Monday 28 May 2012

Just what we ordered

To say we have been busy would be a understatement, we had 3 days at Devon County show which was very enjoyable and successful.  We took 6 animals and came away with a 1st, 2nd and 2 x4th which we were really pleased with.
Since then the weather has been great and if I dare say it slightly too warm especially for working, but we had work to do as well as topping the fields as the grass is growing a pace.  Our holiday cottages have been a bit hectic with several short breaks which are always a bit harder with all the washing etc but at least it was easy to get it dry.
We have been on Cria watch for several weeks now with three females in their birthing window, Lily was due first.  Loopy Lily as she is affectionately called, is dark brown with some grey patches now showing through as she gets older, she has been mated to Humming Rolex who is a Rose Grey.  Steve has been saying for months that she is going to have a rose grey female, so it was becoming a bit of a joke every time he came back from the field.  So last Wednesday I was doing a change over in the cottages before going to work, I checked Lily before I left and she was grazing near the top fence, fine I thought I was only going to be a couple of hours so I could check her again then.  I drove off to my job which was five minutes down the road, I had just parked the car when the customer came out and said "Steve said its a rose grey female" I laughed then it dawn on me that they didn't know the in joke!  Steve had gone back to the field just after I left and saw a huddle of females so when to investigate and found Lily had dropped her cria and yes it was a rose grey female, just as he had ordered.

So while I had to carry on working Steve spent the next couple of hours sitting in the sun watching Lily and her cria doing everything just as the text book says.  When I got back cria was up and just about to find the milk bar, I asked Steve why he decided to sit and watch as we usually give them some space, turns out I had driven off with his car keys so he couldn't have gone to work anyway!
Once we had seen the cria suck we went off and did another job, the weather was very hot, too hot for strimming long grass but it had to be done.  We got back to the field and the cria was flat out, I hate it when they do that! this time though it was flat, Steve lifted her up and she was all floppy, alive but very weak.  So we carried her into the field shelter with Lily in hot pursuit, firstly I thought she may be dehydrated so gave her some boiled water then I check Lily had milk, she had a very full udder so with a little bit of a struggle I managed to take some milk off and feed her that. I checked her temperature that was fine so we decided to leave them in the shelter and go home for a while and watch on the camera.
This is a bit long winded but after a while the cria sat up and was trying to get up, we went back to check her properly before it got dark, she was very weak still so I rubbed some honey on her gums, fed her some more milk and left them for the night, dreading what I would find in the morning.
Really didn't want to look at the camera first thing but I still got up about 6am to see cria sat upright with Lily next to her, so I made a cup of tea, took the computer back up to bed and watched for a while before the cria got up and had a good feed from Mum.
When we got to the field both Mum and babe were stood at the gate waiting to get out,  They ran off down the field to the others, the cria had not quite got control of her legs bounded after mum and did a great impression of Bambi when she tried to stop at fence.
To cut a long story short, she has gone from strength to strength and is now terrorising all the other females by barging and jumping on them, she really needs a playmate. She now has a name Hummingbird after her sire.

Sunday 6 May 2012

Waiting game

This past week has flown by, where has the year gone.  we are now waiting for our first cria of the year to arrive, that is expected cria after last weeks sad event!
We have three females just coming into their birthing window, Loopy Lily is first, she is mated to our grey Male Humming Rolex, she is dark brown with grey bits so who knows what to expect.  Then Mica is close behind, she is a maiden so we will keep a close eye on her.  Cassini is the last of this batch she has been bred to Inca Picasso, now last year she has Choc Ice who is a fancy sired by Golden Nugget (fawn) so it will be interesting to see what pops out this time.
Choc Ice looking like a hay stack

The next batch are due later in the summer hopefully giving us a couple of months to watch the first group grow up a bit before the new ones arrive.
All the pregnant females are now in the paddocks covered by the camera so we can keep a watch over them.
Our old female Carla caused some concern this morning, whilst feeding I notice she was walking slightly exaggerating her step, it wasn't much but this is something we noticed last year with Marietta when she was so ill, turned out to be Selenium deficiency.  So she had a drench of Selenium & Colbalt straight away, the rest will have some once I have been to Mole Valley to restock.

Our Holiday Cottages are full now and we only have one full week left until the end of August now, there are a few odd days when we have no one in one or the other but not much, even taken a booking for next year already.  So I need to get back into the routine of change overs, washing, ironing, making scones etc.  It can be hard work especially if the weather is bad and I have to dry washing inside, our pitch can look like a chinese laundry sometimes, but we do meet some lovely people and it is nice when they come back year after year.  Last weeks guests we met for the first time when we went to collect the llamas one day last summer, they were sat in the sunshine just by the field gate which is on the open moor.  So they were a bit surprised to see us turn up with the trailer and get 4 Llamas and an Alpaca out of the field.  Any way we got talking and discovered they were on holiday but would love to actually stay on Dartmoor. Can't miss an opportunity like that so we told them about our cottages and a few weeks later they booked their next weeks holiday and they say they will be back next year.  So if you fancy a holiday on Dartmoor have a look at our site
Holiday Cottages

We are off to North Somerset show tomorrow just for a look around as I missed the closing date for entries.  So we will check out the Alpacas and the Llamas and catch up with a few friends and may be have time to look at the rest of the show as well for a change.