Friday, 19 November 2010

A week in the dark

Right, finally a day off and I can attend to all things alpaca. I have just worked seven days in a row and most of those days I have been leaving for work in the dark and getting home in the dark. It is not a situation that pleases me. It is not conducive to alpaca farming.
Luckily I have the lovely Mrs S on the case and she has been dealing with things in my abscence. There have been several telephone discussions but Sue has been in charge and I am happy to report that as I take over for a few days all is well.
However, it has been a slightly stressful week with a few medical issues that needed sorting out. The main cause for concern has been our oldest alpaca, Dee and her cria Reeya. They have both been under the weather (and boy we've had some weather over the last week!) but hopefully are now on the mend.
Reeya had quite severe diaorrhea and was very listless and in considerable abdominal pain. Thankfully after a dose of wormer, some Baycox Bovis, a course of anti-biotics and a course of Pro-rumen she seems back to normal. Sue did call out our vet, the lovely Louise, as a precaution, but I think by then we were on top of things. Better to be safe than sorry, these girls are so special to us it is important to get diagnosis and treatment right.

The beautiful, majestic Reeya, earlier this year, before the mud arrived!

Reeya's mother, Dee, is another matter. She is our oldest alpaca and the only Chilean import that we have. She is 13 years old, although I am not sure how accurate the Chilean record keeping is. A slightly suspicious 1st of January birth date doesn't instil confidence.
Dee is also probably the calmest alpaca in the herd and does produce some superb cria. Reeya herself is the pick of this years cria with a super soft, fine, crimpy, bundly, bright fleece. Another super Jack of Spades production.
Anyway, Dee herself seemed a bit under the weather and was very shivery. It has been cold, indeed it has been wet and cold but not that cold so we were a bit concerned. A couple of days in the shed with Reeya and the application of a nice warm coat seems to have done the trick.

Dee starring in one of my favourite alpaca photographs a couple of years ago with her cria, Barney.

Now here's a thing. I tried to put a coat on her early on in the week. She went berserk, absolutely berserk and was not having it. As soon as it touched her back she took off kicking, screeching and spitting. I removed it quick smart and she calmed down.
Sue tried it whilst I was at work and Dee didn't object at all, she probably even helped to do up the buckles! Now what is that all about? Some sort of feminine conspiracy going on here I think!

Interestingly, Louise said that there was an unusually high worm burden in sheep at the moment. I had already decided to treat the whole herd for worms and coccidiosis but it is interesting to hear that, ideal conditions for the little gits I suppose.

Right enough of this, it's time to step into my wellies and get out into the ankle deep mud, lovely. Still it's better than being at work.


Zanzibah Alpacas said...

Hope that Dee and Reeya are on the mend..this weather makes every thing even more miserable..Im also knee deep in mud !!...I hate mud !!...the photos are lovely.....roll on the spring !!.....Jayne

Barbara@beckbrowalpacas said...

Lovely photo of Dee...with a bright blue sky to cheer us up and remind us of sunnier times... Glad Reeya and Dee are feeling better...I'll second Jayne's 'roll on spring' comment...brrr!

Jenny said...

Our oldest girl used to stand quietly to have her coat on in the mornings, if she had been in for the night. She wore it all winter, but interestingly, last winter she was still cold on some days. Dee will learn to love!