Sunday 30 June 2013


Quick blog tonight as it has been a busy day.  An early start this morning to see to the animals before loading up two alpacas and heading off to Weymouth to the Transport of Yesteryear Show.  This really was a fun day out but did involve a lot of talking which has tired us out!  The weather was glorious so I had no expectation of selling hats, scarves and gloves - but we did, a  surprising amount and there was lots of interest.  There was also lots of talk about the Kate Humble alpaca programme - all very positive.

Then after lunch Sam phoned to say Lily had just given birth (she would have been 11 months tomorrow so looks like we are not doing long gestation this year!).  Another little boy who looks very lively and strong but no pictures yet I am afraid.  In fact the only picture I have is from the show and that is of a steam engine and not an alpaca - sorry!

Friday 28 June 2013

Excitable and in a hurry

Just back from a quick shearing of a few more of ours - nearly finished!  Cassie looks gorgeous and was so well behaved - sitting herself down and getting herself comfortable!  No need for any neck bag with her!
Now she is going to feel much better!  I have to hurry now as I want to watch Kate Humble as I think she is doing something with alpacas somewhere.  But I am also rather excitable as we sheared The Slink and she is definitely pregnant - 11 months next week!  Really looking forward to that - who knows what it will turn out like!

Thursday 27 June 2013

Heaving and Straining

The day started in a hot and lazy way with everyone lying around and Maria being her normal annoying self - ear tag nibbling is her latest thing.
Lunch time I was up with the sheep and as I looked across I noticed Emily looking pretty restless so went down to have a look and a few minutes later a nose and two feet appeared.  This looked very good so I left her alone for a bit but, on returning, there was much more leg but no more head.  The top of the head was squashed up inside and pushing the nose down the more she strained.  I could not get more than a finger tip inside but eventually, by pushing one leg back a bit and rotating the head I managed to finally get baby out.  It was quite a struggle and involved some hefty heaving but Emily made no fuss about it at all and just stood calmly, albeit with a lot of grunting and straining.  It is a monster of a boy and he was soon on his feet and actually playing with Maria!
Little black one's name is being mulled over - Barbara's suggestion is possibly going to be the one but with a bit of adaption.  I know what I am going to call Emily's!  Now the sun has gone and the rain is back but Maria is busy standing guard!

Wednesday 26 June 2013

A little black boy

Zara had her cria about 10am this morning.  I was sitting in the Mule having a coffee when she came over to the rolling pit and rolled around for a bit, then she stood up and there was a head and two legs hanging out.  Five minutes later he was completely out, sucking almost straight away and zooming around the field shortly after that!  Unfortunately, he is attracting every fly in Dorset, maybe why he is running so fast!  . . . and Maria thinks he is the best thing she has ever seen!

Tuesday 25 June 2013

Sore eyes

A busy day today and lovely weather - not too hot but hot enough for the animals to get through vast amounts of water.  I had just finished the first round of water delivery and cleaned the shelters when Sam appeared, home from work early.  We had a good go on the halter training and did a bit of a refresher with the halter trained ones from last year.  Then we trimmed a few feet which seem to have had a bit of a growth spurt.

Poor Sherbet has a sore patch coming on her back again, it seems to happen every year, so I put a generous dollop of Sudacrem on as I had run out of Camrosa.  Bert is also suffering with her eyes which get very puffy on the eyelids.  Luckily, she adores having them done so I wiped them with antiseptic wipes and then put cream on them.
In close up you can see they are sore looking.

Sam spent ages rigging up a sprinkler for the girls but the water pressure was not high enough so it barely dribbled out - no one noticed it except Cassie!
Even Sam was not very impressed with his efforts!

Now Sam has gone out to look at some sort of vehicle with a mate, Cal is preparing for shearing in Wales tomorrow and I am  continuing with fleece sorting.  Maria is probably still  rolling - something she discovered with a vengeance today!

Sunday 23 June 2013

Twitter, Twitter, Tweet, Tweet

A rather busy day today.  After all alpacas and sheep were checked (and I had  left Reg wailing at the gate) we had a quick dash home to get changed in order to make it to Belchalwell for a lunch and Auction of Promises in aid of the church.  We ate a really lovely lunch  but then had to dash away before the auction in order to get changed again and dash off to shear a lovely fine black alpaca.  Carl had his eye on a bale of straw at the auction so I was quite glad to drag him off!

I am now tired, particularly as I could not sleep last night and spent a good part of the night investigating Twitter which I still do not really understand.  I tweeted and retweeted some extremely boring information on what I was doing but I am not sure I can now work out how to log back into my tweets (which are not worth looking for as they are hardly cutting edge!).

I feel that tomorrow will be an important day for us so am preparing myself by having an early night!

Saturday 22 June 2013

Chain Saw Massacre

Bat was finally removed when it got dark as Carl refused to put it out until then.  He still has a bad ear but is heeding Barbara's advice and refraining from putting anything in it!  Doctors next week I fear.

The weather has been rather grim today and planned shearing went out of the window.  We did manage to fit in a husbandry visit to two little boys this morning and then Cal and Sam got involved with  bit of chain sawing - Reg also tried to involve himself before I noticed and removed him pretty quickly!
No more cria yet but Lily is starting to look a bit uncomfortable.  She does tend to be early but isn't 11 months until July so she shouldn't be yet - I hope!

Maria is doing very well but really needs a play mate as she is annoying the other females - you may be able to see the green spit she is collecting on her neck!

Thursday 20 June 2013

A communication from the Bat Cave

I am rather scared at the moment!  The dog and cats were going crazy last night which I ignored but when Carl came home tonight he said he had gone down and seen a bat hanging upside down on the stairs - which they must have brought in.  I jumped around and told him to find it but he said it was gone and went to lie down due to his Ear.  I checked and found it asleep by the doorbell - - and now no one will take it out for me, they find it very funny and I do not (mind you there is a bit of crashing going on downstairs so maybe they are sorting it now.  You can just see it tucked up by the door bell thing.

Carl has a bad ear and says there is something in it but I can't find anything.  I have tried flushing it out to no avail and now he is demanding Olive Oil - Extra Virgin - which I do not have.  The only thing I could ind was Green Pepper Tabasco but he is not convinced that is the same thing at all and so Sam has gone to the garage in search for some.

It is pandemonium here!

So a peaceful picture of the boys having a bit of a gossip on a gloomy day.

Tuesday 18 June 2013

Hello to Maria

Okay, Willie, Maria it is.

Here she is having just annoyed Carolyn who was sound asleep when she jumped over her!

Sam was at home for most of the afternoon so, after moving the sheep, we spent a long time working on the halter training - it is a lot easier with two people!  Dippy and Mick are doing well, Jess is getting there, JJ is not bad at all but Arctic does not want to know and huffs and puffs and leaps around like a crazy thing.

Monday 17 June 2013

Shorn Sheep

I would like to tell you that the reason I have not blogged is because I have been rushed off my feet, but that would not be true.  The truth of it is I have been a bit worried about something and sadly it has all come to nothing.  We have been a bit busy though, well Carl and Sam have - shearing.  It has really been a case of constantly rearranging things due to the weather but we have succeeded in getting a few ticked off.  I am hoping next Wednesday and the following weekend stay good and then we may have caught up and will be able to finish ours.

Flem's cria is doing very well and does not seem in the least bit bothered by the weather.

I really must think of a name for her.
Sunday, the Shepherd came to shear the sheep.  We managed four and then the heavens opened!  It did clear and we got the rest done early evening but it was heavy going.  They are now worn out!  Don't know why as it was harder for us than for them!  The Shepherd isn't that keen on some of my sheep as they take not a blind bit of notice of the dogs - luckily I called them and they followed me through the race. 
 I was trying to get a photo of Scottie asleep but Two Tone kept standing in the way.

The Blackie's look wonderful now.
And now we are waiting for cria - but this year we are being very patient as I do not want anymore early ones.  Emily is theoretically first.  Earlier in the year I had her on my sale list but then I wasn't sure she was really pregnant so I took her off.  I think she is though but we will just have to wait and see.  It would be her first cria so will be exciting if she is pregnant.

Monday 10 June 2013

Does my bum look big in ths?

Sadly Little Suri died this morning - well, actually, I was glad he did in the end as he seemed to be developing an ulcer in one of his eyes and I don't think he would have been strong enough to drink from his Mum for a long time and then he may have bonded with me more than her which would have been very bad.  It was a happy release for him.

Reg and I had a long walk round third field to get over it - got to get some better trousers.

I tried to get a nice standing shot of Flem's baby, who does not have a name yet, but she jumps around too much.  Here she is having a wee which is the only time I could get her standing still!

Sunday 9 June 2013

Still hanging on

Carl and Sam have been shearing again today and arrived home with a large cone of alpaca wool in a lovely colour.  My knitting has been temporarily on hold due to a number of other things that are happening but I really must get going again.  I also need to sort and send a new lot of fleece as I am now almost completely out of yarn.

Flem's baby is doing very well and was racing around all on her own tonight while Mums and prospective Mums lay around looking exhausted.  Thankfully, no more cria yet and I am never going to moan again when they hang onto their cria.

Not good for Little Suri today.  He is still with us but I have had to bring him home and he is asleep in the kitchen - not good.  Lunchtime I just managed to rescue him from being pecked by a crow and he then went back to the field shelter but he was attracting large buzzy flies.  I shall give him tonight but then, if he survives will have to think about it being the end for him.  Strangely, he is very peacefully asleep at the moment and despite being unable to lift his head unaided is sucking well on his bottle - not for long at a time though.  His Mum does not miss him at all - I think she assumes he is no longer with us.

Saturday 8 June 2013

Little Suri

I am afraid things are not looking too good for Little Suri.  He has barely lifted his head unaided today.  I have lifted him up every so often and tried to get his legs working but he has no strength at all at the back and I fear he is beginning to give up.
After a while you begin to wonder if you are prolonging life or prolonging pain.  He has gained 0.1 of  a kg and is breathing normally now but it has been a struggle and I am not sure everything inside has developed properly with him being so early.  This evening he began to shake despite his coat and being in the field shelter.  His Mum still checks him but she is beginning to go away more.  I don't think I can do any more for him so we will just have to wait and see.

Flem's  little girl is going from strength to strength so there is good news.

Friday 7 June 2013

Hanging on

I don't feel like my feet have touched the ground properly for the last few days - and not due to my Prancercise.  Premature baby number two (Flem's little girl) is doing well.  She is still wobbly but can kush properly and drink from her Mum.

I think she is going to be fine.

Premature baby number one - Little Suri - is only just hanging on.  He has not got up at all today and when I have tried to make him stand he has gone like a rag doll.  He is mostly still being tube fed although he did have about 50ml from the bottle this morning and a bit more than that last night.  It's a bit of a nuisance as Crispie and Flem hate each other so when I try to put them and their babies in the same filed shelter with pen they create havoc spitting at each other.  The weather was a bit chilly today at times and it rained so I wanted them both in tonight.   We may have to think of some other way of doing it.

No picture of Little Suri yet as he just looks too pathetic and his fleece is a bit patchy in places.

Hopefully, no more premature babies . . . but Lily does look a little odd!

Wednesday 5 June 2013

Trauma - AGAIN

I just do not believe it!

Crispie's little one is hanging on.  He has tried twice to get to Crispie's udder and he has been tentatively sucking at the bottle - although most of his feeds have had to be tubed.  I managed to get him going to the toilet which I think he was very pleased about (he grumbles a lot).  Things are not looking rosy but, then again, they are not looking dire.  He sleeps most of the time but I would imagine that is not surprising.

Having sorted him out this morning I left the fields when Sam turned up to do a bit of paddock maintenance.  I gave him strict instructions on feeding little suri and keeping an eye on everything.  Having cleaned the house up, again, I returned only to look over the field gate and see a cria - not the little suri!  Sam hadn't noticed but it had only just happened and the afterbirth was still to come.  NO ONE IS DUE YET- WHAT ARE THEY UP TO?

It turned out to be Flem's - beautiful solid white little girl but premature!  This one was born at 10 months 6 days and is down on it pasterns etc, etc, etc!  Stronger than the other and weighs just over 7kg whilst the suri was just over 5kg.  Flem is such a lovely girl when she gives birth and actually wants help so it was no problem holding it up whilst it latched on - in fact it can be accomplished without needing a second person to hold her (shame she isn't like that about having her feet done!).

I am now wondering if this is just a fluke or if there is some reason they are early.  If this happens again I am going to be seriously worried.  Sorry about the lack of pictures but I am chasing my tail at the moment and I am all hot and bothered - so hot I had to take my trousers off in the field this afternoon and Sam is highly embarrassed about it but I am sure I would have collapsed from the heat and stress if not!

Tuesday 4 June 2013

Still with us!

Just a quick update tonight as it is getting late and I must go back to feed the little one again - he is still with us!  I have had to feed him with the stomach tube all day but he is now trying to stand.  He lay out in the sun for most of the day but I put him back in the shelter this afternoon as he seemed to be over heating a bit.  Then, just now, I lifted him up and helped him balance and he tottered over to Crispie and went under her back legs all by himself!  No sucking yet but I am tentatively hopeful.  I had to leave him for a bit this evening as we went to visit, 'A very special Hole' - more on that, with any luck, soon.  Mind you I spent much of the time just before trying to lose a Jack Russel Cross who adopted me and tried to make me throw stones for it.  Despite walking up and down the road at a very brisk pace I could not lose him,  until his owner zoomed up in a rather nice convertible and picked him up.

I have really come upstairs  to get away from Carl and Sam who went silaging last night and cannot stop comparing tractors, gear boxes and the best method of rolling a clamp!

Hopefully there will be photos of the little one tomorrow.

Monday 3 June 2013


Pronkercise video has to go on hold for a bit, Barbara, as a definite traumatic day today.  Luckily I was up and out particularly early today and as I arrived at the field gate I knew something was going on as all the girls from both paddocks were gathered in a mass at the bottom.  As  I walked down the track I could see a white bundle on the ground but, at first, I did not think it could be a cria.  My birthing is not really due to start for a minimum of two weeks - that will be when the first two come up to 11 months.  Odder still, the white bundle was not in their paddock.

As I got nearer I could see it was a just arrived cria but not moving - I ran.  It was a very premature cria and at first I could not tell who the Mum was as they were all milling around and no one at all showed any sign of any blood or anything.  First thing was to spray the navel and see if I could get him up.  He could not stand and his breathing was very bad, almost growling and gurgling, also his gums were completely white.  It is not so easy to swing a cria as it is a lamb but I managed although I had visions of pulling his legs off.  Nothing came out and there was a lot of slime still attached to his nose and in his mouth.  After fiddling for a bit I resorted to artificial respiration, more for something to do than anything else, which is completely disgusting on a slimy cria (Carl said I should have used a tube but where do you suddenly find one of them in the middle of a field?)and nothing improving I rang for advice (during which I saw Crispie pass the afterbirth so I knew it was hers) but still made very little progress.  In the end I phoned the vet who said there was nothing he could do that I wasn't doing and just to let nature take it's course a he was too premature (a couple of days before 10 months).  I have never had one this premature.
Mind you he is quite big.  I have just sat him up like this - he soon falls over again.

I wasn't going to just leave him but I couldn't get him drinking from Crispie - she liked him but he had no suck reflex what so ever.  Stomach tube time and that is not something I enjoy.  I know I should be used to it by now and I know my breeder readers just take it in their stride but I hate it!  So, all set up I got him on my knee and was about to begin when I felt a very damp leg and lifting my hand I found it covered in blood.  First time I have had it - a umbilical hemorrhage.  I wasn't organised not expecting much to happen yet so had to stick  him under my arm, grasp the cord to stem the flow and run to the caravan to find the umbilical clamps - and pretty hopeless they were (probably my fault  really)  the first dropped off within 5 minutes.  Did it in the end and iodined him up then back to the stomach tube.  I have to say it was the simplest I have ever done as he helped it down by swallowing every now and again.

The breathing was still really bad and I couldn't get anything else out of him so in desperation (and you may not be supposed to do this)  I got a syringe - without needle obviously - stuffed it, carefully, up each nostril in turn and pulled the plunger back.  Remarkably, and it might be a fluke and not because of what I did, he started breathing almost normally and the rasping stopped.  He is still with us and is tucked up in a field shelter with Crispie and Cassie as honorary auntie but he still cannot stand and he may not make it.

I fear the blog may not be terrifically grammatical but I am very stressed - and on top of all that  . . . but, no, the rest can wait for another blog!

Sunday 2 June 2013

Mop and bucket at the ready

What a weekend!  We have sheared until we have dropped, cleaned until we have blistered and become so disorganised I have abandoned The List!

Amongst everything else we have managed to shear another nine of ours - they are gradually getting done.  Saturday I was so excited as Sherbet, my suri who has not been pregnant for the last two years, showed she definitely is this year when we sheared her.  She is bagging up and starting to open up at the back end.  This is wonderful as I had doubted whether she was.  Her last cria was Lily who is gorgeous so I am hoping for something rather nice!  Carl was more excited about the holster he has made for himself to put his clipper oil in so he has it on hand whilst shearing - he is also a bit over excited about his blade sharpening and is champing at the bit to go and sharpen some more!

And despite everything I have stuck to my diet and lost half a stone (it doesn't actually show much) and continued with my daily exercises (which Reg and Two Tone, two of the sheep) enjoy joining in with.  Care must be taken when doing this exercise workout downhill as incredible speeds can be reached.  Sorry the blog is short and photoless (I forgot to take any) if you are feeling cheated to can always click on the link for a preview of the workout I am using on the hill.  I have not progressed to using weights.


Now it is nearly midnight and I must wash the kitchen floor.