Friday 26 June 2015

Diggerman strikes again

Mike is finding lots to do with his digger these days.  He and Nick (when he is working here) are clearing the boundaries and digging out the ditches and Mike has also started on the sunken garden at the back of the house.

He assures me that it is not hard work, although he is quite tired by the end of the day. 

We now have quite a flock of sheep but I have decided that, fun though they are, they are not really for me and they are up for sale.  We had 4 ewes and they had 4 ewe lambs and 4 ram lambs between them. 

I am really enjoying the alpacas again and after downsizing we now have a lovely young herd and so far 5 cria this year, so it will not take long to get back to a commercial quantity.   We downsized partly to help finance the barn conversion and also because of Mike's health and our age, but hey, we have to graze the land (too much for the lawn-mower) and we do not fancy renting it out and having to worry about the dogs and giving access to a tenant all the time.

Sunday 21 June 2015

New Life

Whilst all the recently born cria are running around enjoying their new little lives, we have started mating the lovely young adult females who now comprise our herd and are looking forward to more delightful youngsters next year.

The ewes are coping well with the growing lambs, although the one with triplets is looking a  little world weary.   We are expecting some rain over night which,  combined with sunshine should reinvigorate the pastuire and give all the grazers a boost.

We set up another handling area in the sheep paddock and Mike took the tractor over to transport some hurdles.   As soon as he stopped the lambs jumped on the topper he was towing and started playing noisily - jumping on and off and chasing each other around.

Wednesday 17 June 2015

Who'd have thought it?

Regan who is a beautiful very dark brown female is usually very nervous and even shakes when we catch her to trim her nails or carry out any other husbandry but this morning she really surprised me.
Two of my friends from the village, Nicky and Lynne, had asked if they could come and see the cria and we arranged for them to come this morning at about 11 a.m.

They were enchanted and all the mums behaved nicely and did not try to rush away.   Whilst chatting I noticed that Regan was looking very uncomfortable and I mentioned (out loud apparently) that she looked about to give birth.  Of course Nicky and Lynne wanted to stay and watch.  Luckily it all went very smoothly.  Regan, although a maiden, bonded immediately with her newborn and later when he was trying to suckle she even let me test that she had milk.  She just looked strangely at me and continued caressing her new baby.  No shaking or nerves at all.

The new cria, black male, called Cusi (Inca for Joy) was soon suckling and having been investigated by all his new aunties,the other alpaca mums, settled down for a calm introduction to life from his lovelyYummy Mummy.

Monday 15 June 2015


The alpacas were shorn today.   Luckily, although it started out as a very chilly morning, by the time they had lost their fleece the sun had come out.

It took a while for the cria to work out which mum was which, but it looks as though they have sorted it out now.

Whilst I was with the shearer and his assistant keeping things tidy and making a rough grading of the fleece, Mike did all the day to day jobs indoors as well as his regular one of cleaning out and feeding the hens in the morning.

Thursday 11 June 2015

More New Arrivals

The day before yesterday Perdita gave birth to a pretty little light fawn female and at 7 p.m. (very late for a typical alpaca birth) Valentine also gave birth to a female - this time really white.