Tuesday, 27 April 2010

What Recall?

I called Dolly this evening as I needed to go into the winter paddocks to check on the Chardstock 6.   At first she remained lying down in the chickens' field so I called again.   I then walked towards her wondering why she was not taking any notice of me.   At this she ran off with something in her mouth.  I went indoors and found some treats and came out to find she had disappeared.  I eventually found her under one of the customer pic nic tables with a dead mouse.  Luckily I only had to look as though I had a tit bit and she dropped the mouse, which I quickly threw into the rubbish bin, and took the treat.  Looks like it is back to the drawing board when a dead mouse is more interesting than me!!

To be fair she is absolutely brilliant most of the time, but we definitely need to do some work in the dead mouse department.   It was just lucky that we were in the farmyard and nowhere dangerous.

Charlie had his operation today and is nodding sadly around with his buster collar on.  He ate a hearty supper so I have high hopes that he will soon get over himself.

Dolly is busy wrecking th office at the moment - I think she would call it investigating.

Mike finished installing the automatic pop holes on the chicken sheds today.    They have drop down doors which are activated by a sensor.  They open at daybreak and shut automatically when it gets dark.  They look rather like guillotines so I am hoping we don't get up in the morning to find a pile of headless chickens.

The idea behind it is that when we are away or at a dog show the chickens will be safely shut in at night without having to make arrangements for the neighbours or friends and family to come in to do it.  Watch this space for a report on the success or failure of the gadget.

Nick and I vaccinated the goats today as it is getting towards their birthing time.   I scanned the one who did not appear pregnant at the last scan and she is now also  pregnant so we could (fingers crossed) have a full complement giving birth in May.

Two or three of the alpacas have had mite problems which we thought we had nearly cured but today we were disappointed to find that they seem to have come back.    We were aware that some of the improvement was due to the cold weather of winter but we were convinced that this time we had pretty much conquered the problem.   They have been dosed up again and we are hoping we have caught it early enough so that it does not develop further as the spring and summer progess.

I took dung samples from every paddock this morning and we are awaiting the vet's report on parasite levels.    Unless we have a specific reason to administer wormer, we only do so if the worm egg count is shown to be a cause for concern.  I also took samples of the goats'.

We also trimmed the boys' toe nails.   They were not done when we did the girls and boy did it show.   They were very long indeed.  Ben, the wether who really plays up when having his toes nails trimmed was a model citizen today.  No he has not learnt to be calm - we put him on a halter and covered his eyes with a towel.  This worked really well and he really seemed quite relaxed  whilst I did his nails and administered the Blue Tongue vaccine.   When we released him he just stood still for a moment or two and then strolled away.   Such a difference from the usual stressful scene we have whenever Ben has to undergo husbandry of any kind.

No births yet.  I am beginning to think that Cleo who should have birthed about ten days ago must be due much later.   Perhaps I put the wrong month on the computer system we use or maybe she was remated and I did not enter a record of it.   The good news is that we scanned her and there is definitely something there.  We just dont know when it is going to emerge!!

Mike has hurt his leg and has been limping around the farm since yesterday.  We are supposed to be going training tomorrow and off to a dog show at the weekend but it does not look very hopeful for him.

We have a group of Young Farmers coming tomorrow night.  Should be interesting as farmers in general are a little bewildered by the concept of alpaca farming.  I hope they dont ask too many technical questions.

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