Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Making Sure

Had a really interesting weekend.   Attended a dog agility competition on Saturday and Romie and I finally achieved a clear round and she won her class in Grade 6 Jumping.   She also did a very good round in the agility but when she was heading for a tunnel I peeled off too soon and she thought I wanted her to come with me so she had a refusal which incurs 5 faults.  Charlie and Dolly my two "baby" dogs both did very well.  They are both actually running the correct course most of the time but both are having difficulty understanding that they had to do the weaves in competition as well as in training - as I am their trainer I have to take responsibility but have not hit on the answer yet.  Probably just more practice.

On Sunday we went to a self-build show to pick up some ideas for when we start converting our barn into a dwelling.  It was very interesting and very much geared towards "green" ideas.    Solar panels were highly represented, but we were quite interested in rainwater harvesting and some of the indoor finishes such as slate worktops for the kitchen.  We also looked at the various options for insulation as obviously that is a priority these days.

Yesterday we returned the buck and the young bucks to their normal paddock as they were going stir crazy in the barn.   Drake, the buck, spent lots of time looking over the gate of the barn and chewing bits of bailer twine that were holding up the hurdles.   They galloped like spring lambs when they hit the grass again.

We kept the does and female kids in the barn until today as they needed their nails clipping.  We separated the older females and put them in a paddock with buck after  fitting him with a raddle.   That is a harness with a marker crayon - a big square lump, not a pencil - so that when he mates the females we can tell that he has done his duty because the marker attached to his chest leaves a stain.

Nick and I also scanned all the female alpacas who were far enough into their pregnancies.   The results were pretty good.  Only two females scanned negative and they were two who we have had problems with for a long time.   We will probably give up on them now and sell them as non-breeding females - hopefully before the winter and expensive feeding starts.

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