Wednesday 30 November 2011

Getting in the spirit

I woke up in a very happy mood today, for no apparent reason and despite the fact that I am no longer on the property ladder.  I decided to embrace the mud today (not literally) and revel in  its multi-faceted splendour!  I was not even dismayed when some of my Christmas decorations got splattered and fell off (I have festooned the Mule for the festive season - rather early I know).  I would like to recommend a blogger competition for the most festive field shelter but maybe that is not wise from a health and safety aspect (not sure whether I mentioned Carl's current preoccupation with Bonn Mots?  Apologies if you already know this but his current one, an old favourite, is 'Clean as you go' which is highly annoying but marginally better than 'Strive to Improve'!).
So here is my festive Mule - I shall wait a little before unveiling the festive field shelter (well, I haven't done it yet).  It did look a bit better at the start of the day.
The cats have now settled down and have started going outside.  They don't go out much, in fact they rather turn their noses up at outside at the moment - no where as much fun as the field.  They do like exploring the house though, particularly Little Wee who has a fascination with leads and the log pile!
Yes, the table is really a plant stand and it is in sore need of a polish.

Tuesday 29 November 2011

Bugatti Veyron Super Sports

Very windy today and the feed bucket blew out of my hand - full of feed of course - and careered down the hill, chased by Bianca (one way of getting her to run I suppose!).  The sheep were very naughty.  It is good to have them very friendly most of the time but when I am taking hay in and they are all pushing and shoving me it is not quite so pleasant - I ended up drenched and in the mud!  I was told that if you smile at sheep they like it so have been grinning inanely at them for a while now.  I am not sure if that has made them very friendly or it is just that they are so used to me but they do stare at me in a very quizzical fashion.

I took pity on Trouble this afternoon, the bottle fed, as it was so horrible in the fields.  I made her up a little bottle but she only really drank half of it.  I think she just likes a bit of a chat every now and again!

The worst thing of all at the moment is the mud - acres of it - and I have lots of toenails that need doing.  This is what I dream of at the moment not a Veyron, it would only get stuck in the mud, !!!
A barn with a concrete floor!

Monday 28 November 2011

Sorting by Size

This morning there was ice on the troughs - first time this year.  It was only thin ice but shows it is getting a bit colder.  Of course back at the rental house it was much milder and there wasn't the strong wind that I had on the hill.

Yesterday we did a bit of sorting out of alpacas and I have now split the girls into the skinny ones and the fatties.  The skinnies are on the best grass with extra rations and the fatties are sulking!  Bianca is particularly annoyed about having a little less food and having to walk up hill to get it - in fact her double chin  went into serious wobble and her gigantic thighs trembled as she shook the earth pounding her way up hill!

Dude is seriously happy as he is now at the top of the hill with girls in whichever direction he looks!
I caught myself this morning planning who to mate to next year - not even got these babies out yet!  Trouble is I am longing to try out Greeves - even if he does need a step ladder!

Thursday 24 November 2011

The daftest woman around - probably!

I cannot believe how stupid I am sometimes - all day searching for the raddle, wondering around with pen and paper writing down the ear tags of anyone Rammy looked keen on - only to have Sam tell me amongst howls of laughter, that Rammy never has had a raddle on this year - The Shepherd painted his chest in the manner of The Victorian Farm!  I could have sworn he had a raddle on - and I spend a lot of time looking at him - ah well!  I think his painted bit has worn off anyway as no one else is getting marked, even number 10 despite me seeing him get on her.

Having made that mammoth mistake I have been keeping a low profile today - spending a lot of time on the telephone and the computer!

Wednesday 23 November 2011

A bit of leg sucking

This morning I had to scrape the car!  First time this winter.  It turned out quite nice - a bit cold but no rain or mist.  I have had one catastrophe today - Rammy has lost his raddle and I can't find it.  They are not in a very big paddock and I walked all over it - but no raddle!  Now I have no idea who is still to be done - number 10 has been because I watched and it was all a bit of a non event - Number 10 ate throughout and took not a blind bit of notice, it was also pretty quick.  Last year an alpaca ear tag came out and I still haven't found part of it.  Someone said maybe the birds took it - must be a flippin great bird if it took the raddle as well!

Back to my current preoccupation with midgets - Axle is now just over 3and a half months old and he is still little - but also thin.  He is, however, very lively - here he is prior to running over and attempting to jump on Trouble.  Trouble is the first with Flem to the front - she has the abscess.
I don't know whether you can see it but he also has very runny eyes.  I am investigating a growth supplement I was told about to see if this might help him.
Trouble is now not having her bottle and she has gone back to sucking on Bert's leg.  This is what she did as a cria - Bert has never had any milk whatsoever but all her babies seem to suck on her front leg!

Tuesday 22 November 2011

The Midget?

Another murky, grey damp day today and all alpacas are looking like drowned rats!

I keep thinking Greeves is still tiny - Here is a rear end view - the only way Greeves would face today.
Here is his best friend, Harry - a perfectly normal size alpaca -

And here they are together.  Greeves is looking a much better size now I think and it is partly my imagination that makes him seem such  midget!

Sunday 20 November 2011

Counting Arnolds

Having travelled 1268 miles in the last 48 hours I am somewhat not with it and this is a quick blog.

Despite being tired we managed microchipping this morning, something Carl does as I do not like the size of the needle.  I also checked over all the babies and tackled Flem's abscess which is pussing up again so I obviously have not got it clear yet.

Grace, the Southdown, had a slight limp so Sam trimmed her feet and sprayed them - there was the beginning of foot rot but we have, I think, caught it quickly.

Now I have a busy day tomorrow as the livestock trailer has to be cleared out and cleaned (it is currently home to approximately 24 boxes of Christmas decorations) and I need to catch up on a bit of John Deereing around the electric fence - plus, of course, collect  little poo!

. . . and I know the blog title means nothing to anyone but me - But Arnold has to be a very wealthy man!

Thursday 17 November 2011

Tiger Feet

The girls are getting used to the new routines and as soon as they hear the Mule start up there is an expectant charge to the gate - whether it is feeding time or not.  I can always pick out Bert from miles away as she is the one with the red ear tag which looks rather like a fetching little bow!
I have decided that, this weather, long distance shots are probably for the best!  The chickens also quick off the mark when they sense feed might be around.
Tracks all muddy again so I am back into sideways sliding on the top corner - mind you, since I have had the new tyres it does not happen so often.  The worst of mud is that it gets everywhere and the more you try to scrape it off the more it just gets distributed elsewhere.

Wednesday 16 November 2011

Rammy has been busy

The weather has certainly turned colder - on the hill!  At the rental house it is pretty mild outside and subtropical in the house.  We tried out the woodburner the other day but had to then open all windows due to the heat.  On the hill it is back to coats, jumpers and, the only thing that keeps my feet warm, alpaca socks.  The flower lady is busy knitting more so I can get the shop going again (it disappeared in the move and I have decided to start again).

The Ram has been very busy and I have lots of red marks on various sheep from the Raddle.  For each sheep it is a faint, tasteful mark - except Stumpy who looks like she has been in a road accident!  Even looking at her from the front you can see a red bottom - here she is with Teddy at the front, Little Pugsly and George behind, then Stumpy with her lamb following and Number 32 the only black one in the picture.
Even Grace has had an assignation with the Ram.  He looks far too big for her but The Shepherd says it will be fine.

Tuesday 15 November 2011

Can't think of a decent blog title!

A bit colder today but nice and dry and sunny at times.  This was a relief as it was getting very difficult to get out of the field gate due to the mud. 

Having got over my sulk regarding dirty alpacas I tried again but this time for cria photos - they looked a little less muddy but still rather damp!  Here is Yossarian at the front with The Slink looking out of the shot and Striker behind.  The two Dudettes are milling around at the side.
We did debate taking the tips off the cria fleece this year but time ran away with us with the house move.  I think next year we might have an experimental go as they do seem to harbour so much vegetation in the first fleece.
Striker is looking more of a baby Dude every day!

Monday 14 November 2011

Alpacas in the mist

I got a wee bit fed up today and I'll show you why - filthy alpacas in the mist!
Camera card found I decided I wanted a nice shot of some of the mums - but look at them!  They are filthy and milling about aimlessly.  No one posed properly - Sherbert is yawning, Prue is showing off her weird blue eye, Axle looks like a midget alpaca, fat Bianca has muddy legs.  I was going to do a bit of looking at fleece to work out who would win the prize of having the most guard hair - part of my new breeding programme (I don't mean I am breeding for guard hair - although I think I could be quite good at it with some of them!).  I gave up though and depressed myself further by coming home to look at other people's shiny, clean alpacas!

Before I did come home I investigated a bit of a situation with the field gate - I think the padlock has been tampered with - interestingly, there was an abandoned car being towed out of The Gentleman Farmer's field and another burnt out on the picnic site so something has been going on up on the hill.

Sunday 13 November 2011

A Trip Out

We went out for the day today. 

We were a bit in two minds about it as  I still haven't found the forks and we only have 3 plates and 1 tea towel but we decided it would be worth a trip out so off we went to Longthorns Farm Alpaca Open Day - it was actually an open weekend so we missed day 1.  Wendy Billington, the Australian breeder and judge, did an excellent talk and there was lots of hands on looking at fleece - both on and off animals.  Thoroughly enjoyable and a great learning experience.  At the end we had to rush away as The Shepherd was bringing the ram - by the time we got back the ram was already in place and had served Stumpy who is now covered in red from the raddle.

Now I am off to unpack  box or two and find the camera card! - - and attempt to stop the cats climbing the Yucca plant in an escape bid.

Saturday 12 November 2011

Four Candles?

I did say we would have  a photo today, and we have but it is not very good I am afraid as, despite having found the camera, I can't find the memory card.  This was taken on Sam's phone.  Tilbo and Striker, together as usual!

And, on the subject of losing things, I have lost all but three forks.  Life is incredibly tedious with only three forks.  It is surprising how many forks you can us in a day! (Talk of forks always makes me remember the sketch with, I think, The Two Ronnies in the shop - makes me smile!).

We have been doing toenails and vitamin D injections today, along with moving a few of the animals around.  Toe nails were no fun at all in the mud, I really want a proper concrete yard!    Flem's abscess is still weeping and I gave it several good squeezes today which got a lot of the remaining mess out.  I will give it another good go tomorrow.

And thank you for the tip, Judi - Roast chicken and potatoes tonight which was all done at the same time, although I did start it at 1pm just before going back to complete toenails!

Friday 11 November 2011

Here I am again!

Finally, about 10 minutes ago, the broadband started working and so here I am again.  I have no idea what has been going on in the land of bloggers as I have been unable to read anything - shortly I will be catching up!  Happily, this means my furtive lurking in bushes is now over - probably not wise to explain that one to the world!
We have now, finally, moved into the rental house - it was quite a drama but we won't go there at the moment!  The rental house is okay.  It has a Raeburn - I keep calling it an aga but have now discovered it isn't.  It makes the house very warm and is great for drying clothes as it has a pull up clothes rack over it but cooking meals is something of a challenge  A miniscule piece of gammon went in at 12 and was just ready at 7pm - the sausages took all night!  Potatoes we ended up eating for breakfast and I fear I must be doing something wrong!  The cats are shut in the conservatory which they hate and Cruella appears to becoming a little depressed but I can't let her out as the road outside is quite busy. 

On top of the drama of moving we had an alpaca drama on the Friday night which is luckily now sorted, in a way.  It is very odd being further from the animals and means I have to plan everything very carefully, particularly with the bottle feeding.

Anyway, we are back on line so now I must catch up on blogs and read the emails - proper blog with photos tomorrow.