Regular readers will be aware that we have not had the best start to our breeding season and that we have been anticipating the arrival of the next cria. Dee was the next in line and was way overdue. So yesterday, the worst day for weather that we have had this year we were hoping that she could keep her legs crossed.
However, as I looked out of the window yesterday morning, squinting through the rivers of rain pouring down the glass I could see Dee all alone, standing, staring into space. The rain was lashing down and the gale force winds meant nowhere was dry out there. It was a horrible day, utterly miserable. Half an hour later and Dee was still standing there staring into space. Something was up, today, no matter what the weather was like it became apparent that Dee was going to give birth. The watching became more intense.
At about a quarter to three we saw Dee running up the hill with a sense of urgency into the top part of the paddock where she disappeared behind a large holly bush. The rest of the herd followed at a more sedate pace and a few minutes later, wellies and waterproofs in place off I trundled up the hill to see what was going on. On my way I noticed that it had stopped raining for the first time of the day and that the wind had dropped. In fact the sun was almost visible through the clouds. As I rounded the corner at the top of the hill I could see Dee lying on her side facing away from me. Something was up. Then I saw something momentarily flick up behind her, something small. It was close to her but too far away from her to be her tail, was it an ear? My pace quickened and as I arrived I could see that it was indeed an ear which was attached to a cria that was just arriving into the world. Considering the weather so far it was a momentarily calm and dry world. A quick check revealed it was a strong healthy looking female who was up in a cush in less than two minutes.
About 45 minutes later and the weather turned nasty again, so dried, coated and jabbed with Amoxypen, Truffle, her mother and Aunty Sabrina were ensconced on some fresh clean straw in a shed as spotless as I could make it. Two hours later the placenta was out and Truffle was feeding nicely, we could relax. Large gin and tonics all round, job done.
Ladies and Gentlemen, may I introduce......... (pause for fanfare and cut to shots of people wiping away tears of joy) after 371 days of slow cooking............Patou Truffle!
I was up early and a double coated Truffle is now back outside and doing well.
Before all that excitement I was tasked with bringing excitement to others. We had sold Jake, Jonah, Blackjack and Samson about 18 months ago but their owner could no longer care for them effectively and had asked me to find a new home for them. Within a month of advertising them a call from Wales had come and Peter and Jenny were making the four hour trip to see them. It was love at first sight and on Friday I loaded the boys up and set off back to the motherland (I was born in Pembrokeshire). The usual tears of joy as I crossed the Severn bridge came and went and a couple of hours later I was driving down the narrow lanes of Landshipping to Cloverback Farm. Peter and Jenny were very pleased to see their boys and I know they will be looked after very well, they are now part of a lovely family.
Right enough in doors stuff, I must get out and see how the latest Princess of Patou is doing.