Monday 23 January 2017

Two out of three OK
I would like to have a photo but panic prevented me from collecting the camera.

Two events today - luckily so far the third has not materialised.  A minor offence - I put the veggies on for dinner and thought I would "just spend a few minutes catching up on my emails" and, of course got involved and forgot.   The top of the stove looked as though it had been sprayed with some sort of fire preventing foam, but it was just starch from the potatoes.  What a lovely mess to clear up.  Luckily the saucepan had not burnt dry and set the fire alarm off.  I know that can happen - not telling you how I know!!!

The second event was that the post man, who collects the mail orders going out from the business, knocked on our front door and alerted Mike to the presence of one of our alpacas on the verge outside the farm  (the main A358 road).   He (Mike) had accidentally left a gate partially open, leaving just enough room for an alpaca to get through.   Luckily just one of the older girls wandered out and none of the others had noticed before the postie alerted us to the problem.

Luckily Citrine, the escapee, wandered back in the farm gate and with the help of the talented Dolly (the dog) we managed to chase her back into the paddock where she belonged.

We are optimists, so , maybe things do not come in threes!!  Let us hope!!

Sunday 8 January 2017

One Man and his Dog

 Wherever Mike is, Jake is never far away.  He was my best friend when Mike was in hospital but immediately upon his return, I was disguarded and ignored, except for at meal times, of course.

As you can see everything is pretty much back to normal.  

As this morning was the first time the alpacas have been dry for a while, I took the opportunity to administer their vitamins which they need over the winter to compensate for the lack of sunshine.  It is administered orally and so I have to hold the alpaca in order to get the drenching gun into the mouth.  Not very pleasant for them or me if they are soaking wet.

The hens are all shut in all the time at the moment because of the Defra restrictions in the light of the Bird Flu problem.   They should have been allowed to free range again yesterday but a new outbreak means that the restrictions are now being applied until the end of February.   They don't seem to mind too much and we have put a bale of straw in their pen for them to dismantle and keep themselves amused.   They like perching on it and scrabbling around, not to mention eating the seeds that are still in it. 

Tuesday 3 January 2017

New Year at Laurel Farm

 Having recovered fully from his heart surgery Mike went to Shepton Mallet to have his hernia repaired and unfortunately had an allergic reaction to one of the pre-operation drugs, ending up in Resus at Musgrove hospital and a 5 day stay during which it was touch and go for a while.  He was home  for Christmas and is getting back to normal, but still has his hernia and no prospect of having it fixed in the forseeable future as his heart needs to get over the shock.

Today we had the hardest frost of the winter so far, and definitely the hardest in 2017.  The alpacas are looking frosted but happy.

The cria are now all about six months old and I have started halter training them.  We only had five last year and they are all males.   I have been handling them on a regular basis for some time so putting a halter on them is not too stressful.  Once they are walking nicely on a leading rein they will be tagged and microchipped (a job I really really hate doing) and then, unfortuntely they will have to join the big boys and leave their mothers.

It is good that there are five of very similar ages as they will form their own little herd with their friends and if all goes to plan will soon settle in with the big boys as the juniors for the time being until they reach adulthood and start finding their place in the herd.

All the animals are doing well.   The hens are fed up because they are not allowed to free range at the moment due to restrictions during a bird flu scare.   They are due to be let out on Friday unless the restrictions are extended.