Friday, 30 July 2010
Anyway Dottie and Doodle are pictured below. Dottie is at the back, a Speckled Sussex and Doodle is at the front. She is, wait for it because this is the coolest name for a make of chicken, Doodle is a Scicilian Buttercup. With a name like that she sounds as if she would gently cluck sweet nothings in your ear whilst calmly slotting you with a stilletto (the knife not the shoe). They make an attractive pair I think.
So to alpaca news. The final cria of the year has been born in Patouland. Another late one at 1840hrs but thankfully after a shaky start a healthy one.
The new arrival and his mother don't belong to us so the little new boy has not been named yet. We are calling him Rory, as a sort of holding name. His mother is Valley Farm Sheba, a Wessex Fernando girl and the new cria is sired by Wessex Samurai. He is very dense and crimpy and at two days old is standing as if he owns the place.
Sheba has been here for a couple of years and is now up for sale at a ridiculously cheap price for a quick sale.
Little Rory was completely flat when he was born, he couldn't even lift his head and we were quite concerned. I rubbed him thoroughly with a towel several times and we waited. Slowly you could see strength coming in to him and after half an hour he could lift his head. I put him in the cush position and a few minutes after that I stood him up. Sue then got them into the shed and fed Sheba allowing the little fellow a nice static target. He was quickly feeding well and he since then he hasn't looked back. He is mobbed frequently by the other boys, Rafiki, Rico and Roger Resilient and I think we have a few months of entertainment from that lot to look forward to!
Sheba, a first time mum who is doing a splendid job.
Sheba will be covered by the mighty Cambridge Columbus in a couple of weeks and that pairing should put some nice brownness into Sheba's next cria.
Right, work, then Merc.
Monday, 26 July 2010
Pictured below is Sue's new mode of transport. After flirting with Volkswagens, Audis, BMWs, Jags and a whole load of other cars we finally found a beautiful sea blue Mercedes Benz. What a thing of beauty it is. Black leather, shiny buttons and knobs and with comfort in buckets it is eagerly awaited. Awaited? Awaited? What does he mean? Is it not there? I hear you gasp. No, it is not here yet, we have to wait until Friday for the Mighty Merc to arrive in Patouland. I am so excited about my new....I mean Sue is quite excited about her new car (which I am allowed to use when she is not using it..... she said I could) ......... hopefully......occasionally.....maybe.
Right, enough of that tosh, this is an alpaca blog and I will now provide you with alpaca news. Firstly, I have taken so many pictures of the Mighty Magnificent Seven (actually it is now eight but I have no photos of the latest arrival yet, tomorrow....maybe) altogether without mums and aunties that I am bored of trying. Here is a couple of photos I took yesterday of the little bundle of brownieblackness as they all hit the dust bath whilst the 'grown ups' were troughing breakfast.
Right, moving on. At the beginning of the year we bought a new field shelter. It is now located at the bottom of the hill about a hundred yards from where we feed the mighty herd. What happens is that we walk down to the shelter, collect a bucket of food and walk back up the hill where aforementioned food is placed into the troughs and the fluffsters then eat it. Why we do this I don't really know. Feed them down there or keep the food up here sounds much more sensible, anyway that's how it works at the moment, strangely. Whilst walking back up the hill with the food we are quite often 'mugged' by the herd. They are greedy little whatnots.
Sometimes, if I am taking something heavy down to the shed, like a piano or a fridge I will drive down. Similarly if I am bringing something heavy back up like, Oh I don't know, a full size rubber horse or a small aeroplane I will also drive down in the mighty Land Rover. I will then bring the food up in the Landy. The alpacas think this is great and race me back up the hill. In short it is an awesome experience and I love it! The other day I took the little camera with me (the mini Canon) and recorded the experience on the video mode of the camera. It has taken me three days to get the small video clip onto the blog, trust me I almost went to fetch my hammer several times. Anyhow I think it is now available for you to view. You too can experience 'running with the Mighty Patou!'. If it works that is?
If it doesn''t work just put Patou Alpacas into http://www.youtube.co.uk/ and you can see it there apparently.
PS If you look closely in the background on the right I did run one of them over. We're tough down here though, no harm done.
Sunday, 18 July 2010
Still that has all changed today and I feel ready to take on the world once more. No really, throw what you like at me, I'm ready, we're ready. I'm ready to punch adversity squarely on the nose. Bring it on that's what I say.
Another great source of loveliness is of course the mighty Patou herd. They are looking splendid, the cria are growing fast and the girls are one by one falling pregnant. Columbus has six already spitting off so that's good. We also have two girls mated to the mighty Jack of Spades spitting nicely so things are looking good for a close dose of birthing next summer. Excellent!
I took the above photo yesterday and I love the general brownness of it. Ok some of them may turn out to be dark fawn but that's only a nanoshade from being light brown so we can cope with that!
I have noticed recently that two of the boys seem to be joined at the hip. Almost every time I look out on the herd Rafiki and Rico are barging each other around. Rafiki weighed in at nearly 20 kilos yesterday and he's just 5 weeks old. He is our largest cria apart from the powerhouse that is Ruby May, I have stopped weighing Ruby as she nearly broke my arms the last time I hoisted her chunkiness skywards! Rafiki is heavier than Runa and Reeya who were both born two weeks before him. Rico, however, is our smallest cria, he weighs in at 10.5 kilos at 3 weeks of age having been 6.7kg at birth. You would think that Rafiki would dominate, being almost twice the weight of Rico but the little chap seems to be a master of the surprise barge from the rear. It's very amusing to watch.
Don't be put off by the weight and size differential, little Rico packs a powerful punch.
Saturday, 17 July 2010
The day job has been getting in the way but the real reason is that I am hunting for a new car for Sue. Sue has changed jobs from Community Midwife to working at the hospital in the Ante-natal clinic as a result the lease car has to go.
A replacement needs to be found - I have taken on the task wholeheartedly.
I have been researching and searching and am coming to the tail end of the car hunt. I am a little bit obsessed with cars at the moment, Sue may say A LOT obsessed but I feel if we are going to get the right car research is key.
We have narrowed it down to either a BMW an Audi or a Mercedes (second hand of course).
Anyway that's all the time I can spare I need to get back on Autotrader.
Oh yes, the alpacas? They are all wonderfull. Cria are growing fast and everyone looks good. Sorry I really must go, I must keep looking, shiny things with buttons and wheels and stuff!
Friday, 9 July 2010
Suffice it to say that when I took the hounds for a patrol of the alpaca field I saw that the Magnificent Seven had separated itself from mums and aunties and was swirling, as one.
Typically I didn't have a camera with me so the resultant images were taken with my phone.
What can clearly be seen is seven cria and no other alpacas!!!!!!
Above, from left to right, Ruby May, Rosa, Rafiki, Resilient and Rico (slighty morphed into one), Runa and Reeya!
Wednesday, 7 July 2010
Anyway I was out last night looking for the 'Magnificent Seven' shot, unsuccessfully I might add and snapped a few members of the Mighty herd.
First of all, a non-member got in the way, as usual. Dilly, who is here to get pregnant and be sold is very inquisitive and as usual stuck her big nose in the way as soon as I took the lens cap off. Shortly after this photograph was taken she nudged me on the head with her nose and snorted at me. Dilly may be many things but she is not, thankfully, a spitter!
Next up is one of the matriarchs of the herd, Priscilla, mother to Bobby, Henry, Bo Jangles, Jonah and Minstrel. She is a miserable old bag most of the time, never far away from a screech or a spit but is unusually calm having her current cria Rosa around. She is lovely really and a prolific mother!
Monday, 5 July 2010
I briefed the herd beforehand, nothing too bossy, just a few quiet words about what I was expecting. A gentle plea for some cooperation, that was all. I might as well have been peeing into a hurricane for all the effect my 'pep' talk had. Anyway I clicked away nonetheless.
Matters weren't helped by the whole herd refusing to come out of the shade of a large Ash tree into the field which was bathed in sunshine. It may have had something to do with the marauding hooligans captured in the last picture, they're even worse at listening!
After the briefing I walked amongst them forlornly hoping for some sort of co-ordinated response to my request. Not a bit of it, all I got was a bunch of posing solo alpacas. Resilient was the first, and I do say he does pose fabulously well, he is a stand out poser if you like. He exudes pride and presence. Fantastic, the little squirt.
Next it was Runa's turn to stand frozen to the spot. I really don't think any of them listened to a word I said. She stood beautifully, ears (check out those ears folks) alert. Thanks a lot Runa.
I then started to get a little help as some of them bunched up a bit with Resilient, Runa and Rafiki posing together. Rosa is in the background, she point blank refused to get involved and is in the picture 'by mistake' as she pointed out to me quite vociferously afterwards.