Thursday, 7 June 2012
Well one day we were celebrating our number 100 cria and the next it was blowing a gale and raining cats and dogs. Number 101 was born late yesterday and before he was even dry from his birth he was soaking in the rain again, so once again all the females and their cria are back in the barn for a few days. At first they resisted because in wet and windy weather they lie down if they cannot get to a shelter before the rain gets heavy, but once they realised they were heading for the nice warm barn they set off at a gallop. Poor little 101 was born in one of the furthest away paddocks and so at just a couple of hours old he followed the herd to a paddock nearer to the house and then only an hour or so later had to troop across to the barn. He took it all in his stride and spent a happy few minutes having a good explore until his Mum started getting distressed and put out an all points bulletin to find him again.
Some of the older cria (all of three weeks old) wanted to chase each other around like they do outside but they soon found too many obstacles in the form of grumpy adults who just wanted a quiet rest and lie down.
All our cria are tagged and allocated a herd number. Cria number 100 is actually about number 83 because we imported 17 alpacas from Chile when we first started up, and they were allocated herd numbers as if they were cria. We have also bought from UK breeders including 5 pregnant females, 3 with cria at foot, i.e. three of the females had male offspring with them when we bought them, and four other alpacas joined the herd at various times. These all kept their original number and so are not included in our 101. Including all this year's cria we have 43 in the herd currently - most of the rest have been sold apart from poor Julio and Bono. Julio died from ulcers and Bono was euthenased after extensive and unsuccessful treatment of some sort of digestive problem.
The new hens are settling in well although they have not been allowed out yet. The one hen remaining after the fox attack is leading a very independant life and we are hoping that she does not put herself in danger. Tonight she has settled down on a large straw bale in the barn with the alpacas, so I would think it unlikely that the fox would venture in, especially as the alpacas will be protective of their cria.
The concrete will be poured into the footings of our new house tomorrow. That will be a good step forward. The insulation panels are being manufactured and we are hoping to visit the factory in the next few days to see how the operation works and to make sure they actually exist before we part with another large installment.