Sunday, 18 December 2011

Festive Field (?) Shelters

I had better start by explaining my alpaca tragedy of last week - thank you all for your kind comments and emails.  I went over to the fields first thing and as I climbed over the gate I could see a small white bundle in one of the field shelters.  I knew it was not going to be good.  I ran down as fast as I could and was just in time to catch Axle breathing his last breath.  Bianca was with him - but only because there was hay there I think.  It was very upsetting as he had been lively the day before and, although he was small and thin, he appeared quite happy.  It was then a trip to the vets for the post mortem.  The vet phoned back later that day to say his heart, lungs and everything else where very healthy.  His stomach contents were all as they should be so he was eating well.  She was running some more tests with the VLA as there was a suspicion of one of the clostridial diseases being present - but not one covered by lambivac.   We are waiting the results on that so will keep you posted.  Despite him being wormed a month a go she also found a small quantity of what she called a particularly nasty stomach worm - one not seen often and which could kill very quickly.  I have forgotten its name so will have to wait for the report for that.  Very sad but have to put it behind us now and just learn from it.  One thing we have done is worm the whole herd again today even though they were done a month ago.  The wet, mild conditions are not good for this time of year.

The worming experience nearly turned into a complete disaster this afternoon - I hope all is well now but I am still a little on edge!  Half the girls, including Trouble the bottle fed, were down by the barn ready.  Now they love it in the barn - but, due to the amount of hay in there, calling it a barn experience is a bit over the top as there is only about 6 foot square of floor space.  Anyway  - it is dryish and they love to roll on the floor when all the fields are wet and their rolling pits are soaked.  I was standing at the side filling the needles ready with some vitamin D while Carl sorted out the wormer and, as usual, Trouble was fussing next to me.  Sherbert dashed in for a massive roll and kicked me in the process.  That was not the disaster, however, Trouble also got caught by a flying foot.  She was a bit fussy all the time we did injections but seemed okay.  We put them back and I got everything ready for the creation of a festive field shelter.  Half way through Trouble came into the shelter  crying and started rolling on her side, kicking her legs around and crying.  I sat down on the floor to look at her and she sat next to me but on her side, still crying.  This continued for quite a while with her walking and then suddenly dropping to the ground and lying on her side.  She seems okay now but I wonder whether she was kicked in the ribs or stomach and has a pain.  It seems sensitive on one side but nowhere near the injection site.  This did slightly take the shine off the Festive Field Shelter and it all ended up as a mere shadow of what was planned! 
Now I am sorry that I appear in it - not as planned - but this is just after Trouble had been sitting sideways with me crying.  And in this one I have just shed  tear as I thought I was suddenly going to lose Trouble!!
This is supposed to be a Festive blog, which means it should not be a catalogue of disaster!  So I am very grateful to Mr and Mrs Mustafbinat Theslowjin for sending me this delightful late entry - the fact that it is not in a field and is only big enough for a domestic cat is totally immaterial!  First class entry showing creativity, artistic use of clippings, enviable bunch of mistletoe and highly trained cat!


  1. It is understandably that you are on edge Rosemaryas it must have been even more upsetting when unexpected...I hope Bianca has moved on...sounds like food is her answer!

    We have heard some reports of Barbers Pole worm causing fatalities over the last year. It is not covered by the ivomectins I believe, and is a nasty begger.

    Good on you getting the shelter decorated after all that is happening. I must get in the spirit this week.

  2. Rosemary, thinking about you and sooo hoping that Trouble is ok. The news about Axle was very sad to hear. Don't know how you managed to do your festive shelter but we'll do our later in the week...once it stops raining!

  3. Good on you...doing a festive field shelter, after all that going on....I do hope that Trouble and the others lift your spirits over the coming festivities !......Jayne