Monday, 22 July 2013

Getting there !

Little faerie seems to be doing ok ! We have had a few scary days where she has seemed listless and uninterested , won't feed ..... But for the last 2 days she has perked up and is feeding from mum . 

Fleur is doing really well , still taking some from mum and some from a bottle , but full of beans and joyful.

We have also had a couple of new arrivals ! First up was Frodo , from Bijou. He is a super blue black boy , and in the tradition of Boz Bijou he is enormous . I don't know how she does it but her cria are always the largest ! 
Followed very closely by the long awaited cria , who I think will be the only progeny of Czars Aberlour who sadly died in January. Boz Hermione produced a beautiful female cria last Tuesday, she is cream by my estimation , very lively and well conformed , and equally as large as Frodo! The pair of them , although only just a week old dwarf the other two. 

Fleur

Faerie with the marks from having all that treatment

Frodo and Bijou

Flavia and faerie 

Fleur and Faerie

Worryingly , we have seen a fox around during the day and peering throu the French windows in the evening , my oldest hen did not go to bed last night, but that may have been the heat , I think she was at least 7,, and I haven't found feathers anywhere. I do wish that the city folk would stop rehomimg their foxes near me , just dispose of them humanely and save me from loosing all my chickens .

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

2out of 2

cria season has started with a bang ! After what can only be described as a hard winter on all fronts - weather , alpaca death - it seemed years until summer eventually arrived , but here we are basking in some glorious sunshine and the cria have started to arrive .
First to arrive was Fleur , her mum is Artemis , a white Suri. Artemis was mated to Snowshill Raphael , and they have produced a beautiful chocolate brown Suri cria , very tall and gangly and quite delightful . Fleurs birth was sponsible for the only ' late ' mark on my sons school register this year ! But who could do the school run with a birth in progress?! Fleur arrived quickly with no prob and was cushed in under a minute I kid you not . Last year Artemis rejected her cria at birth , this year she is completely different , doting mother . After a day or so it became apparent that Fleur was not getting enough milk and so bottle feeding commenced . As the days have gone on she is getting more from mum , but I am the maintainence ration , gradually the balance Is changing , fingers crossed.
Second up is Faerie , white huacaya out of an experienced and doting mum - but not this year! Faerie contracted a sepsis infection within 48 hrs of birth , a long weekend has been spent with my fab vet Kim, and now she seems to be on the mend, after a plasma transfusion ( IgG level low ) antibiotics , anti inflammatories and a drip .

Friday, 5 April 2013

Tidying up the loose ends

A quick summary:-

After nearly a week of steady improvement , Aberlour died. I was astounded and very very sad, he stood up for a little while and was pooping and peeing fine , and within an hour he was dead! The pm showed nothing unusual , a mystery, and a very sad end to a life with so much potential. I have possibly 3 cria of his expected this spring with genetics from the great Czar , so I really hope that everybody holds on and that spring finally does come with a whoosh and a bang that we all need.

As you might expect I was pretty down in the dumps after loosing Veronica and Aberlour, and it was with fear and trepidation that i checked everybody every morning . Imagine my horror when I found Bijou and Esti ( my bottle baby) both scouring badly . Fecal tests were rushed off , and came back saying a small burden of cocc and round worm . Our vet seemed largely unconcerned by the numbers - I was not , so we treated aggressively for both and I am pleased to say that both are doing well.

Really could do with some warmer weather and some grass , another load of hay is being delivered tomorrow which will bring our consumption to almost double last winter! Sugar beet and alpha pellets are being consumed like they have gone out of fashion , dried grass is also on the menu .We're hanging on in there , but spring has got to come soon , hasn't it?

Monday, 11 February 2013

It just keeps getting worse

Last week we had the sad task of putting Veronica to sleep. She was old and very frail , and she spent her last day outside in the sunshine with her friends , but eventually she just couldn't carry on  .

Today Aberlour is looking very similar. I put Veronicas fast decline down t old age and the weather , since the vets could find nothing wrong with her , but now I really am wondering . I've treated him for fluke and barber's pole , given vits and antibiotics , and now we just have to pray that this is enough and not too late .

This is a  short blog , 'cos I just cant bear any more !

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Still hanging in there!

Like large parts of the country we are enveloped in snow . There are many mixed views on snow - personally I hate it ! The countryside is beautiful , but weighed against the amount of work it creates I'd rather do without.

Now in my last blog I talked about Veronica - she is doing fine . Every morning I cross my fingers as I go towards her barn , but so far the signs are good , she is eating well and full of curiosity  so far  so good. She has Bijou or Esti as her companions , I figure that  the weather is too horrible for her to risk being outside , when the snow has gone and the ground is easier then she can go out , but until then she stays inside and stays safe.

Well the jinx I got from my last blog - on Tues Mr Fox came calling big time ! We have lost a couple of chickens over the winter - but only those who insisted on roosting in trees not houses .At 6.15 I went out to take DS#2 to YFC and there was a commotion in the hen house which  i knew I had shut less than an hour earlier . Thrashing sounds revealed an ailing cockerel who I initially thought was dying from the cold , but on closer inspection I saw that part of the roof had been torn off and all my chickens ( 17) and my turkey were dead ! There was one survivor - who is currently in the downstairs toilet with another sicky chicky . I cannot believe the intelligence or cunning of the fox , but boy do I wish I had a gun!

All the alpacas come in for the night , but seem largely unconcerned during the day, wonder what they will think about all the rain that is due.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Mixed times

Things have generally been going well , apart from the weather of course ! So I committed the unforgivable sin of thinking to myself ' things are going well considering the weather ' - what has happened , well of course it is not going well now !
For several weeks I have been bringing Veronica and her cria Ewart , in for the night along with Esti , my bottle baby. Veronica is my oldest alpaca , at 13 she should still have a long life ahead of her , but this weather has proved that she really is getting old . She started to loose condition well before Christmas , hence the barn overnight , with extra supplies of alpha pellets and sugar beet . On Christmas eve she was struggling to stand - just the xmas present I needed- and I really thought that the time had come . With trepidation I went out on Christmas morn to find her knooshing happily. Since then she seems to have turned a corner and has steadily gained condition and is happily out for most of the day , unless it is raining  with the rest of the herd. Last Wednesday night , her cria looked unhappy , nothing specific, just unhappy. Thursday morning he struggled to stand and was not eating . Vet visit - we seem to be boosting their coffers very nicely this week- and a general view that whilst there was nothing obvious , he was not well. He had no temp , nothing specific, but off to the vet he went for blood tests and a drip . Sadly , later that day he died . As usual , he was a cracker , always a little on the small side , but never a concern. The pm result showed nothing! No worms of any kind , no fluke , no gut problems ,  nothing , just a failure to thrive. Veronica is upset , but has got used to Esti , and now the pair are inseparable , she bears all the hallmarks of an old lady- very alert , but slower than the others , still warding them away from anything she chooses to eat , but happy to sit by the hay racks and gently nibble . I think we have to accept that we might be lucky to get through to the spring , but she seems pretty happy and is not in any pain , just old. Scarily Veronica has started tipping over occasionally when she is in a cush, this has given us all heart failure since we looked out to see her seemingly dead in the field and also in the barn , but a gentle push back to cushing and she is up and away.
The rest of the herd are all doing well - there, I've done it again- and although thoroughly sick of the weather seem quite content with the continuing rounds of sugarbeet and hard feed.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Always room for one more surprise

As the nights draw in , and the days get colder , we are all looking to our winter husbandry regime . Hay is being munched at a greater rate , how glad I am that we had a good crop this year , sugar beet made with hot water is not far away , and of course Vit A D & E to be administered. We have always used injectable vits , but i am considering ingestible as well - any views or experience ? Can one mix them , since we have already done one round of injectable ....
Anyway, the surprise relates to Esti . Since we have raised her on a bottle she is something of a favourite! Gradually we have weaned her , currently she is almost bottle free , the impediment is me - I do enjoy that small moment of contact once a day, and the secuere knowledge that she has a hot meal in her belly. Honestly she is becoming a bit of a porker , but I would rather that as we go into winter  . For the last 2 days I have observed the strangest thing - as the temp has dropped over night I have seen Esti snuggled up with ..... her mother ! That is really strange , Artemis has paid no attention except for the odd spit , scream or even kick , since the day Esti was born , but now they sit together almost happily . I still detect a slight froideur from Artemis , but she IS snuggling !? Alpacas can be so odd !