Friday, 23 March 2012

And then there was a 5.

Today the lovely Mrs Steele and I have been out doing alpaca stuff pretty much all day. Which is marvellous. It was a positively summery 17C this afternoon and as a result whilst I was handling some of the more 'difficult' alpacas (the hair-trigger spit monster family basically) it all became a little hot and sweaty. For me, not them. Not for Mrs S either who was with pen and paper as chief record keeper!

As we have some boggy patches in our fields we were treating the whole herd with Fasinex to combat the risk of Liver-fluke problems. I have recently stocked up on drugs from the vet and with the Baycox Bovis came a multi-dose drenching gun, a freebie! I just love getting stuff for free and as I didn't actually have a multi-doser I was like a child with a new toy. It is brilliant! Made drenching a lot quicker and a lot less hassle. No doubt the price of the Baycox has gone up to compensate but we haven't been invoiced yet so fiddly dee!

Whilst drenching everyone we were also carrying out our routine checks to make sure the herd is healthy and also to see how they coped coming through winter. Condition scoring is something that we do at least once a month and enables us to hopefully get the heads up if someone is not well.

Well for one thing the herd has come through the winter extremely well, in fact just about the whole herd has come out of winter fatter than they were when we went into it. I fear we may have been slightly over feeding!
I suppose the previous two winters have been long and cold and we didn't adjust for the relatively mild winter that we have just had.

We use the 1-5 scale of condition scoring and I am happy if everyone scores around the 3.5 to 4 mark. However, this year we have large proportion weighing in at 4.5 and we have one, who has become our first ever 5! The tubster is Patou Rosa, our first Columbus girl and a big favourite in the herd (especially with Sue). She doesn't look particularly overweight but when you get your hands on her you realise that you could park a pint of ale on her backbone with no danger of it slipping off! She is on restricted diet (as in grass only) from now on!

Patou Rosa, (or 5 as I now call her) is rather lovely with a fabulously soft fleece.

Mmm perhaps her fringe needs a trim?

Whilst I was out there with the wide angle lens (ooh how cruel!) I took a couple of other pictures.
Here is Fifi, another one of the 'never to be sold clan'.

 And finally here is Victoria, who has seemingly recovered from the loss of her little brown boy last week. Such a shame.

Right enough of this drivel I have to go, I have to plan tactics for the Alpaca 2012 show. With 340 entries I may have to resort to subterfuge and a certain amount of clever trickery. Could always just take some mind bending drugs with me I suppose?


Debbie, Barnacre Alpacas said...

We too have a young lardy! I have a thin one too though, feeding always takes it out of her so she's on extra rations.

Zanzibah Alpacas said...

I have a few lardy ones...and also some rather wide alpacas !! What ever happened to 'Big is Beautiful' .....Georgeous photos of the Mighty Patou ! Looks like there are a few on the 'never to be sold list' ...funny how I have one of these also, and the list gets longer...each year !!...Jayne