Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Tuesday Helper

On Tuesdays we usually have two helpers.  Jon comes in for a couple of hours to help me with routine husbandry with the alpacas and any other chores which come under my remit.  Nick works with Mike and is here all day .

Unfortunately this morning Nick texted to say he had a migraine (he is a regular sufferer).

We have to  trim toe nails of the alpacas regularly because they are on soft grassland all the time as opposed to the rough, rocky surface typical of the parts of South America where they originate, which wears their nails down.  So we made a start by bringing the males up from their field into the barn.

Prior to this I had my first lesson on how to drive the tractor.   Mike is still nursing his fractured leg and so could only give directions.   We normally park trailers and other mobile machinery in the barn to protect them from weather when not in use, so I had to back the tractor and topper out and park it together with some other equipment to make room for the boys to come in for their manicure.

All went well and I feel more confident that I will be able to help Mike top the fields in the spring when the grass needs cutting.  I even managed to park it back in the barn afterwards.

I also clean out the hen house every morning and clear up after the alpacas in the chicken enclosure.   This creates two small trailers of excrement a week  to be ferried down to the dung heap where it biogrades into very good compost. Jon and I carried out this unenviable task between us.  A busy two hours (including the toe nails) but very useful.
This is a typical scene when I start my day.  the nesting boxes are lined with hay (we have run out of straw) and when I arrive with the wheelbarrow everyone one wants  a slice of the action!  The cat hitches a ride, Ted (dog) keeps an eye on everything, and the alpacas pinch as much hay as they can before I move on to clean their enclosure.  All of this is overseen by the hens!  Happy families!
Click on the photo to see our alpacas for sale.

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