Monday, 1 February 2010

Under Blue Skies

The blue skies and crisp mornings have made us feel much more cheerful and keen to get on with things. Rain is due again shortly so we are taking the opportunity to catch up with the halter training.  Two of the girls are nearly there and we are going to start on another two tomorrow.

We took the opportunity today to trim the crias' topnots as some of them were in danger of  being unable to see properly.  Alpacas are more easily "spooked" if they cannot see properly so it is important when halter training that we avoid anything which might make it a bad experience.

We seem to have had a few eye problems lately.  Our little male cria (future stud male)  had an eye infection a while ago which we cleared up with ointment but it seems to have come back a bit.   We treated him again yesterday and today anbd again it looks fine, so we will give it one more dose for luck and hope that it goes away.  It is probably a bit of hay dust or something that sets it off.   One of the Chardstock boys has a similar problem which we are treating, but as they are still in quarantine and have had no contact with our alpacas it must be just co-incidence.

Bono is still very thin and so as a last resort to try and get him to eat more we have started to remove two of his fellow males from the paddock during the day, just leaving Bono and Ben, who is a non-threatening wether (gelding).  We don't want to feed up the rest of the males in the paddock as they are already on the tubby side even taking into account their huge fleeces, but equally we thought that Bono might be even more worried if he was left completely alone.  We then take in two buckets of alf alfa which some hard feed in the hope that Bono will eat it if he thinks there is little or no competition.   We will be condition checking the herd again tomorrow, so we might detect a difference, although it is rather early days to see if the latest ploy is working.  If this does not work we will just have to hope he does not detiorate any more and perhaps when the grass becomes more nutritious he will start to improve.  He seems happy enough in himself and always seems to be eating, but favours the grass over the haylage and hay which would do him more good.

We have bought a whelping box for Romie and as instructed by the manufacturer are trying to get Romie to get used to using it as her little home.    She is about the only one of the dogs who does not think it is the best bed in the house.   I think she knows that I really want her to use it and thinks I have some ulterior motive in getting her into it.  The cat, on the other hand, thinks it makes an excellent hotel.

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