Nearly the end of August already and we are still waiting for summer, it is Widecombe fair in two weeks and then it will be Christmas.
Demeters Cria is doing well although I have been studying Demeters udder very closely and it looks as if the cria is only suckling from one side and the others is becoming very swollen if any one has any ideas I would love to hear from them. It is difficult for me to get her in at the moment and she isn't the easiest animal to handle. Steve although he is able to walk about more now is not able to man handle alpacas for a while. I think I will have to get her into a small pen and see if I can feel her udder to see if it is warm to touch.
Going back to Steve and his hip, he would like to thank everyone for the cards and messages her has received and just to let everyone know he is feeling much better but cant wait to get back to driving etc.
The field by the cottages has now turned a lovely brown colour and is now ready to be rotovated, Steve finds this frustrating as he would rather be doing this himself instead of relying on friends, hopefully we will be able to seed it very soon.
Holiday cottages are full this week so we had to do the change overs this morning, Steve managed to clean all the windows which was a great help, he usually cuts the grass and does the strimming while I do the beds and the cleaning. As he is out of action I get to do this as well but I was allowed to use the compact tractor (what a treat).
Final cria arrives
Demeter's cria arrived today and amazingly it was a text book delivery, I was really surprise as last night it looked like the cria was running a marathon inside Demeter's belly. I went to feed up this morning and everything looked normal it was raining and pretty miserable really anyway Demeter must have hear the weather was going to improve later in the day. When I checked her at about 10.30 she looked uncomfortable, but nothing out of the ordinary, then she looked as if she was going on the dung patch but after a few short pushes a little white nose appeared. Because her last few cria had to be helped out I was concerned that the legs had not appear, but a few minutes later two feet arrived, then it was just a matter of waiting for the final pushes to get the cria out completely. As usual the cria was in a cush position within a few minutes. Again Demeter has produce a huge male cria her speciality, very strong and straight, running around like a race horse within a couple of hours. this is our final cria to arrive this year and we are very pleased with the results of our breeding decisions and as usual we can't wait for next years cria to arrive.
After the excitement of the morning I went out on a llama walk this afternoon with a family on holiday, but also interested in having Alpacas. So after our walk we went back to admire the new arrival and to talk all things Alpaca. Very nice way to spend an afternoon.
A couple of pictures of Demeters Cria(top) and Mariettas Cria - Atlas
Having spent most of the afternoon trying to get the holiday cottage website to update with the help of the hosting people I think I have finally managed to get it right. It is really clever how they can get on to you computer remotely and change things while you just watch. Anyway the upshot is that I can now have a proper blog on that site which I can put a link on from this site. (sounds good doesn't it) So from the beginning of September I will change over. Hopefully you won't notice much difference.
Back to Alpacas and Llamas, Demeter still looking very large and uncomfortable. This morning I was just leaning on the gate watching her when the cria started moving I am now convinced that it is not in the right position. There was a large lump moving on one side at the same time as couple of smaller lumps were moving across the other side. Richard our vet is already expecting to come out to help.
I have put the two female llamas Jazz & Georgina in the same paddock as the stud male Warrior mainly because he seemed to be very unsettled when I took the llamas out for walks and then was becoming aggressive when they returned, he managed to grab Toledo's ear yesterday drawing blood. So the girls and Warrior are in the big paddock and the other boys are up the top out of his way. Neither of the girls seemed very interested in Warrior so may be they are pregnant, we will see when Colin comes to do the scanning later in the month.
Not doing very well with the diary again. I have a very good excuse. Steve has been into hospital and had his hip resurfaced, sounds painful I know. So since last Thursday I have been going to and from the hospital in Plymouth as well as working and looking after the animals etc, tough live. Anyway his is now home and getting around fine on his crutches. Each day he is getting better movement in the leg so it won't be long until he will be bored of sitting watching day time TV. Getting into the car is a sight worth seeing though.
The boy llamas seem to have settled down since losing Marco last week, Richard are vet seemed to think that they would not be affected by his death but Polo seemed to sit in the field just where Marco died for several days. When we went out for a walk they were behaving very strange, not wanting to walk and they kept stopping for no apparent reason. I may be reading to much into it but who knows!
I move the boys out of that field today so we will see if they are any better.
Demeter our last pregnant alpaca is looking very heavy, she is only just 10.5 months but she has had early births for the last couple of years. As you can see from the picture she is sticking out in all directions.
We had a very bad day yesterday, I went to the fields very early and discovered Marco collapsed in the field obviously very poorly. I immediately rang Richard our vet who arrived very quickly and agreed that it didn't look good. When Steve checked the animals the previous evening Marco had been fine as Steve had been feeding him treats over the gate. Richard said that something major had happened to Marco overnight and there was nothing he could do for him, so it was decided to put him to sleep. This was devastating for us as we had already lost Marco's sister Dolly earlier this year. The results of the postmortem were that he had suffered internal bleeding from his spleen, this we can only assume was the result of some fighting going on. I had a llama walk booked for the afternoon which I really could not face doing and managed to rearrange for a later date. Polo, Marco's half brother seems to be really upset by the whole thing and is very nervous and jumpy at the moment, whether this is because of losing Marco who knows!
Richard found some evidence of Liver fluke when he did the postmortem although not enough to have been the cause of death, so tonight we have given all the llamas a drench of Fasinex. We have not got wet ground so had not routinely treated our herd for fluke, something we will now have to do. There was a report on the radio today which said that about 80% of cattle could be infected with fluke so it is a big problem.
Marco was fully trained to take a pack and was great to take out on a trek, we will miss him very much.
Just to finish the day off the clutch went on my car as well, now we have to decide if it is worth repairing or do we scrap it.
6th August Honiton Show
We had a very successful day at Honiton show today, Midnight took 2nd place in the junior black female class and Calypso got 5th in the intermediate fawn males class. The weather was suppose to be dry, but as usual they got that wrong. we had heavy rain late morning and this added to the muddy conditions underfoot. I must say that the access on and off of the show field was great, no problems there. Yet again there was great interest in the animals from people looking at starting in alpacas, so we will look forward to showing any of these people around if they contact us in the future.
The sun came out today, I am sure it did, I even managed to get all the lawns cut which is a relief as I have been trying to cut them for over a week. The mighty met office has forecast a few days of dry sunny weather. This means the air is full of the sounds of tractors busily cutting hay, this will be followed by days of turning and baling, it is so peaceful in the country side. This evening we will get the animals that are going to the Honiton show ready, load the landrover ready for a early start in the morning. I hope that the show field has dried out and we will be able to drive in rather than be towed in by tractors like Totnes last week. Mine you there may not be any tractors if they are all cutting grass.
Just a quick update, both of the female llamas have now eventually sat for Warrior our Stud male. We will just have to wait and see if they spit off later this week.
The weather has been absolutely awful and I feel really sorry for all the holiday makers who are having to entertain children in this.
We are getting ready to go to Honiton show later this week so hopefully the weather forecast has got it right and the sun will come out tomorrow.
May, June, July
April & May 08
Aug & Sept 08
Nov, Dec 08 & Jan 09