Monday 28 June 2010

Now that was a bit of a surprise or two

Over a week since my last blog, the hot sunny weather is still with us and this has brought out the tourists and the campers although Steve did see a little more of one camper than he really wanted.  He was driving to the fields ahead of me one morning when he caught site of a naked man diving back into his tent which for some unknown reason he had decided to pitch right next to the road, obviously been out for his morning constitutional, good job he wasn't a couple of seconds earlier he would have got a proper eye full.

With the tourists we get the usual mix of idiots that can't reverse, the ones that stop without warning to photograph a sheep but the best are the ones who seek you out to tell you that there is a cow in the road and are amazed when you tell them that they are supposed to be out loose as they are grazing on common land.  The worst kind are the ones who let their dogs off the lead, let them chase after our llamas whilst we are out on a walk and then when you ask if they can put it on the lead they tell you "it is OK their dog wouldn't chase anything".  Not sure who's fault it would be if one of the llamas kicked their dog?

Tuesday morning we got another surprise when Steve was feeding the females he discovered that Jazz had produced a cria.  Jazz one of our llamas was breed last year but had a negative scan, we introduced her to ur male earlier this year and we had a very obvious rejection, not much difference from when she was put to the male last year so we thought that she just wasn't going to breed.  A couple of weeks ago we noticed that she had a bit of an udder but still weren't sure as she didn't look any different size wise.  Any way a lovely male cria but very weak and flat and a very over protective mum, we couldn't get near without being cover with spit and she meant it.  In the end I managed to get a halter on her and Steve lead her up to the field shelter whilst I carried the baby.  
Once in we penned Jazz and I was able to milk off some colostrum which we fed to the little one, I did this a couple of times and also gave him a little glucose.  By late afternoon he was up and suckling but very wobbly so we left them in the shelter as it was very hot and they had some shade in there.  He was much stronger by the next morning so they both went back to join the herd, Jazz much calmer and cria the object of much attention from the alpacas and their cria.  He has gone from strength to strength and is now playing with the three alpaca cria although he is already much bigger than them all, he looks like a little deer when he runs around as he is brown and grey on top with his underside being white with black spots.  It has been hard thinking of a name for him, father warrior, mother jazz, grandfather Zulu - we came up with Michael  as Michael Caine was in Zulu ! Duke after Duke Ellington!, Shaka after  a Zulu king............ and then settled on Murphy!

Friday we did some spit offs with Nugget and Caliban before returning them to Lakeham Alpacas for a few weeks.  Mike and Liz had a cria from Nugget born that morning so we had a good look at her, lovely, same colour as our Nugget male cria born last weekend.  All our females are now spitting off except for Midnight and Marietta who will be mated when boys return.

We have had some lovely walks with the llamas over the last week the weather has been great lovely and warm with just enough breeze to make for comfortable walking, lovely picnics and great company, I have to remind myself that this is work!

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