Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Job Done

Colin sheared the goats on Saturday and although it was not as cold as when they were done last year they were still really shivery.   We kept them in the barn overnight with blankets and tarpaulins round the pen to try and keep the cold draft out. We cleaned out the goat house but wanted to leave it for a day or so to let the disinfectant dry out before putting the new straw in.   Today they went back home and are getting extra feed to help them keep warm.

They have also had to be treated for lice which is quite common in goats.  Next job will be to sort the fleeces and decide what to do with them.  

Mike and Nick finished off the new house for the bucks today and they will be moving in tomorrow.

Tanya is still doing well although not quite up to scratch yet.  She certainly seems very settled with her new companions.  I am using the weanlings for Dolly to practice her herding skills.  Nick is very impressed with her and thinks she is a natural.  I think he finds it hard to understand why I would want to teach her agility!!  She understand Cum Bye (if that is how you spell it) as she naturally goes in right hand circles but as she hardly ever goes the other way I have not been able to give that a cue  She drops at a distance but still tends to turn towards me rather than maintain contact with the herd.

Nick said that she did a very hard thing this afternoon  because apparently I was standing in the wrong place i.e. in the eyeline of the alpacas so she had to bring them up  when my presence was causing an obstruction.  She stands no chance really when it is the blind leading the blind!!

A while ago I phoned a woman who advertised sheepdog/handling training but when I mentioned that the dog did agility she was very rude and said that it would be hopeless and she also said that working alpacas was totally different to working sheep and that I should forget it, basically!!   David's dog, Jax, works his sheep and seems perfectly able to do the same with the alpacas without upsetting them at all.  It does not really matter because we do not really need a working dog as the alpacas are very easy to handle anyway.  It sometimes comes in handy when they decide they do not want to go through a particular gateway or into the barn.

When the kids were in their separate paddock Dolly used to pop in and herd them into their house whenever we went past.   She would then return to me and the kids would be really cute peeking out to see if they were allowed out again. It obviously does not upset them as all the dogs run around when we are feeding them and they don't bat an eyelid.

We made Mike's annual supply of marmalade at the weekend so he is set for a few months. Apparently it is far superior to the mass produced version according to the expert (Mike).

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