huge , at least as big as Esti if not a bit taller, certainly heavier! and a fantastic blue black like his parents.

Elvis ( 4 hrs old ) and Bijou
Today saw Hermione produce a white female , who is called Elizabeth the Third ! for obvious reasons. Again a tall cria , she is safely tucked up in a stable with mum for the night , just to make sure the bond is strong , and feeding is going well .
Elizabeth III with Elf in the background

Thats all folks .... for today , still 4 more due this week!

Saturday 23 June 2012

Elderflower cordial

Well , I have to say that I am feeling quite pleased with myself - for once nothing animal related , I have made elderflower cordial! It is remarkably easy , and yet I have never done it before. The elderflowers are just coming into their own, so there may be plenty more to come, but for now I am freezing it ! Alpaca news to follow , and yes we have another cria , but details will be later!! Meantime , my turkey has gone broody again, but I cannot find where! Periodically she reappears for food , but I have not had the time or luck to find her nest , safe to say the fox hasn't either , yet .

Sunday 17 June 2012


A new addition to the herd. On Wednesday lunchtime Artemis gave birth to a female , chocolate brown suri cria. She is absolutely beautiful , but sadly her mum doesn't think so, hence the lack of blog ! i saw mum giving birth , and the labour was a little slow and obviously painful , so a gentle tug and everything was OK. Artemis looked genuinely shocked by the birth , and as a first time mum was completely stunned by her newborn . The cria - yet to be named - was fantastic , cushed in 5 mins , standing in 20 and nursing within 45 mins - perfect. Gradually , as the initial euphoria wore off , it became evident that Artemis was less than thrilled . She let the baby nurse for the first couple of hours and then began to reject her. I have tried everything - confinement in the barn for a day or 2 with a companion , check over by the vet , mild sedative, pain killers , even lavender oil on them both , but to no avail . Quite simply mum is not remotely interested , and whilst not aggressive , will not let her cria within feet of her . So , I have a bottle baby! Luckily she is easy to feed and doing really well, gaining weight , and out with the rest of the herd today now that the weather is better. My one big concern is that she identifies with the other alpaca, currently she is very happy to follow me and stick by me , I am keeping my distance and gradually one of my maiden females seems to be taking an interest , fingers crossed.

Sunday 3 June 2012

Never cease to surprise

No not the alpacas on this occasion , but the hens! One of my broody hens has abandoned her chicks and returned to the more glamorous world of the chicken house , and amazingly the other hen has adopted her chicks !! I have never seen this before , and I am amazed - I really didn't think they would do that .

On the alpaca front , nothing! Just nothing. The pregnant girls are all looking very pregnant , and some are beginning to bag up , but other than that , nothing . DH has been on birth alert , and in all honesty I am glad nothing has happened on his watch, I really want to be around when the cria are born , there's a silver lining etc , good chance I may be here. On Friday we are shearing , we have never sheared with animals who are so close to giving birth , one year the only female due around shearing gave birth just before the shearers arrived.... so I am a little anxious , but the shearers are experienced so we are all in good hands.

Any news will be swiftly reported I promise