Monday 1 August 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy

It has been a very hectic time here over the past week or two.  The weather finally settled and we had an opportunity to cut and bale our hay, this is the first time we have cut our own hay we usually buy hay from Steve's brother which means transporting it everytime we need a bale, not ideal.  So this year we rented a 7 acre field which we divided in two, grazed one part leaving about 4 acres to cut.  The grass was cut a week last Sunday and we baled it on Friday, all 409 bales were in the barn by Saturday teatime and then it was straight onto getting Roger's hay in.  The problem was it was Totnes show yesterday (Sunday) so I had to take all the stand and stock down to Totnes on Saturday evening to set up whilst Steve was hauling bales around.  Mike and Liz from Lakeham Alpacas share a stand with us at some of the local shows so they were there to help set everything up.
I was up very early on Sunday morning to get down to the show field to finish setting up the stall, it was a lovely day, not very sunny but warm.  There was lots of people around and we were in a very good position opposite the food tent, so we had a good crowd all day.  We had our normal stock for sale, our own fleeces, yarns and knitwear, UK Alpaca socks and yarns, Teresa from Batsbrook Alpacas also had some very classy looking spectacle cases made from felted Alpaca fleece.  This year we also had a display of fleece to yarn, showing the process that our fleeces go through to make our knitwear, this proved very popular.  Liz was doing some knitting and I took along a spinning wheel, although I am not very good yet I was able to demonstrate how it is done.

Today it was raining so after feeding up we got back home and did some much needed office work, after lunch it was drier so we had a husbandry session.  The girls and cria were all weighed, some cream administered where needed, all our blacks seem to have a bald patch on their nose, not sure why it is only them, but their fleece has started to come back through now. We did some spit offs, Bramble who had spat off three times previously was looking longingly over the gate at Caliban, which I thought was rather strange so we put her into the holding pen to test her again, she sat immediately which is a bit disappointing.  Carla who had previously spat off a couple of times also sat so 4 out of six are still holding.  Marietta's cria is now two weeks old so we will be planning a trip to Dorset with her and Ella next week, Ella has been desperately sitting next to the breeding pen waiting to be mated for weeks but we have been waiting for Marietta so we can take them both at the same time.
Finally we moved the Llama team back to the hay field, they had been moved out while the tractors were going in and out as they are so nosey they would have been in the way if we had left them in there.  I love watching them when they go into a new field they look so elegant when they are pronking around the field.  The two youngsters, Murphy and Merlin get so excited they charge around the field like race horses then slow down into a pronk.

I just wish I had the camera with me again!



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  2. Hi, My black alpaca has a bald patch on her nose too - I put it down to her pushing it into the hay manger. I'm now wondering if it's just black alpacas.

    It sounds like you got a good hay crop, I have a little under a hectare and got around 260 small square bales off that back in May. I was one of the luck ones here in France as I got a hay crop, many didn't and because of the drought I'm already having to feed them on it. It feels good to have a barn full of hay doesn't it, and the smell is divine:-) Dx

  3. One of our boys, a black fella called 'Wee Eck' also has a bald spot or two on top of his nose. They are not very big but we put a bit of Neem cream on them now and then, just in case it was mite damage.
    We've got 48 square bales of hay in - that should keep the guys happy for a while! Take care. Shirley & Robbie

  4. I have used a baby cream with a few drops of Ivomec Classic in it, this seems to work when we have had a mite problem and the fleece normally comes back. Our blacks seem to be bothered by flies more than the other colours and they are rubbing their noses on the ground to remove them more often.
    We were really pleased with the hay crop as it is a unimproved permanent pasture and about 1000ft up on Dartmoor.