A sad day today - poor little Greeves
It's okay, he has not expired, today we made the difficult decision to wean him from Lina. He is not gaining weight, in fact he has lost another 250g this week. He is now only 14.25kg and skin and bones. He is also, believe it or not, just over 6 months old - he certainly does not look it. Lina is a challenging mother and, although she doesn't mind me being there, she objects violently to anyone else touching her baby. I can't get him to eat any hard feed, she sneaks in to take anything I try to give him. If I take him away from her she creates a fuss and he gives up any thought of eating. If he is getting milk from her it is very little and not doing him a lot of good now so we decided to take him and the other two female cria, Sunbeam and Velocette, away this morning.
We took them all down to the barn and settled them with some hay and then let the Mums and older, weaned cria out while keeping the three young ones back. The Mums were so excited to go to a new paddock they totally forgot their babies and happily rushed off. This evening, only Carolyn seems to realise anything is missing and she just gives the occasional glance round the paddock as if she is thinking, "I'm sure I've forgotten something!" Lina appears to have completely forgotten Greeves ever existed.
The three weaners then went up to join Bert's group. Velocette settled straight away and gobbled up her Camelibra tonight. Sunbeam has intermittent moaning episodes but Greeves looked totally shell shocked. He tucked into his hay but then just stood and stared through the hedge at Dude. He is crying a bit and just looks so tiny and lost!
With all this I forgot pictures of Dylan , Cassie and Zara but they are all fine. Dylan is the sweetest little thing. We checked him over this afternoon and he is very well behaved and gentle, holding up his head for a kiss - even Carl got a bit sloppy over him! When I was doing the water this morning Zara suddenly set up an alarm call and everyone rushed up the hill to see what was going on in their paddock - a fox had just walked down the road past the field gate - I wouldn't have spotted it if it wasn't for Zara. It soon disappeared with the racket she was making. He couldn't get in the paddocks for all the fencing and barbed wire but we will need to keep an eye open, it is the first I have seen around us for over a year now. We'd moved the perimeter electric fence from that side but I think it may have to go back.
Cassie is a definite matriarch and she grumbles! I was a little slow getting her food out of the Mule this evening and she grumbled! I could imagine her rolling her eyes and saying, "It is not good enough. Really, things have to change now I am here!"
We tried again with the different injection technique today and it did work. We only had Dude and Dobby to do so it wasn't a really good trial but we will use it for everyone next time and that will be the real test. Anyone who is interested can go to www.marylandalpacafarm.com/.../Subcutaneous%20Injections.pdf to find out what it is all about.Yesterday we made two mistakes. Firstly, we didn't take enough off the needle cover so the hole wasn't completely under the skin and it leaked out. Secondly, we didn't file the end of the needle cover so it wasn't level and didn't sit comfortably on the skin. With the two today it was quicker, went in easily, didn't seem at all stressful but I will wait until I have tried it with a large group before I say I prefer it!
A better penning solution! - After a long "family illness" and a subsequent reduction of our herd, I am back to report a more recent enhancement to Easter-Wood. One of the problems we ...
3 weeks ago