Monday 1 February 2010

Lots of things have been happening!

Sorry for the delay in updating, my only excuse is that there was a strange thing in the sky for a few days last week which I think they call the sun. Anyway this strange situation enabled us to get loads of outstanding jobs done. Starting with the tale of the mobile field shelter that didn't arrive when expected, it finally turned up two days late and is fantastic, very well built by a couple of Polish guys who couldn't have been any more efficient and polite. They had to stay over night in one of the cottages as they didn't arrive on site until 2pm and were still working when it got dark.

We then spent the following weekend looking for a replacement car for me, another Citroen Picasso as the old one had been so reliable and is so versatile, ours gets used as a van most of the time, I have even had a sofa in the back and still managed to get the boot shut, great for kids who move house frequently!

I even got some of the veg plot dug over and loads of Alpaca poo dug in ready for warmer weather, I still have lots of leeks and parsnips in the ground.

Towards the end of last week I had the opportunity to witness a Btb test on some Alpacas, this was a voluntary test before they go to the futurity show. I must admit it was a bit traumatic, there was a Defra vet present as well as the vet doing the test. the injections needed to go into the skin in the shoulder joint which involved getting the animals on the ground, injection on both sides and measurements taken. I understand this is because the skin is thinner there and this is where Defra want it done. Anyway both Vets returned today to check this time managing to check most of them without getting them down. They are all clear, which must be a great relief for the owner.

The whole thing did make me think though, surely if Defra want us to do voluntary tests on our herds it needs to be made to be as quick and efficient as possible, there was four of us to do this test, three to get the animals down and do the test and one to do the writing, getting animals onto the ground to do the test seems to be an un-necessary stress on the animals especially if it is pregnant females. Surely a small shaved area of skin could be used in a position which allowed the animal to stand would make the whole process less stressful and more efficient. The other thing is the cost of each test is this going to put people of showing if you need a test for each show? I am not sure I would want to put my animals or myself through this several times a show season. I am sure I am not the only one with these thoughts, I really enjoy showing and meeting everyone while there, it is not something I would give up lightly.

We have put a lovely new Alpaca coat on one of our older females who feels the cold as the weather has returned to cold and frosty, Georgina the llama also has got her foal coat back on and has retired to the field shelter with several bags of hay while it is so cold.

Anyway on a different note I got the new car today all bright and shiny and smelling new, I am sure it won't stay like that for long but I will enjoy it for a few days anyway. Steve will have use of it tomorrow as I have a llama walk booked so will be out on Dartmoor with some of our llamas, hopefully it won't rain to much.


  1. No you aare not the only one with those thoughts regarding TB testing / showing. It is a very worrying time and some other form of testing is definitely required.

  2. Thanks Debbie, I was sure it wasn't just me. I am certain that the way they do the test could be changed but the powers that be will probably not budge.

  3. Sounds quite traumatic. Sadly these requirements may force breeders to just show fleeces...and not animals, which is a shame....hope you had a nice trek on the moors......Jayne