Friday, 11 March 2011

Dressing for Spring

Most of the weanlings have decided that walking on a  halter is actually not such a bad thing after all.  I am most worried about Pablo because he is really not very happy.  I think it is mainly because he has rather a short face and it is thickly covered in fleece so the nose band of the halter is not very comfortable for him.  He has not yet worked out that it helps if he just walks along without pulling or jumping around.  We are going to do a few shows this year-just local ones.  I think several of our boys are in with a chance and Miranda is a really impressive young brown female so it is quite important that they walk elegantly and without causing too much disruption.

No kids yet and I am going to meet my friend, Pauline, for lunch tomorrow so Mike might have to be a reluctant mid-wife.   All the does have kidded before so fingers crossed things will be fairly normal.

Anticipating that the grass will start to grow soon, we are restricting all the alpacas to paddocks on the left hand side of the main field so that we can spread Grasstrak on the right hand side, which is a mineral dressing that should ensure that when alpacas eat the grass they also take in vital minerals which are necessary for their health.  We had the soil tested when we first came here and there are no particular deficiences but we want to keep it that way.  When we move them over to the right in a few weeks time we will give the left side the same treatment. 

The main herd of females needs to come up to the home paddocks too.  There is not much grass left in the winter paddocks, although they really like the space down there  to roam around.  Sometimes when we go into the field they are nowhere to be seen and are right at the bottom of the slope.  If we do not actually want them to come up we have to hide, otherwise they come galloping up, thinking there is something on offer.

We have had quite a few people phoning to find out when we are open, so we have started to open the gates most  afternoons.   It is better than the 11 - 3.30p.m. we used to do as it means that the dogs can have the run of the farm until lunchtime and we have plenty of time to get the jobs done.  It is not very busy yet but if we are here anyway it does not cost anything to open up.

It has been an expensive week because my printer went down and the trouble shooting instructions indicated that it needed a new print head which I bought (not cheap).  When it arrived I changed the print head but the fault did not go away.  We decided that it would be throwing good money after bad to spend any more on spare parts and so have forked out for a new printer.   Installing the printer prompted a complete re-organisation of the office, which now looks more spacious and is much more user friendly.  It also allows me to have an oil radiator under the desk which cuts out the draughts and makes it quite cosy.

No comments: