Saturday, 9 October 2010

That Was The Week That Was

Monday - Paddock cleaning as usual - our favourite job!! All the alpacas are now eating lots of hay again so presumably they are either bored with grass or they know it has lost some of its goodness.    The goats and kids always seem to prefer hay to grass, so no change there. 

Tuesday - Nick and Mike moved the old stock trailer which was in the goats' paddock down to the kids' paddock.   We felt that that the old pig arc was not sufficient and over the weekend Mike and I decided that it would be more beneficial to make a shelter for Alario (the lone male) and use the stock trailer as a shelter for the kids.   They love it, especially as it is a climb up for the them.    We intend to shut them in now when the weather is wet as the straw gets very damp if they traipse in and out with wet fleece and feet.  We also renewed the Adult Goat bedding and are planning to shut them in except when weather is really dry and fine.

Nick and I continued with trimming toe nails and now it is only the 8 males waiting for a pedicure.   We are back to doing the husbandry in the barn which means that we are not rained off unless the alpacas are already soaked by the beginning of the day.  We also gave the Mums with cria at foot a dose of ADE vitamins and dosed the cria topo.

Wednesday - I had a day in the office doing the tax return, the VAT, and other exciting tasks.     I must say, I do feel a little more relaxed now that it is not hanging over my head.  If only I could get the ironing done too!!

Thursday - Paddock Cleaning again - the females with cria seem to be producing more fertilizer even than the Chardstock 6.  I think this is because we have moved them to a fresh but fairly small paddock and we are giving them some concentrate feed as some of them are starting to look a bit thin - the weight is being milked off their backs as we old farmers say.

Instead of selling eggs, Pam is now swapping her vegetables for them.    They are laying a  little better now and we do actually have a surplus to sell.  According to Nick they are laying about the right number for this time of year so there is hope that we might be back to normal next year.  Whilst I don't think they are costing us any money,  they are definitely a fun project rather than a money making enterprise.

Friday -   We fed all the animals, had an early lunch and took Dolly (pup) and Jake (Mike's dog) to West Bay for a visit to the seaside.    Dolly is very nervous of strangers visiting the farm and my trusty behaviourist, Pauline, has advised that she is suffering from Big Garden syndrome - i.e. because she only runs about in our Big Garden she is not getting enough life experience.  She is especially nervous of children, but we are hoping she will get over this next week because the grandchildren will be staying for half term.

It was really hot and even with the sea breeze we did not need our coats.   Dolly loved splashing in the sea and virtually ignored anyone we walked past on the promenade.     I am not sure if this was because she was on the lead and felt more confident with me to back her up or if she is only worried when people come on to the farm.    She is already much better on the farm so we are hoping that this combined with a few more outings she will get more confident and we have an excuse to explore the locality.

I had a cream tea (low calorie of course) and Mike had his favourite, fruit cake and a cuppa.

Part of the reason we love this area is because it is so close to the seaside and yet we have only been to the coast a few times.  Yesterday reminded us how lucky we are to be living here and that we must get out more!!

Saturday - We got on with feeding the animals first thing and then I took Charlie and Romie to Agility Training at Stewly which is on the way to Taunton.   Sam, the instructor, is really good and they both did very well.  

Whilst I was out Mike made a start on Alario's new shelter.  He (Alario) is very funny sometimes.    When we filled his hay rack this morning he was facing out the wethers in the paddock opposite (divided by a wide race) but he loves his hay, so he went over to the hay, grabbed a mouthful and rushed back to the fence and went back to facing them out whilst chewing in a gangsterish style.

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