Thursday 28 February 2013

A £10 bet

A morning spent discussing chemotherapy followed by an afternoon of walking nonchalantly past the Romneys in an effort to get them more familiar with me - it is not working!  Such a difference from the alpacas some of whom like Trouble, Yossarian, Lina and Emily you can just walk up to in the field and catch.  The others just need a bit of rope attached to a fence post, walk behind them with the other end of the rope to gather them up and get the one you need.  Works for nearly all with the exception of Little Star and Harry.  Harry is getting better but Little Star is a complete monkey and too clever by half.  She is fine when she is in a holding pen but getting her there is another matter!  Mind you she is far easier than the fearful Romneys!

Saturday, Carl says he will get the Romneys in a pen no problem - I have bet him £10 he will not do it easily!!

Sorry there are no photos - things on my mind - but will have a bit of a photo shoot at the weekend.

Wednesday 27 February 2013

Flippin' Romneys!

Busy day today.  Sam had his day off and took the opportunity to have a good look at his favourites.  Trouble was not quite as friendly as usual which I am pleased about because I really hope she is pregnant.  She still likes a cuddle from me so, despite her spitting off, I was a little doubtful.  I am hoping that it is just that she knows me very well due to being bottle fed.

Sam also had the opportunity  to experience carting water and hay in my new field vehicle - a wheelbarrow!
I don't think I have mentioned yet my new acquisitions.  Romney sheep are very calm and easily handled - NOT these monsters I have got! 

They came on Sunday and have been quarantined in the little paddock.  This was to give me the chance to fecal sample them and get them used to cake - something they have never had before.  Today I wanted Sam to help me check a limpers leg - no way!  They went crazy, one jumped the fence and headed towards roadside.  We ended up having to take down a bit of fence to get it back in and the feet still are not done!  Sam was most dismissive of them and told me they were the ones that ate people in the film Black Sheep - I am rapidly going off them - give me a Scottish Black Faced any day!

Tomorrow it is back to Dorchester hospital where we should have results - last lot of results ended up with more tests but after CT Scan, PET scan, blood test, bone marrow and ECG I don't think there are many more tests available!

Carl is in hysterics at the moment over the Saniflo add which reminds us of the start to a soft porn film (not that we have watched much soft porn) we can't be the only ones who find the advert hysterical surely?

 . . . oh, and thank you Jayne - we could be in luck with the Velux windows - they are coming to look at them and I think they may replace all four for free!

Monday 25 February 2013

On your bike!

Bitterly cold here still but the alpacas prefer it to the rain and the mud.  Despite there being quite a while to go I am already looking for baby bulges.  I have a few I am particularly . . .

Blog writing had a sudden break off there as there was an enormous bang in the house and further investigation found the velux window in the hall had exploded!  From the inside!  Shall have to investigate what caused that after clearing up glass!

But I divert, I am particularly looking forward to Little Star giving birth - if she does.  It will be her first cria and I am very interested to see what she produces, if anything.  She was the first cria I bottle fed - one of Bert's babies.  Here she is with Emily behind her (another one I am really looking forward to).  Sherbert (another one I can't wait to see) is lying by the hayrack with Bert.
Actually, I am looking forward to them all I now realise!
Carl saw the Shepherd last week and he said we should put the sheep up in third.  We have never put them up there and the fence is not all stock fencing.  It took me two days to electric fence part of second and that was with the Mule but the Shepherd said he would bring his Bike over on Sunday and we would have it done in 20 minutes!  He was not lying! 
His bike (quad) carries three roles of electric fencing on the back which it gradually unreels and the Shepherd throws the posts out as he goes along.   Carl and I had to run to keep up, sticking the posts in as we went.  I cannot believe how quick it was!
Now I really must go and clear up glass and see how much a new Velux is!  But one more aside first - I cannot type the word field (that took two attempts) it always comes out as filed!  You may have noticed that on previous blogs.

Friday 22 February 2013

More, Please!

Staring on the blog today is Prue - not one of my 'elite' alpacas!

It is so cold here we are back on the morning sugar beet which most of the girls love, Prue included, but they do end up with very black mouths!
I am back to breaking the waters twice a day again and the alpacas are all stepping up their hay intake.  Hopefully, Carl is going to have my Mule going soon.  At the moment it is on blocks in the garage having a lot of welding, grinding and hammering.  Failing that the old road car (a Honda Civic I think) is going to be modified to become the filed transport.

We have a busy weekend ahead of us so hopefully a more interesting blog to come!

Sunday 17 February 2013

Soon be Spring

Good news and no news today.

Sapphire no longer has much of a limp.  She is grazing and moving normally with just a slight lifting of her foot every now and again - obviously still sore but on the mend.  We moved everyone around a bit yesterday to try to get them away from some of the mud which is still very slippery.  Moving went like clockwork with the exception of Dippy who somehow made it back in with his Mum - she, Belinda, was not at all pleased about that and once he had been unceremoniously lifted over the fence into his rightful paddock I think he was pleased to be back with his friends.  Here he is with Jess - mind you I don't think he can see much at the moment, he needs his fringe trimmed!

We also managed to do spit offs with everyone just to check how things were going.  I was very surprised as everyone spat off.  The only one  who didn't was String who hadn't been mated as she was a bit smaller than the others.  Bert, obviously, I didn't try as she also han't been mated yet due to a late birth last year.  The girls moving around caused a bit of hysteria amongst the boys who all fancied a closer look!

Carl and I then had a 'discussion' about Cool Dude.  He has done well but we now have several of his daughters and I think he really needs to go on our sales list and we think about a new stud to move us on.  Carl is very attached to Dude - it's a man thing - and is being a trifle resistant!  I have said we will mull it over for a week or so but I know what will be happening and am preparing some photos!  Needs a bit better weather though as today's were all too muddy.
My Mule is almost sorted now and I will be very glad when it is as a lot of walking and carrying is happening at the moment.  We do still have the D-Batt but it is addicted to Eazi start and is a real pain.  Carl used it today to fill up the sheep waters so that is one job done from tomorrows list already!

On the expected results last Thursday we are still in limbo as tests that should have happened did not happen and we still have the joy of a PET scan next  week.  Dorchester hospital is very good but I cannot understand why they have several different appointment systems so one department cannot access or talk to with another automatically - strange.

Wednesday 13 February 2013


It is about time I flummoxed you all with jolly blogging and good news but that will have to wait a few days.  Tomorrow it is back to Dorchester for what is called The Results so we have been keeping ourselves busy here.  This morning I moved the new Welsh mountains and they were exceedingly well behaved until I, rather stupidly, tried to make them walk under the  electric fence I had picked up.  They were not going to do that so after Sam had done a bit of shouting at me and telling me I was daft we grouped and tried again more successfully.
Today's real problem, however, has been Sam's alpaca - Sapphire.  Yesterday I noticed her limping at lunchtime.  I had to go to Dorchester then so asked Sam to check her in the evening thinking she had slipped in the mud and strained something.  (On the way up the cut to Dorchester I met The Shepherd coming down with 100 fat lambs so that delayed things slightly.)  We had to go out in the evening (more on that another time) but Sam checked Sapphire and said she was just mildly limping.  Today we checked her over properly and she has some infection between the nail and the pad.  That has been cleaned out but all the medicines were back oat the house so I shall go up in a minute and give her some antibiotics.  It is obviously very painful but we managed to squeeze out a lot of muck.

Monday 11 February 2013

A Gulley Sucker's mate and Jack FM

Thank goodness for Jack FM!  I do not usually listen to music in the car but I do have a few favourite CDs which I play when in a good mood - Neil Diamond is the latest as I can sing Sweet Caroline very loudly and very out of tune.  However, Sam tuned me into Jack FM and I find it very, very funny so it has been a humorous day despite everything.  In fact I was laughing so much over -

It's hard to know what to make of the Liberal Democrats at the moment - you just can't tell who's in the driving seat.

that I didn't notice at first I had an exhaust problem.  I am now blowing like a crazy thing and only capable of 20mph.  Carl is out there fixing that with one hand whilst dealing with a 'poo problem' with the other - not a personal poo problem, I hasten to add, but a problem with the pump that pumps our sewage and out neighbours into the main drains.  We appear to have a blockage again but the neighbour, fortunately, has a mate with a gulley sucker (no idea what that is but I like the sound of it!).

The exhaust has to be fixed as we have a hospital appointment with the bone marrow people tomorrow - I though that was just something dogs liked so that will be an experience.

Sunday saw the arrival of four more Black Welsh Mountains and they are gorgeous!  I have them in a little isolation paddock where they have been wormed and liver fluked and where I was planning to bucket train them so they would be easier to manage - unnecessary!  They run over whenever they see me coming and the one with the red ear tags loves to be stroked and cuddled - she wags her tail like a dog!  I have a picture of her but it is on my phone and I don't know how to get it off so that will have to go on another blog.

I got a little panicked this afternoon when snow started to fall.  There was none laying in the village but it was on the hill although it seems to have stopped now so I think that will be okay.  Dude was very restless and I could not work out why until I noticed the hunt on the other side of the hill.  Not a good photo as every one is filthy.

The hounds were charging around and then I saw the fox walking, not a care in the world, along the Drove.  I haven't seen a fox for ages - I think the combination of electric fences and alpacas put them off!

Thursday 7 February 2013

The Long Walk

Today has not been one of my better days.  As regular readers will know, we have two concerns at the moment.  The biggest of these was under investigation at Dorchester Hospital for much of the day but we will not say more on that one at the moment.  The second concern is Tulisa - nomally that would be an all consuming worry but there are even bigger ones so you can imagine how big the biggest worries are!  Not sure that last bit made sense but you probably get the drift.

Tulisa has been rapidly losing weight despite having been wormed and Baycoxed fairly recently so I sent a fecal sample to the vet.  Should have gone in Friday but circumstances delayed it until Monday.  She was okay this morning, ate a great deal.  We still hadn't got the results despite me chasing them so I planned to ring again this evening but as I climbed the gate this afternoon, I could see her flat out.  She had died.  I had partly bottle fed her and she was tiny but feisty - one of my favourites.  Too late I got the results from the sample - but it didn't matter anyway as she was completely clear of all worms and cocci.  Alarm bells start ringing then so I organised to take her in straight away for a post mortem.  Never do I feel so lonely as when I am walking up the track carrying a dead alpaca.

We have now had the results and it was an ulcer that had burst.  She  actually had an old one on her liver which had healed itself and several more on the liver apart from the burst one.  It could be nutritional or it could be stress - or a mixture of the two.  I don't know, I will think about it more tomorrow.  The vet said there was nothing they could have done for her.

Here she is, back in October, with her Mum - Lina.

Saturday 2 February 2013

Feet, and yet more feet

The themes for the last few days have been feet and worries.  I had my feet attended to on Friday - bit of a dodgy nail again. We have also been out doing other alpaca feet and only managed to get our alpacas done today.  Some were a little stroppy - hopefully this means they are pregnant.  Bert sat down for hers and put up with it!
In fact she then followed us round and got in the way when everyone else was having theirs done.

We had to do everyone in the field as the track was just too muddy to get them into the catch pens by the barn.  I am still left with Flemenco, Islay and Lily to do tomorrow as we have to pop out this evening and needed to get back.  Just hope there isn't too much rain tomorrow.
Sam had a couple of hours off this afternoon and was mobbed by one group of girls when he arrived.
And as to the worry . . . not something for the blog I am afraid but hopefully things will look much brighter later in the week.