Thursday, 5 August 2010
Tessa, the vet, came today to blood test our herd of Angora Goats so that we can be accredited free of Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis (CAE). Whilst taking the samples she pointed out that they all had lice. I was mortified and will be straight down to Mole Avon Farm Stores for dectomax and spot on tomorrow to get rid of the horrid little creatures. We had noticed them before but did not observe them long enough to notice their movement and thought it was debris from the straw!! Still it is a learning curve and we will be much more aware in future. We were going to worm them anyway so the dectomax will have dual purpose as it is a wormer as well as helping get rid of the lice.
After one of the new males took a dislike to Colin the Shearer and was really quite agressive we thought it would be a good idea to have him and his friend castrated, so this was included in the visit. We are a bit worried about the number of flies around but can only be vigilant and use some fly repellant in the hope of preventing fly strike or infection. She gave them some metacam pain killer and they are already frolicking in the paddock with no signs of being traumatised by their recent surgery.
The important thing during the operation was to ensure that the boys did not lie down so Mike adapted a plank of wood so I could hook it over the bar of a gate to prevent this happening. Kushing (or lying down) is a default behaviour for alpacas if they are stressed or just don't want to do something. They use this ploy if they are not in a position to resist in any other way such as running away, kicking or spitting.
We have nearly finished mating for this year with only two left for tomorrow, so hopefully all the girls will hold their pregnancies and produce more lovely cria next year.