Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Tsar and new girls update

I thought I would start off the blog with a quick Tsar update.
Many of you followed our story last year of fighting to keep him alive where we literally tried everything to get him right.
We did get him right and he is doing well albeit still catching up with his chums in the growth stakes.

His fleece literally rotted off him last year it was so weak that it broke about an inch from his skin and came off in great clumps like a self shearing sheep (not sure what they are called). However his new fleece is growing back and looks lovely, its only an inch long but it is an inch packed with crimp and as bright as a new button, we are very pleased with his progress.
He was also attacked by mites which we have dealt with but other than that he is going from strength to strength. I had a cuddle with him this morning and he is as soft as a very soft thing. He is a very special boy to us and it is great to see him doing so well now. Why am I going all blurry eyed here!? It was an emotional journey and I am not sure he will ever leave us.
Here are a couple of pictures I took this morning, not great quality but here he is.

And so to the new girls, the last blog post revealed a brown girl very wet having just been born.
She is now six days old, is still wet (rain this time, not from being 'inside') and she is a little beauty, we have called her Waikiki.

And of course, little Whisper, now two weeks old and daughter of my favourite alpaca in the whole wide world is also beautiful. She is a real firecracker and is coming along very nicely.

On full alert here, we have 5 left and they are all 'due' in the next 10 days.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Just as requested!

I do apologise for not updating the blog sooner. I have no excuse in particular, the heat has perhaps affected me after all. 
I haven't had a huge amount to report, until today that is. Cria number 16 arrived less than an hour ago. Pictured below is another brown Qjori female. She arrived after 339 days gestating and weighed in at a healthy 9.75kg. She was up on her feet and looking for milk within 15 minutes and is absolutely gorgeous! And when I say gorgeous, I really mean gorgeous, she is absolutely beautiful! 

Her mother is Tisbury Patou Polly who is a fawn ATA Cambridge Centurion girl out of a brown mother. Polly was going to go on the for sale list this year, but...... this is the third brown female that she has produced in the last three years. How can we sell her when she is knocking out exactly what we are asking her for? So I have just this minute made a decision, she is not for sale. Actually joking apart the Centurion/ Qjori crosses are looking rather good, last year we had Tabitha, Tsar and Thor, all very nice and from that combination.

 The new arrival is examined by Una and Polly.

This morning we had a visit from Dave and Joy at Apple Vale Alpacas. They had three girls in need of some attention from Qjori and Columbus. One of the lovely ladies, Bramley, brought her 2 week old Qjori cria with her, Elstar. She is every bit as beautiful as Dave professes on his blog, a cracking result and hopefully another one of those is now on the production line. The only down side of Dave and Joy coming is that they arrived with their brand new trailer which was big,silver and shiny this instantly made me very envious! A suitable carriage for some lovely ladies!

Right 16 down, only 5 to go!

Sunday, 14 July 2013

She has arrived!

I wrote about how my favourite alpaca in the whole wide world was the next one due to give birth down here in Patouland. I also wrote about living in the field, naked, so keen I was not to miss this most eagerly awaited unpacking. I was desperate not to miss it. Missing the birth of Lily's cria was just not an option. So I watched and waited and waited and watched and do you know what?

I bloody well missed it didn't I!

Yesterday we had an appointment at the local Church fete, the Patou boys were to be on show and we were looking forward to a nice afternoon in the garden of the Old Rectory with a few glasses of Pimms, how quintessentially English, how marvelous! So we packed up and at about 1pm we set off down the road to the fete which is 1.5 miles away. Lily was checked prior to departure and Sue told me (later) that she thought that Lily may be up to something. Half past 2 and Sue was off home to check on things (she still hadn't told me of her suspicions).

Then the text message arrived 'Baby No.14 is.......... a GIRL'. No sooner had Sue got back having done the necessary and I was off back to see my Lily and her new daughter (Lily has never produced a male, three girls in a row). Her latest daughter is simply destined to be coveted down here at Patou HQ, she is gorgeous.

She is absolutely jet black, and is a real live wire. Here she is being a little coy.

She weighed a healthy 10.15kg and had been baked for 344 days. We have called her Whisper.

I am officially in love, all over again!

This has been a very interesting year for us. This is another Qjori daughter and moves our tally up to 8 girls and 6 boys. He has consistently produced black from black females or females with black parentage. We are very pleased.
Now that Whisper is here you might think that we have relaxed our vigil. That is not the case. Next up is Lily's daughter the awesome Amelie. She is now at 328 days and is sure to produce a girl as she has given us two boys so far. The son she had last year is Tsar and little Tsar is the best cria we have ever produced. Qjori has done his bit again and we now await the arrival of a cria identical to Tsar but with lady bits instead! I am definitely not missing this one!

Patou Amelie.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Organisation reorganised.

I think we were the first to post in a UK blog about the arrival of a cria this year. We had the early arrival of Una on the 16th of April and the whole bath, hairdryer, bed, electric blanket, duvet business. After all that it turned out that Victoria (Una's mum) had very poor milk. Una still suckles from her on and off and as previously reported Una herself has become an artful milk thief. However, she is dependent on us for the bulk of her feeding and takes between 700 and 1200ml of goats milk from us every day. 
Here she is this morning draining her elevenses!

Anyway the reason we have had so many 'early' cria is that we were very organised last year, far too organised! As a result we had a lot of cria early then several who took more than one mating spread out until our last one is due in early September. In other words we have a 5 month birthing season which equals no summer holidays and me working virtually permanent evening shifts = not enough sleep = grumpy git!

So this year we are again very organised but in a different way. We are aiming to at least half the birthing season. The Qjori matings that have worked well this year are being repeated but not in dribs and drabs, no, we have held back and then unleashed Qjori on them in a short burst. Nine ladies in 4 days to be precise and oh he has been having a good time! There will be another short burst of Qjori activity later in the month.
The power of the macho is quite simply awe inspiring. These obstreporous, cantankerous, awkward, spitty females go all gooey eyed when he starts orgling and are putty in anybodies hands as long as he keeps singing his song. Poppy, one of the hair trigger spit monster family stood next to him waiting her turn last week and whilst she waited I gave her a cuddle and an injection, without so much as her blinking an eye. As far as she was concerned I simply didn't exist as Qjori's orgling did it's funky stuff and transported her to some sort of alpaca heaven. Once it's all over they wander off as if coming round from a srong sedative. Amazing, truly amazing.

So to other news, we have a second wave of females hoving into the birthing window. Here is Sahara (a Columbus daughter) and her mother Dilly, both with 'Qjori's on board.

Before they are due we have some big guns, Amelie, the mother of the famous Tsar, is due this month. We are hoping that she can recreate Tsar but in female form this year.

And of course, due any day now and pictured below, is the one and only Lily. I have the day off tomorrow and we will be alone together. She gave me the wink this morning. We will see.

Fabiola's girl is seemingly thriving and has put on 1.6kg in her first six days, so not much wrong with her, on top of that she is gorgeous!

Here is my favourite mum and baby partnership so far, Sabrina and Willow, both incredibly lovely. Willow we are pretty sure, is a very dark brown having initially thought she may be black. The new fleece at the skin seems to be coming through brown, which is splendid news!

Sabrina's mother, Bobby, is below with Ulani who we think is black, she is lovely and is growing like the clappers.

Here is Alice, surrounded by colour in the dust bowl at the top of the hill where they go when they need to catch some breeze.

And finally, just for Sue's Aunty Mary who celebrates her birthday this month and I know is a keen follower of this blog, a picture of the lovely Verity. I understand she is her favourite!