Friday, 23 March 2012

Green green grass of home

With the springlike weather the grass has turned green again after the usual end of winter sad, yellow look.   The haylage we put out is not so popular as it was as like most livestock the alpacas prefer fresh forage.

I have finally finished sorting out the goat fleece from the last three shearings.  I had intended to have it spun and sell the wool but with everything else going on I have not got round to it, so I have decided to sell it back to the breeder from whom we bought our original goats.    Sorting the fleece is very tedious and needs at least a good play to listen to on the radio.   All vegetation and stained fleece needs to be removed.  I am definitely going to try and find a way of feeding them hay without getting it in the fleece as soon as possible.   The fleece feels very different from alpaca fleece in that it is soft, but feels very heavy and greasy, whereas the alpaca fleece does not carry lanolin at all.

The boys are still happy free ranging around the house and home paddocks, and seem very relaxed with  the dogs, chickens and humans whether visitors or residents.

On Tuesday Nick  and I  trimmed all the goats' feet as some of them were  limping.  In many cases it was just mud or grass that had got wedged but they did need doing as well.  It was absolute mahem because we ran all the does down into the barn and of course the kids came too.   They thought they had arrived at a funfair.  They kept running up and down the ramp we use to walk the goats up to the table where we do their feet, then they would escape from the pen and start bleating because they could not find their Mums and then come back in and start jumping on the ramp or walking up it and trying to suckle from whoever was captive at the top.  We laughed a lot but were quite glad when it was all over.    Trimming the bucks feet was a much more sober affair.

The barn is nearly finished apart from electrics and plumbing.  Most of the machinery and manpower has now left the site and we are looking forward to a peaceful time.

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