Friday, 13 April 2012

The Cat Walk

Today I have spent a lot of time thinking about the World Alpaca Conference and the Fashion Show in particularly.  We donated some yarn to support the fashion show and by now that yarn will be part of a garment parading the fashion show for all to see - not me, unfortunately!  Due to lambing we have not been able to go so I am hoping there will be pictures of the garments somewhere or I will have completely missed out!

Anyway, lambing is going well with lots of lambs jumping about and few problems other than Two Toni who loves her little boy lamb but has rejected her girl lamb and only lets it drink if the other is drinking as well!  This is the one she does not like!

And all the Blackies like Sam's play table he made for them!
Now, of course, all of that was written yesterday and at 5pm we popped back to the field to check on Grace (the Southdown) as she looked a little restless - she still was so the blog didn't get published as we stayed over there until 10pm when a bit of foot and a nose had appeared.  On checking the other foot was in place and everything did seem fine, if a little cramped.  Sam and Carl went home as they needed to be up early for work and I stayed thinking it shouldn't be too long and I had the trusty Mule to sit in, a flask, a head torch and a wind up lantern.  Sadly, running the Mule with the lights on didn't work to well as Grace just ran away so I tried checking with the head torch, which kept shining either in the sky or on my feet, and the lantern which required manic winding as I struggled around with my container of lube, blue spray and oral antibiotics - pitch black, no moon, middle of nowhere.  It did not go at all like lambing live - Grace would not stay still for more than a minute while I felt around.  She was up with a lurch and bowling down hill despite a monstrous back end and no progress by 1 in the morning.  I would like to see Kate charging across a field in the dark bearing Lube in one hand and frantically winding the lantern.  Then holding onto a midget but mighty Southdown whilst examining her back end in a gentle manner as recommended.  It was probably my worst animal night yet as I was so frustrated and I knew she was suffering. I ended up leaving the lights on the Mule without running the engine and the inevitable happened.  At  5 in the morning the front of the head was out, there was a heavy frost and the lambs tongue was stuck out and about 10 times normal size.  Part of one foot was out but there was not a millimetre of space to get anything inside.  I knew it was dead and I knew it had to come out urgently but no way could I do it on my own without ropes.  I phoned Sam and got him to race over before work - we both checked, dead and no hope of getting a finger in.  Sam improvised lambing ropes from bailer twine and we heaved one leg out which released enough to get the head.  The ropes had to then go on the other leg and he pulled (remember we knew the lamb had to be dead after all that time and we had to save Grace even if it meant breaking the lamb's legs).  Out it came on the ground and we were just turning our attention to poor Grace when Sam said, "He twitched!".  Vigorous rubbing, clearing mouth and nose, swinging him round, grass up the nose and a dose of Kick Start - he kind of coughed!  We laid him downhill to drain and rubbed some more and I ran for spray, antibiotics (ditched in the Mule by now) and colostrum.  Incredibly he was - and still is - alive.  Grace and he are in a pen together - Grace is just standing and facing the wall ignoring him - we will have to see on that one.  He is the strangest looking thing - I call him Shovel Head as that is what he resembles - and the size!  Enormous!  If he survives I will show a picture!


  1. I've been wondering how lambing was going. I hope Shovel Head pulls though and his mum decides he was worth the pain.

    Imagining Kate there probably helped get you through it - it made me smilethinking about it!

  2. Rosemary....I meet you just the once...In my finery, in the middle of your field...HaHa! Remember....I'm 6ft 3in. and weigh 16stone...
    AND....I've just cried my bloody eyes out...!
    Wonderful...Wonderful...."Sadness and Gladness in the Hour of Triumph".
    God Bless You All.....!x

  3. Thank goodness for a happy ending!

  4. Well done Rosemary! Hope the lamb pulls through and that his mum decides that she does love him after all! The things we do..."in the line of duty"!!

  5. Sorry Rosemary in my haste I took the wrong lense for taking fashion shots but there is a DVD available from BAS I believe.

  6. Well done Rosemary. That seemed to be some ordeal!!