Friday, 7 August 2009

Busy day

Yesterday we went to the Honiton show as planned. The weather forecast was good and although we had two females ready to pop we felt that we could leave them in the care of our neighbour Pam. She was to phone us if either of the two females gave birth and one of us would return home.
In the event the 4 x 4 decided that its drive shaft would start to play up (Mike is an engineer so he knows about these things) but as we were nearly at the show we decided to carry on.
We arrived with little time to spare because the schedule said judging would probably start at 10 a.m. and the show rules said that livestock should arrive an hour before judging. They actually decided to start judging at 9 a.m. so we only had a few minutes to book in before the judge's briefing. Ian Waldron from Langaton Alpacas was the judge.
The weather held for a while - in time for us to show our two females - one won Junior Fawn Female and the other was second in the Intermediate Brown Female class. Then the rain started and all the competitors and the judge took shelter in the tent which was being used as a collecting ring. At about the same time Pam phoned to say that a white cria had been born and that it was tipping down with rain on the farm. The cria was already suckling when Pam arrived so we did not have any immediate concerns. In fact if the weather had lived up to expectations we would have just let nature take its course and dealt with the cria on our return after the show.
Because of the rain we felt that we should return home and make sure all was well but of course with a dodgy car we could not risk a double journey so we had to pack up our alpacas and go home without showing our boys. The showground arranged an escort to lead us out as there were lots of members of the public walking around and we arrived back at Laurel Farm in pouring rain.
The cria was looking quite strong and healthy but had not had the opportunity to get dry so we took her and her mother and the other pregnant females into the barn and put the heat lamp on to get the cria dry. We kept them in overnight and today they have all been released into the wild again to continue normal alpaca life.

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