Somehow I have been away from the day job for two weeks. It started off with days off, followed by a severe case of Manflu. I don't use that term (manflu) lightly here, it was touch and go at one point, seriously, lesser men (and women) wouldn't have pulled through. It was knife edge stuff. Anyway after that followed a few days leave, then that s**t of a thing gout hit me again. That dovetailed nicely into days off again and here we are, two weeks since I have had to grace the doorway of the 'day job. Nice.
All that changes tomorrow of course as I am back to work. Having just looked at the calendar though it seems not for long, we have a cluster of Bank Holidays coming up and then I am into days off again. How cool is that. Might as well not bother really, would they notice?
Anyway yesterday Sue and I designed and built a new alpaca handling area using alpaca hurdles. We recently bought a dozen more as they are always handy. It was designed specifically with spitting off and mating in mind. We are getting to the business end of the year where we have to start thinking about next years cria drop. Qjori will be in pole position for most of the next few months. He carried out his first mating 12 days ago. He didn't have the easiest start. The lovely Dee, who is fourteen years old had been left empty over the winter for this very occasion. She is never the quickest alpaca to go to the floor and almost looks like she is spitting off. In fact for an alpaca who rarely spits she was literally spitting at poor old Qjori. There then followed what I can only describe as a 'joint mating. Together we muscled poor old Dee to the floor and Qjori quickly assumed the position. Once everything was underway Dee seemed to enjoy the experience and put up with Qjori chewing her ears and generally behaving like an over enthusiastic teeneager.
The result is that Dee genuinely did 'spit off' this morning! Excellent news, could have hit the spot first time!
Anyway using the new handling area everyone else was run past Qjori to check for pregnancy. Everyone who should have spat, did indeed spit and so as not to put Qjori off we had saved a little beauty for him at the end. My most favourite alpaca in the whole wide world, Lily, had also been kept open this winter. Again for this very occasion. Lily was a little easier for Qjori to get to the floor and eventually after the big lad fiddled and faffed around he was able to get in the right position. With a little help from yours truly I was able to confirm that the right thing was in the right place and away he went again.
Now I'm not sure if Qjori is unusual or if this is normal for young males just starting out but he was virtually silent throughout. There was a bit of huffing and puffing but just the merest hint of an orgle, sort of like a large bumble bee thinking about getting into a jamjar but not quite risking it. It was quite surreal. He did make up for the lack of noise with quite a lot of drooling and ear chewing though. I'm sure the orgle will be with us soon. One thing is for sure, he's keen!