Tuesday, 2 December 2008

More blue tongue jabs.

Sue and I have just been out in the bitter cold (with occasional sleet) checking over the mighty herd and administering various bits of husbandry. First up was a blue tongue jab for all the adults. We had first jabbed them in May this year followed by a second dose at the beginning of June. We had no side effects to report incidentally.
I have been reading all sorts of advice reference blue tongue some people saying follow up jabs should be every 6 months, some saying 12 months. All very confusing so I decided to ask the advice of our vet Dave. He is after all the expert and has done some great stuff here in the past. His view was that you could probably get away with vaccinating every 12 months but there would be no harm in vaccinating every 6 months.
It was a no-brainer. We try as best as we can to provide the herd with the best possible care. If it was a safer option to inject every 6 months then so be it. The vaccine is not expensive and for the sake of half an hours work it is well worth it. Peace of mind is a great thing too.

So that was it jabs all round apart from the babies as they have recently had theirs. They will all synchronise when they are done again in June. It also gave us a chance to get up close and personal with the fluffsters which is always great.
Most of the herd is well behaved and will stand quietly whilst we fiddle about but there are the three 'troublesome monkeys' that need a little extra care and attention. They are treated with the same speed and precision a formula one car gets at a pit stop. We are in and out in a matter of seconds, job done. I will name and shame.

Coolaroo Judah (Judy) is a big strong scaredy cat who starts trembling as soon as the herd is rounded up and as such is one of the first for treatment. Her owner lives in Australia and we have looked after Judy for the past two years. She has improved but is still a complete stresspants. Not the best looking alpaca in the world (her nickname which Sue says I mustn't use is 'horse') but she does throw nice cria. The tactics for Judy are grab, hold on, jab, hold on, toenails, hold on, clear, out. Thankfully she doesn't spit.

Coolaroo Judah

Jake our huge big white whether is almost as bad, not quite so scared but just very strong. I am the toenail clipper so it is up to Sue to hang on. Sometimes it's very entertaining! He was actually very good today.

Big Jake

The dangerous one is Bobby, one of our foundation herd. Bobby is our medium fawn Wessex Mateus girl. She produces masses of fleece and is mother to our rosette winning Patou Poppy. Not only is Bobby big strong and stressy she is also a spit fountain. She spits at anyone, human or alpaca that goes anywhere near her, apart from her mother Priscilla and Poppy. At spit-off times she starts before the male gets anywhere near her, most males retreat immediately. The trick with Bobby is to grab low, below the arc of fire, point her down wind and crack on as fast as possible. Sue and I have become such experts with Bobby that although everything around us had a green tinge to it we were spit free. Hurrah!

Bobby looking very sweet, looks deceive!
Suffice it to say we still love them, it's just them being alpacas afterall.
Oh look at the time, whoopee, it is time to dress up and head off for another 10 hour shift at the day job. This has got to stop, I'm just having too much fun.

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