Saturday, 31 January 2009
The plan was to start weaning today and move the mums to our friends place down the road where they can put on some condition and leave us here to start halter training. All was going well until we arrived at Liz's (5 minutes down the road) and started to unload. Lily was lying down and it became apparent that her foot had been trapped in the trailer door. I quickly released her but unfortunately half of one of her toes had been severed.
Sue and I have no idea how this happened. We were both there shutting the trailer door. There was no undue resistance, no noise from any of the alpacas and no inkling that someone had been trapped. It must have happened there as I don't see how else it can have happened.
Our vet has been out and examined Lily, she has had the wound cleaned and dressed, had antibiotcs painkillers and she is now in the garden with her sister Lola. She seems fine and has been tearing into the food I have given her. The vet thinks she will make a full recovery and is not worried.
However, I still feel that it is my fault and the invitation to kick my behind remains open. Believe me if I could do it I would.
Tuesday, 27 January 2009
All Sue and I want to do is get out there and clear up the mess. We don't know how long the water had been squirting out inside. I imagine the resident mice are taking the opportunity to host their world swimming championships and I can just picture the plasterboard walls and wooden floors soaking up the water nicely. Still it could be worse. At least it's still standing.
Monday, 26 January 2009
(Yes the fantasy continues in my tiny little brain!)
Mud, mud, glorious mud, nothing quite like it for cooling the blood, so follow me follow, down to the hollow and there let me wallow in glorious mud!
When I was at school we had an annual house song competition. One year we sang 'The Hippopotamus song' by Flanders and Swann from which the above opening chorus line comes.
Never in my life has it felt more appropriate and I find myself humming it every morning as I wade, yes folks the mud is now extremely sloppy and is closer in consistency to water, towards the alpaca feeding area to give them their breakfast. The alpacas charge up the field until they hit 'the somme' and then slow down dramatically as they gingerly make their way up the runway (slipway) to the feeding paddock. We then all squelch our way across to the ever decreasing grassy feeding area where breakfast is served. We then all slip and slide our way back to dry ground. This morning I heard muttering. I'm not sure who it was but someone was definitely muttering. The ranks of the mighty Patou are not happy. They have had enough of the mud. We have all had enough of the mud.
The mothers of the show team will be heading off on Wednesday as we begin weaning. They will be joining the small herd down the road in Tisbury belonging to our friend Liz who will be kindly looking after them for a couple of months. It will give them the opportunity to regain some condition and it will give us the chance to get on with some halter training. That should be fun in this mud! It's actually one of my favourite times of the year, time to bond with the little weaners. If we can get them out of the mud and onto some dry ground it will be fun.
And yes, the beds were changed.
Saturday, 24 January 2009
Another August baby is Patou Amelie, daughter of my favourite alpaca in the whole wide world, Lily. Amelie is a gorgeous brown colour and is very crimpy. She has the same laid back nature of her rosette winning mum and she is loved a great deal here. She looks after her fleece very well by never allowing it to get wet. I have never seen her dirty, she always looks as if she has just come back from the salon. A proper little madam!
Tuesday, 20 January 2009
Much huffing and puffing and trying to fix things without success ended in a trip to the big computer shop yesterday.
The array of computers was confusing and the 'customer helper' knew about as much about computers as me. Anyway two hours later and I was on the way home with a shiny new computer for us and a little one for Angus ............................... and a headache.
Today I have spent three hours talking to some very nice men in Delhi, six of them in fact, and two nice chaps and a lady in Waterford, Ireland. Together they have got us back on line but to be honest I am sick of the sight of the thing so this blog is just to say that things will be resuming as normal soon.
Thursday, 15 January 2009
Lola with lovely frosty ears.
Lily, as a true shed dweller, is never frosty!
Monday, 12 January 2009
Just before the party I nipped outside on a gloriously frosty morning and took some great shots of very frosty alpacas. Temperatures have been dipping to minus 13 around here and the alpacas copped a bit of frost.
Henry and Columbus with frosty topknots and ears.
Wednesday, 7 January 2009
I spent at least two hours with the big red pooper scooper sucking their doings from the frozen ground. It wasn't easy as a fair proportion of it was actually welded to the ground by the heavy frosts and low temperatures we have been having down here in the south. There was much kicking and bashing prior to the usual petrol fuelled sucking.
I have to admit, aching back aside, it was a somewhat satisfying way of spending the morning.
Let it be known that the mighty Patou herd has very healthy looking poop. It has changed colour ever so slightly due to the hard food regime we have here at the moment but those little pellets were satisfyingly round, plump, shiney and uniform in size, oh yes it is mighty fine looking poop, as far as poop goes.
Their main pooping area is up at the top of the field around the hay feeder. It has a clear area of about 5 metres all round and then the poop circles start and they had become quite substantial. They are now virtually clear, or should I say were virtually clear.
I was, in fact, still in situe with the scooper, unblocking the tube after several 'hand grenades' had become wedged at the top end, when the herd approached inquisitively.
They were very interested in the scooper and what was going on, ears forward, noses twitching with curiosity, creeping ever nearer. They surrounded me on three sides and stood motionless, watching me watching them watching me etc. I greeted each of them by name as I always do and we all paused, caught up in the wonder of being together outside in the cold. It was nice.
Then, almost as if a silent order had been surreptitiously passed around without my knowledge, the shuffling began. You know the sort of shuffling I am talking about, the sort of shuffling that precedes the raising of the tail and the despatching of the poop. They held my gaze, they continued to watch me and the scooper but did their dastardly deed almost as if they were saying 'You will never win human, we will never be defeated, we are too strong'.
Deed done they then wandered off leaving me standing there in stitches, it was one of those magical alpaca moments, pure alpaca brilliance.
Don't you just love it?