Monday, 5 September 2011

Shear Joy

On Saturday we did our usual stint at the Chardstock Street Fayre which is an annual event in the village.  Although we live in Tytherleigh, it is a bit of an add to to Chardstock and we come under the Parish of Chardstock when dealing with the authorities such as the council.

We took the same four boys who went to the Hawkchurch Fete and they were extremely laid back.   They had plenty of visitors but because they were facing the street they were not surrounded quite so much so they had more opportunity to lie down and also to munch their hay.   Sales of our products were not as good as they were at Hawkchurch but lots of people took our cards and promised to visit the farm shop when Christmas Shopping - the season for which is approaching far too rapidly.  I still have not got to grips with my second hand knitting machine which was intended to be used for making alpaca scarves for last Christmas.  I really must do something soon!!

We had the Angora Goats shorn yesterday and they are now living in the barn for a few days until some of their fleece starts to grow back.   It was very windy yesterday so we had to make up make shift covers for the pens to make sure they kept warm over night.   We did not think about taking photos until all the bigger goats had been done so this is one of the kids who decided to go all silly and floppy!!

Number 7 whose Mother only had one udder and was bottle fed for her first few months of life had oedema (swolen tissue) around her belly and down her front legs, which we discovered when she was being shorn.  I took her temperature which, if anything, seemed low rather than high, and we put her in a cria coat to keep her warm.  Cria coats are actually for baby alpacas who need extra protection if they are weak or born in exceptionally cold wheather.

She had been scouring (diarrhoea) so I had already medicated her and thought she was OK.  We cannot think of a reason why she should be suffering in this way but I have started her on a course of anti-biotics and also treated her for fluke which is a parasite that attacks the liver.   The whole herd of goats and alpacas are due to be treated routinely for this during September.

One possibility is that she has been bullied by one of the older goats as they are all in a more confined space and if she had been butted against one of the metal hurdles she may have internal bruising. 

Today she is still a bit lack lustre and does not respond to my voice which she usually does. Fingers crossed she will recover soon but in the meantime it is very worrying and mysterious

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