Tuesday 10 August 2010

Peace reigns and rain rains

As we are going to be away for a few days we thought it would be a good idea to move all the alpacas to the home paddocks and also try and get the herd splits to a minimum.   To this end we decided to almalgamate the males.  We used the old vinegar trick but it seems it does not work in the rain as the Laurel Farm old boys were not very nice at all to their new paddock mates even though they have been relieved of their manhood.  This was very disappointing but yesterday we thought we would try again just in case it was the rain that negated the calming effects of the vinegar.   We gave all the males a good spray and moved them to all into the chicken paddock together and so far, fingers crossed, harmony rules OK.

We have removed the electric fencing which we put up to keep the chickens in as we are so short of grass and it seemed a waste to have hens in long grass and alpacas chewing their paddocks down to moss length.  We are hoping that the hens will have enough sense to stay in the field where they are relatively safe and protected by the presence of the alpacas.

Nick and I had a toe nail cutting session in the barn as it was very wet this morning.   We cut the girls' toe nails a week or so ago so only that the boys to do.    Ben, our older gelding is always a nightmare when he has his pedicure but thanks to Nick's trick of putting a towel over his eyes as a blindfold he was a pussy cat.   This is the second time we have used this method and he seems to relax and put himself in our hands.  

You may remember that Nick had a wisdom tooth damaged when one of the Chardstock 6 reared up and caught him under the chin.  This time we put the feisty one on a halter and tied him up so he could not rear.  We also put a towel over his eyes and he seemed to relax and was much nicer.    They are rather tall alpacas and Nick is rather short, so we do find them a little tricky when husbandry is needed, but we always find a way to get round it even if it does mean a bit of dancing around.

Our new shed/ dog kennel arrived a few days ago and is now sitting proudly in the garden looking more like a summer house than a shed.   We are very pleased with it and are using it as a screen for a storage area for the untidy array of troughs, buckets, bins of string etc: which are important and useful but very untidy.  It also makes the lawn (alright the bit of tufty grass that I mow sometimes) much squarer and more in porportion.  The dogs have been using our new van (Peugot Boxer) as a kennel since we moved the old lorry unit so when we come back from holiday they will move into their new suite.

David and Jane and the children are going to be farm sitting whilst we are away so there will be lots of comings and goings as their friends like to come down for BBQs and parties whilst they are here.

As usual our holiday consists of competing at Dog Agility shows and we are going to the Kennel Club International in the midlands and then on to Dogs In Need which is run in aid of various dog charities.   It will be Romie's first competition at Grade 6 whichshe won into a few weeks ago, so I am really looking forward to it.   Jake is being very good at the moment so Mike has high hope of some clear rounds and even rosettes with him.

We suspect that after a long spell of drought when we have been praying for rain, our prayers will be answered with a very wet holiday!!

Probably won't be updating the blog until we get back as we will be packing the caravan and doing all the last minute jobs tomorrow.

No comments: