Friday, 19 March 2010

The great drought is over!

Yes, the great drought is over and the great rains have come to Patouland.
Alright so this isn't exactly the Serengeti plain but we have had about three weeks without any rain and we were getting rather used to it thank you. Today it has drizzly rained all day and the forecast says it is set for the next week or so. Yuk.

Still it will help to get the spring grass growing and I can stop spending oodles on alpaca feed. As this winter was longer than usual we have had to buy more feed than ever before. As a result they are in tip top condition coming into spring which is the way I like it.
I always try and feed myself up over the winter months so that I am well insulated and ready for any famine that may suddenly strike from nowhere. Yes, all you thin people are going to look a little bit silly if the big one hits and food is scarce. I, on the other hand can go for months and I will feel better and better the longer it lasts.......sorry whipped off into some weird parallel universe for a moment then.

Anyway this week saw the visit of our vet, the lovely Louise, who came to examine the whole herd for insurance purposes. We are looking at switching to a 'whole herd' insurance policy rather than individual animal insurance, it is a cheaper option and as the herd grows will make more sense. The verdict was that the whole herd is in mighty fine shape thank you very much, which was very nice to hear and satisfying to know.

We are now rapidly approaching our first birth of the year. Bobby, resident spit fountain with a deadly aim (filled my ear up yesterday) hit the 300 day mark today and is as big as a house. She is an early birther. Last year she gave birth to Penny at 330 days and 2 years before that she gave birth to Poppy even earlier at 315 days. Poppy needed round the clock bottle feeding initially but both her and Penny have grown into very healthy girls.

Bobby with Poppy tucked up in the shed in 2007.

Bobby with Penny last year.

Bobby is a very good mother until her cria are 6 months old and then she wants nothing more to do with them. She weaned Penny herself this winter and now refuses to talk to her.

Sue and I have now cranked up to Defcon four and scan the herd looking eagerly for Bobby several times a day. If her size is anything to go on she will not get to 330 days this year, no way.
Another consequence of this rain is that we are now having to deal with a very wet Newfoundland. Kira and Josh come back from their twice daily walk drenched and although Josh dries off nicely Kira is a whole different ball game.

I snapped them this afternoon in the 'holding area' by the back door with the kittens, Seb and Belle in close attendance. Right must go, sausages to cook.


Debbie, Barnacre Alpacas said...

My first to birth (Alice) hit the 300 mark today too! It's her first so I'm sure that Bobby will beat her - the race is on.

Mark said...

Ooooooooooh!!! I love races!! You're on, I'm just going out to poke her with stick!

Zanzibah Alpacas said...

Now...stop it you two...I can't join the race...its not fare !..Can you start at day minus approx...400 !...and then I can join in...Im looking forward to hearing the pitter patter of tiny feet !.....Jayne

Apple Vale Alpacas said...

aren't we fickle? it's great to have a drop of rain on our parched dusty plains - it's been a good two and half weeks of recovery for the ground, and the 'pacas fleeces, but tonight they're like drowned rats. Jayne I'll 'race' you to 24th August when Pela is due AND it'll be my birthday.

Amiryck said...

Ronnie is 301 days today so 300 yesterday but WE ARE NOT JOINING THE RACE ;) We are just hoping for a smoother time than you had with her last year!

Roll out the first Columbus cria!

Mark said...

Woohoo! The first Clumpmeister cria! Looking forward to that one!

Mark said...

I'm with you there Karen. 337 days with Reggie. Sue

Perry Wheeler said...

3 Weeks with out rain and you think you have a drought! I would love your rain we still none here. At least it has cooled down a bit.

Our last 2 girls to birth are at 340 and 338 days. So I hope they arrive before yours!