Saturday, 25 February 2012

Before and after

I meant to take before and after photos of the goats when sheared.   Took the befores, but only took the afters today. Unfortunately the pregnant does in the after shots had just spotted the fresh haylage in their rack and refused to move to face the camera, hence the rather unfortunate look!!

They are coming to put the concrete floor in the new barn on Tuesday - at long last.   We had hoped to have the barn finished in December but have been bugged with bad weather.   The builders got all behind with their other jobs because of it and thus we kept getting our dates deferred.   When that is finally finished we are all set to start on the barn conversion.

We gave all the alpacas a vitamin and mineral drench today  and gave some of  them a hair cut.  They have a "topknot" which in some alpacas can grow too long and cause wool blindness -i.e. they cannot see through their fringe.  It can make them a bit wary as they are taken by surprise easily and can cause eye problems such as runny eyes.

Mike and I thought we should do it today as he has quite a list of non-animal related jobs on his agenda at the moment. 

Dolly was brilliant in fetching the alpacas for their treatment.   She is very calm and does not rush them at all- just keeps them moving at a steady pace.  The ones that used to argue with her seem to have resigned themselves to the fact that she must be obeyed. 

She also moved the bucks into their shelter for me.    We think Number 1 (our first-born) may have been caught in between the two adult bucks.   After shearing they did not recognise each other and had some fights - now resolved, it seems. Andy (number 1) has been limping very badly ever since.   We thought it was getting better he but seems to be holding it up again.   I have been giving him some gentle massage as I think he might have been butted and had something like a dead leg.   He lets me move it around without bleating- and, trust me, goats bleat for England if they are even slightly hurt!!  Fingers crossed he will gradually get better.

The dogs were very restless earlier this evening which is quite unusual and as we had found a pile of pheasant feathers in the chicken's paddock today we were worried that the fox might be on the prowl again. Mike went down to the chicken shed and confirmed that they had all made it into their house before the automatic pophole closed.   The door is light sensitive and shuts them in at night and lifts to let them out in the morning.

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