Sunday 20 December 2009

Icy dartmoor

Finally I have time to sit down and write something on this blog, the main reason for not being able to update this being that the rain had stopped and I was able to catch up with all the jobs I had put off during November.

We managed to get the whole herd injected with Lambivac and they all had a ADE injection, which we will repeat again in 6 weeks. I managed to do the llamas and the male alpacas on my own which is a great achievement for me and just proves that constant, consistent handling pays off. I use a small catch pen and halter each animal in turn, tethered them to the post and they all stood still, a little concentrate as a treat and then released back into the field. Feeling pleased with myself we set off for Widecombe to give the females the same treatment. Jazz & Georgina the two llamas were as good as gold and I didn't need to halter them but the alpaca females were a little more stroppy, must have something to do with being pregnant. We have a system, Steve holds them and I do the injections, they are not bad and the younger girls who are halter trained are much better then the older girls.

We have been very busy over the last few weeks with Christmas bazaars, farmers markets and local coffee mornings, selling our yarns, fleeces and UK alpaca socks as well as gift vouchers for our Llama walks. Now these have finished I can get ready for Christmas and guess what everyone is having for pressies? I have a few Alpaca socks left so I am sure that they won't be disappointed.

It is really cold here and our yard was like a sheet of ice this morning, it took us till about 11am to get the car out, luckily the females in Widecombe could be fed up by Mike and Anthea who's land they are on. The Llamas, weanlings and chickens were not quite as lucky as they had to wait until we could get there to feed them, not that they were to bothered they had a good helping of hay last night and the sun was shining and they were all looking fluffy and gorgeous.
We also had to get the holiday cottages ready for the new arrivals this evening, we always leave them a Devonshire cream tea and some eggs as a welcome gift so I needed to get that over there as well. I had put the heating on yesterday so they were lovely and warm for them.

All this and we had to be in Princetown for 1pm for a family lunch. Usually the gritter lorry would have been out and spread salt on the main Princetown - Ashburton road but for some reason today they hadn't, so the journey was a little bit tricky in places. We did pass the gritter lorry on the way but the road was very slippy in places. We all arrived safely and the grandchildren really enjoyed throwing snowballs at us before lunch. We all had a lovely lunch and it was great to catch up with everyone.

I think this cold weather is going to continue for the rest of the week so we may be on for a white Christmas.

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