Saturday 23 July 2011

Making hay

The sun came out today and the decision was made to cut the hay, Steve's brother cut his fields then went straight on to cut our new rented field which is about 4 acres.  We are just hoping now that the weather will hold for the next few days so we can get it turned, baled and collected in.

Our spinning course which was last Thursday was a great success, Jean field brought lots of different fibres for us to try our hands at, mohair, soya (didn't like that) wensleydale. We had a good lunch plenty of tea and coffee and lots of chat.  I think we will be holding a Spinning group once a month during the winter.

I have been out of action for the past two days due to a visit to hospital for a investigation procedure but will be able to do something tomorrow, hoping to get spit offs done and then we are taking some Alpacas to Leusdons Church Animal Blessing which takes place on Leusdon Green and is followed by a cream tea.  In fact most things that happen around here seem to be followed by cream teas!

The postman arrived this morning with the North Devon Show information and numbers etc, this prompted me to actually skirt the fleeces and get them packed up ready to go to the show ground.  Unfortunately the class numbers didn't agree with what I had entered, as far as I can work out I seemed to have been entered into the halter classes although I only entered fleeces. So I don't know what numbers are for which fleeces and it would appear that I have entered a senior black class, which I haven't got a fleece for!  As usual in this situation there was nobody on the end of the phone to talk to so not sure what to do now.

Tuesday 19 July 2011

Why have I never got a camera!

Yesterday we finally got around to doing our spit offs, we should have done them on Friday but it had been so busy over the weekend and next door had a wedding with lots of guests around so orgling Stud Males may not have been appropriate.  We had seven females to test and at the moment 6 out of the 7 spat off just leaving Midnight again not pregnant.  Not sure what to do with her now we tried mating her at the end of last year, she spat off one week then sat so mated again, same thing happened.  so left her to this spring and she is still sitting one week, spitting off for one or two weeks then sitting again.  Her grandmother was much the same but once she actually got pregnant she has been very reliable since.

We had a llama walk today which should have been yesterday but the weather was so bad we postponed it,  the rain stayed away for most of the time.  We had a lovely walk, took Polo, Blackjack, Logan, Merlin and Murphy, four customers, Steve and myself, lunch was served sitting on top of Yar tor, stunning view and the sun was shining.  Not a bad days work!
Anyway when we got back to the Alpaca field we check on the girls and cria, little Lalique was sat down next to her mum and next to her was her half brother Salvador who is huge at only just over two months. He was nuzzling her and licking her face, something I have never seen before, they sat there for quite awhile before Salvador decided it was time to continue to terrorise the rest of the herd closely followed by Carmel who has now taken on the role as his wing man.
We had a quick look at Lalique's fleece because when she was born her fleece was so shiny but seemed to be very straight and not a lot of it which is very unusual for Marietta's cria and we were wondering if this had something to do with her illness but today on further examination it is much better.  Not that you can tell to much at this age. This is the first female from Marietta her previous three boys have all won prizes when we have shown them, so we have high hopes for Lalique.

Sunday 17 July 2011

Final cria of the year arrives!

I haven't updated the blog for several weeks as there really hasn't been anything happening except for the routine things and several things which I really couldn't  or didn't want to write about just yet!
Marietta & Lalique
We have been waiting and worrying about Marietta's cria since she was so ill earlier in the year.  She has made a full recovery but we still worried about the cria, over the last few weeks Marietta seemed to get bigger by the day and we could see the cria moving about.  Anyway when I arrived in the field this morning there was a lovely Dark Brown Female sat in the field still wet so she hadn't been there to long.  Marietta had obviously read the text book, gives birth in the morning, up on their legs in 30 mins, suckling within the hour.  We have called her Lalique, her sire is Blacklands Picasso and she is a gorgeous chestnut brown colour.  So that makes six out seven cria are female this year, not bad!
Caramel, Amber and Caliban ambushing Summer
Our neighbours had a wedding on their property this weekend and we had some of their guests staying in our cottages, so little Lalique had loads of visitors this morning as the news spread around about her arrival.
Choc Ice

We have also had two lots of visitors over the weekend both interested in owning Alpacas, todays visitors arrive a couple of hours after Lalique arrived, great timing I would say.
Caramel & Tigerlily

We are well into our breedings this year, we were hoping to do spit offs but cria and visitors and an afternoon BBQ seem to have delayed that so we will now do them tomorrow after we have been on a llama walk. At the moment we have three spitting off, Bramble, Lily and Mica,and four which were bred last week Carla, Phoebe, Cassini and Midnight, we are holding on to Ella until Marietta is ready to bred and then I am hoping they are going to visit a rather special Black male who resides in Dorset. That leaves little Summer who is still quite small and I am thinking we should leave her until next year.
Salvador with his harem 
All this means that our first Cria will arrive late May early June next year. Can't wait !