Thursday, 31 March 2011

Lady Gaga gets dirty...

There is a bit of a buzz going on in Carlisle...I worked a night shift last night and it was all the crack...yes... Lady Gaga...THE Lady Gaga - you know the one...not quite as snooty as OUR Lady Gaga...nor quite as well dressed...the one that shares a passion for head gear with Velvet...and has an album or two...Ro mah ro-mah-mah, that kinda thing...yes you got her now - Well, she will be performing in the City in May. And whats more, as part of the Radio One Roadshow, tickets are free by application...Oh la la! (Well spotted Dave...glad you keep on the ball!)

Actually our Cambridge Lady Gaga seems to be lowering her standards a bit since moving into the new paddock. The girls have discovered a rather generous dust bath below a telegraph pole. Obviously created by cattle, previously in the field last summer, it is big enough for two or three alpacas. Lady G, who normally keeps her self very clean appears to have been unable to resist the lure:

Lady Gaga looking less than pristine (Willow also standing...I think I might go for keeping leg fleece on this year at shearing...not that I think that they will have Lady G pants!)

" you got a problem...thought you liked dark fawn?"

I expect that there is no hope for her expected cria...with Lady G as mum and St. Patrick as's going to be a messy child...both seemed to be enjoying the dirty spots today:

Waradene St. Patrick enjoying getting down and dirty (is that a Lady Gaga lyric?)

I've just finished a spell of poo-picking. I drove into the field then realised that I had forgotten the camera (never like to miss a photo opportunity). When I came back the girls were obviously wondering what was going on...abandoning duties before I had even started!

"Where has she gone?...does anyone know how to start this thing?"

I have just downloaded a trial of HerdEASE and Alpaca Manager (alpaca data base system). I feel like I need something purpose designed rather than all my Excel files...but it really is rather tedious filling it all in...hence the get back to it...or...I could pretend to Paul that it requires his I.T. that's an idea! Any other recommendations of systems welcome.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

LEVEL1 ALERT...risk of alien invasion!

Alpacas are generally very quiet creatures to have around; mostly they say very little; sometimes they hum; mums cluck affectionately to their cria; but on the whole they are very good neighbours...they even mow the lawn quietly. Therefore, when you hear an alpaca alarm call you know that they mean business. It is the most shrill sound...Holly is the expert within our herd...and means everyone must be on the alert for danger. They quickly group together...interestingly I have found that it is the young adults who are sent to the front...any cria are protected in the middle of the group.

Well just as I was about to start the poo picking this went the alarm...was there a fox?...a stray cat pretending to be a vicious tiger?

Grouping together...

Pepsi is sent to the front...

The white guards group left...

There it is ... an alien lamp shade

Ah...lamp shade off and light bulb goes on...Holly (left) does look a bit embarrased.

Yes, the big panic was over Velvet, who has been speyed and is having to wear a collar to stop wound licking. I really thought that they were going for her. I ended up having to put her in the house for as soon as I put the collar back on they went into panic mode again...aren't alpacas meant to be bright...switched on even?!

I have been cleaning out the water troughs over the weekend as they seem to get covered in algae pretty quickly. The ones in the majority of the paddocks are about 18 inches deep, which not only take time to empty for washing, but are also deep enough for head dunking. So, Paul has decided to try some shallow water troughs in the new corrals. The thing will be how quicky they refill when they are in constant use in the summer. Knowing Paul he will have tested them out...we will see!

New water troughs in the corrals

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Alpaca fencing, Spit offs and Tractors...a busy weekend

At last...we have new paddocks...with the latest fencing jobs nearly all complete, we were able to move the girls on to fresh grass this morning. I suspect that the fencing contractor has been rather enjoying his work here...especially with the weanlings to fact he asked if he could be around to see the girls being moved...he is certainly intrigued by the alpacas and visa versa.

The Weanlings helping out

Pacing out the lengths

The girls enjoying the new paddock...with Velvet joining in
After spending a lot of time considering what to do about the dry stone wall around the perimeter of the new field, the solution was quite simple. I was concerned not only about the height of the wall but also the stability of the stones along the top. The solution pig netting at four feet...obvious really:

Dry stone wall with pig netting at four foot

Lots of new gates

After reading Rosemary's blog (Westhill Alpacas) this morning about spitting off (to check the pregnancy state of some of her females); I couldn't resist doing the same. We won't be doing any matings for at least another month but I was intrigued to see if Cambridge Camilla (Explorer's dam) and Silverstream Galaxy were pregnant, as both have been quite serene of late...too nice to be pregnant? Thankfully not. Both spat off convincingly. Very good news as both girls are pregnant to EPC Top Account of Fowberry.

This afternoon we had a trip to the North East to view a tractor...Paul's idea would you believe...we are now the owners of a Massey Ferguson 240, a 6ft roller, some chain harrows on a frame (easier than what we have been using) and a transport box, to go with the topper we already have. I think taking back the extra land has made Paul realise that it will be easier to have our own kit, rather than rely on contractors...either that or the sunshine has gone to his head!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Come in number 47...

We have been blessed with some lovely weather this week, which has mean't that the fencer has been making good progress. At this rate he should be finished by the weekend and the girls will get some fresh grass. I am so sad ...I just love new fencing...and especially new gates (much better than shoes)! I have to admit that Paul's plans have worked well!

Tuesday saw Ben and I head off to Scotland with a car full of yarn. We met up with our weaver to finalise the Beck Brow designs...lots of decisions....patterns...finishes...sizes...but we got there in the end. I think Ben was losing the will to live as he had obviously just come along for the free lunch!

In future it will make more sense to get the yarn posted straight from Yorkshire, but as this was the first batch of yarn especially spun for weaving, I wanted to check it our for myself first. Thankfully the weaver's verdict on the quality of the yarn was very positive. It has taken some time to find the right people to produce the quality of product that I am after, but hopefully we are getting there. And with someone interested in taking on the production of the knitwear, we will, with luck be moving on with that side of things soon.

I had a day off yesterday. The plan was to do some 'strenuous' walking with friends, but by the time that Claire had tried to persuade Minnie that she still loved her; Cath checked out all our yarn and the felted designs; and we managed to find somewhere for lunch, we only had time for a short walk...2 hours it said on the map...well we all know that that is timed for 'the unfit'...we planned to do it in 1 hour 30 mins....2 hours 45 mins later and we make it back to the car...the moral of the story...don't go walking through fields during lambing season. First we find a lamb stuck in a hedge...number 47 was sprayed on it's side...we untangled it and let it go...that was when we saw mummy number 47 on the other side of the fence...duh that was why it was trying to get through...right try to catch it again... Next field we find a lamb near dead...we give it some water and it drinks it down passes a milky poo (must have fed) lifts it's head....what to needs a bottle of milk...we are in the middle of nowwhere...we eventually find a farm and report our find...but we then realise we are lost...three women of a certain age, two dogs, and a dodgy map!!...we did reward ourselves upon our safe return with a glass of a good day overall.

Minnie...not so lovey full of pregnancy hormones

Beck Brow Paige Turner (aka Poppet) still deciding if she will make the show team.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Chinese Whispers...where is Fin?

I am pleased to report that the relocation went well yesterday. The boys; Finian, Kenzie and Noah, loaded like a dream, despite never being in a trailer before and the journey to Bev and Andy's, in North Yorkshire, was trouble free. We arrived just after 1.30 pm, nicely timed for a lovely lunch and some bubbles to celebrate.

I wasn't sure how I would feel about leaving the boys, and Fin in particular. He is the most adorable little fella who was always so happy to see you and was constantly by my side when I was in the paddock. However, I know that the boys couldn't possibly have found more caring owners. Bev and Andy have put lots of research into the the needs of their alpacas and Fin, Kenzie and Noah have everything they could possibly wish for. Three very lucky boys. As a consequence, I didn't find it too difficult to wave goodbye.

The problem has been feels Fin to greet me this Fin to follow me about when I am doing the poo picking...just no Fin! I know how Bahati felt now...I haven't quite gone as far as lying by the gate pining but I may do tomorrow. I relented and reunited Bahati and Poppet hoping it will be easier after she is mated...maybe I should have done the same...waited...waited until I had some more cria that is...not that he is replaceable of course. Luckily Nutmeg is a little sweetie, so at least I still get the odd cuddle.

There seemed to be a bit of Chinese whispers going on about the situation today I noticed:

Roma and Parisien:
 "I heard that she's forgotten where she left them...she's been losing everything since she had that big phone, glasses; Fin, Kenzie and Noah..."

Willow and Pepsi:
 "I heard that they've gone on a five star holiday...there was talk of luxury accomodation and lots of water...think it could be The Maldives..."

And the ones that Paul can tell apart:

Beck Brow Parisien

Beck Brow Nutmeg

Saturday, 19 March 2011

All the white ones look the same...same as the fawn ones too!

It has come to light recently...despite his best efforts at bluffing...that Paul has trouble telling the weanlings apart. Now Parisien is dark fawn so he is okay with her, but the others are more problematic...can't quite see the issue myself...but according to Paul "they all look the same"... males and females...whites and light fawns...!

Unable to test out my bluffing we were leaving for The Futurity (after Paul had loaded Roma) I casually remarked : "doesn't Lucie look like Roma in the paddock" The car came to a halt... and despite my admission of 'wind up'...I was made to check the contents of the trailer...theory confirmed!

Beck Brow Fine Romance (Roma)

Beck Brow Lucie (looking not the least bit like Roma!)

Tomorrow is the long awaited day...Finian, Kenzie and Noah are to be delivered to Bev and Andy in North Yorkshire. The question is... should I let Paul load the trailer? I have cottoned on that his other 'look-a-likeys' for him are Kenzie and Explorer. Now, whilst I would not be best pleased if the confusion occured...after all we are anticipating that Explorer will make an elite herdsire for us...I know that Bev would be even less impressed to receive the 'pouffing machine' instead of the lovely Kenzie!

Beck Brow Kenzie

Beck Brow Explorer

I should actually have been in bed this afternoon, instead of on my hands and knees outside taking head shots. I have been working a couple of night shifts (including tonight)...the first shifts I have done since January (too busy)...and the same weekend that the fencer decides to turn up... the one that was actually due in January...more sleep deprivation! It will be worth it when the girls get to use the new paddocks I am sure.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

St. Patricks Day!

Happy Birthday St. Patrick!

Waredene St. Patrick of EPC, our fawn herdsire, was of course named such because of his date of birth; St Patrick's day. This means that SP is three years old today! I did sing happy birthday to him this morning...I attempted an Irish accent but didn't quite pull it off. His birthday present; Van Dieman Chaska of Inca will be arriving next month, but he will not get to enjoy her until May! Bluberry Samurai Bahati will be his first girl of the year (probably late April).

After being blown away by the quality of the Alpacas at The Futurity (as was everyone I have spoken to) on our return we decided to check out our herd; whilst we still had the images in our head. On examining St. Pat we both just looked at each other and smiled. We continue to be very excited by this boy...sunglasses required!

Waradene St. Patrick of EPC (sorry still no photo with ribbons - waiting for a sunny day!)

Yesterday I did something that I have never done before...I can't believe that I am such a soft case...I attempted to wean Poppet then let her go back to her Mum! Nutmeg was due to be weaned and was actually probably self weaned and very independent. Poppet on the other hand is not 6 months until next week but is a good size. I though it would be better to wean them together as they appeared to be such good friends. Poppet cried a little for her Mum but no more than is often the case.

However, her mum, Bahati, who has had two cria weaned from her before without problem, was distraught. I expect that this is partly due to her not being pregnant (we left her open to get her on a Spring pattern) and possibly because Poppet is young. Whatever, after 24 hours of Bahati lying by the gate, her head on the ground, moaning for Poppet...I couldn't cope... I gave in before her milk started to dry up! We will mate her at the end of next month and wean then. Now I know...if it was somebody else... I would be thinking get a grip as well

Monday, 14 March 2011

More Futurity Crack...that's gossip to non-northerners!.

Feeling just about recovered from all the socialising at the weekend; I thought that I would share a bit more info for those who didn't make The Futurity:

Some facts and some opinions!

Dovecote Jaquinto of Alpaca Stud was the overall progeny winner.

Bozedown Comet II took Reserve Champion.
Lillyfield Jack of Spades also did very well. Some fantastic progeny.

E.P Cambridge Top Account of Fowberry had an amazing show. Fingers crossed that we will be taking at least one of his progeny next year!

All the elite auction alpacas met their reserves. The top price went to Houghton Hall Vanessa (£8000) who was sold to Europe. Paul had been going to bid for EP Cambridge Slinky Minx without me knowing, but either he or the system messed up! Never mind EP Cambridge will always be breeding outstanding females...maybe next year!

It was announced after the fashion show that Catherine Middleton has agreed to wear (if she likes it) a coat made from 100% British alpaca. The guests were asked if they knew of any designers who may be interested and to let themselves be known. Interesting?

We won a prize in the raffle for the first time. The main part of the prize was a drive by mating to a Snowshill Stud male (unfortunately not something that we can take up when we live in Cumbria, but thank you). Luckily they also donated 6 bottle of red wine...Cheers! Although I did mention to Mrs Mount that we needed screw tops next year as we didn't have a corkscrew with us...just as well I think... Paul noticed the drink responsibly warning on the bottle...if only I had taken heed on the Friday night (I know who I blame)!!

The sharing of information, experience and the kindness and support given at these events is incredible. It would appear that The British Alpaca Futurity will be even bigger next year...I believe that it is to be moved to the NEC next year? I didn't speak to anyone who hadn't though the event to be a great success.

I didn't manage to take any photos of Paul in the ring (I would have been shaking too much anyway) so thanks to Dave from Apple Vale Alpacas for this one:

Paul and least Paul's happy!

I did say that I was tired yesterday...well I wasn't exaggerating; I did it again...I didn't close the gate properly...all of the girls escaped. Not just up the lane...No...I had also left the gate propped open to the 12 acre field; the one that we are waiting to get fenced... Unfortunately the fencer, who was supposed to start work in January, has been coming up with various reasons to delay things. The girls are getting short of grass so there was no way that they were coming out again...12 acres of lush grass!!

I was trying to stay cool but I was a bit concerned as there was still some barbed wire in there. However at the usual feeding time I shouted and they all came back to the stables to be fed. As soon as I shut the gate behind them, they realised that they had been stupid...some were so miffed that they wouldn't even eat their hard food...Hoity actually kicked me. I still hadn't been forgiven this we have moved them...into what is to be the birthing paddocks...hopefully we will get the fencing done next week and they will be moved out again in time for the grass to grow back...hey ho!

Sunday, 13 March 2011

The British Alpaca Futurity 2011

Early Thursday afternoon and we were off to The British Alpaca Futurity. The excited anticipation was slowly beginning to change into trepidation; not helped by Robyn enquiring; "if we might be punching above our weight by entering The Futurity in our second year of breeding"!

The place was heaving; the number of entries mind-boggling (380); and the standard of the alpacas was awesome. Liz Barlow had the unenviable task of judging over the two days. Classes of 20 alpacas were summed up as all being worthy of a rosette!

Our hopes were always with Explorer, but it only took a glance in the schedule to conclude that Robyn was probably right. Junior white male, the future elite herdsires, was always going to be tough, but we really were up against the big boys. If we could only get a rosette, any colour (awarded to six places) we would be ecstatic.

However, we would have to wait until Saturday afternoon before his class was to be judged. A long wait. In the meantime a number of very established and very knowledgeable breeders were asking to take a look at Explorer. He was getting some very serious compliments... he was even thinking of changing his name from Gorgeous to Stunning... I could see him puffing himself up... maybe he could be up there after all; expectations were high. Never a good thing.

He looked great in the ring. He walked and stood like a pro. Unfortunately the squeeze of the testicles did trigger the 'pouffing machine'...which he found difficult to switch off. In the end he was placed third behind the eventual white champion. A brilliant achievement for our little fellow. Unfortunately, Explorer was not so impressed...his rosette was tied to his barrier...upon our return this morning...I found it in the bedding, discarded under a pile of can't please some alpacas.

Roma did not manage to make the top six amongst a class of amazing junior white females (won by our friends at Fowberry Alpacas, so we still had something to celebrate). We did however do better than I had expected in the fleece show. The new rules were in place (weight marked out of 15 points rather than 20) so my over skirting was less of a disaster, and our two entries both received second place (EP Cambridge Lady Gaga and Silverstream Galaxy). We also got a second with one of our photos, so we were more than happy.

We have had a fantastic weekend. Just to see such a high standard of alpacas in one place is such good experience. Our friends at Nero Black Alpacas had some fantastic results so we were able to cheer them on, as well as Fowberry Alpacas who also had a collection of red rosettes and broad ribbons...well done folks.

It was lovely to catch up with friends and fellow bloggers, talk alpaca, and to participate in a bit of serious socialising...I am now suffering from sleep deprivation and I am croaking like an old bull frog...but it was a fantastic event and we are already looking forward to next year.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Katkin's abscess (injection site?) and a trip down the lane for Phoebe..

Crikey, we were forecast a change in the weather today, but it is much worst then predicted. It is managing to blow a gale and pour down at the same time. Grim... I went out earlier to top up the girls hay...foolishly not latching the gate behind me. When I looked back the gate had blown wide open and Phoebe and Bahati were wandering up the lane. Umm...I was just considering my strategy for getting them back again when I spotted a tub of peas and beans...luckily both are a tad on the greedy side and peas and beans make a good old rattle...that had them both safely back in no time...who needs a carrot or a stick!

Both Explorer and Roma, our Futurity show team, are out in the wind and rain. Now I can't decide if this is a good or a bad thing; having had a good soaking (hopefully they are whiter than before) they are now blowing about in the wind (with a bit of luck some of the debris might blow out of the is a mighty force....not the weather for a toupee you never know!). Hopefully they will be dried out by Saturday! It looks like the majority of the 14 EP Cambridge Navigator progeny have been entered...what's the bets that Explorer is the dirtiest?

We received the floor plan for The Futurity in the post yesterday. We are nicely positioned next to our friends, Michael and Judith Henderson, owners of Cockerham Alpacas in Lancashire. I was cheered to see that we are far from alone with our 2 entries. At a quick glance I counted 18 breeders with only 2 alpacas entered and the vast majority of breeders have 5 or less animals entered. Fantastic that so many small breeders have supported the event. I am sure that I should be doing something in preparation of leaving tomorrow, but I am not quite sure what... I have emptied the sand out of the suitcase...does that count?

Katkin is completely back to her normal self and the abscess has dried up and scabbed over. Any iatragenic problems are a cause for concern, and I have been going over as to whether this was could have been avoided. It is most likely an injection site abscess although it is impossible to be sure. We are most careful about cleanliness whilst injecting (as an Intensive Care nurse this comes as second nature) all bottle tops are swabbed with alcohol wipes before the medication is drawn up, hand hygiene is fastidious, and a new needle is used for each injection. I do think that swabbing the skin on a fully fleeced alpaca is unrealistic but we do avoid injecting if the alpacas are wet (greater chance of introducing bacteria I believe).

We have given 100's of injections without any previous problems and the only change on the last occasion was that Katkin was injected with larger gauge needle (18g) than I normally use routinely; these are normally reserved for Amoxicillin or other viscous medications. I am wondering if the larger puncture site increases the risk? The other consideration is the depth of the S/C injection. I have read about a method whereby the sheath of the needle is left in place with the end cut off (just a few mms) to stop the needle entering too deeply. Not sure about this one as a nurse.

Thankfully the site, low on her body, has meant that the abscess has drained well. I did give her long acting Amoxypen, although a local abscess may not require antibiotics, she was showing signs of malaise and it was pretty nasty. Ideally a swab should have been taken before the antibiotics were given to test for culture and sensitivities (in a perfect world I would have done so!). We have followed the veterinary advice given on an earlier occasion, when Willow had a abscess between her toes, which cleared up well; however, if Katkin has any recurring problems we will request a vet visit.

We are aiming to be off by 12.30 tomorrow, all being well. At least with juniors if they refuse to load you can just pick 'em up and carry them! I wish I'd bought a new frock now...too late.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Lady Gaga gets her audience...

Yesterday was the big day...the day that the main herd were to meet Lady Gaga...and she didn't disappoint... She pranced into centre stage like the lady herself:

EP Cambridge Lady Gaga

The girls just stood and starred...who does she think she is?...nothing was being given faces all round!

The audience!

Eventually Honaria decided to check her out. What's with the fancy pants? Bonita was given 'the look'; no autographs today thank you:

'Fancy pants'

Caramella and Stanstead (Amanda's girls) got checked out whilst Pepsi Lola dared to approach Lady Gaga, tail flipped back in submission.

Pepsi Lola joining the fan club!

No messing with the girls; Lady G goes off to flirt with the boys...causing mass hysteria...St. Pat got rather confused about who was the competition and went after Nimrod, one of the wethers. Whilst Hollywood and Almost Illegal fought for the girl.

St. Pat and Nimrod

Hollywood and Almost Illegal with St. Pat returning with a mouthful of Nimrod!

We did initially wonder if she had slipped her pregnancy, but she is obviously just a dreadful show off, for as soon as any of the boys sniffed 'where they should not', they were well and truly put in their place; "don't you know who I can look but don't touch!"

Katkin still isn't quite herself although the puss appears to have drained from the abscess and she is rather more active. She will get another shot of antibiotics and we will keep a close eye on her. At least she has enjoyed the sunshine today.

I have been getting some things sorted for The Futurity; making sure Paul has a clean ironed dress shirt, as well as a white shirt and black trousers for the ring; making sure we have stocks of disinfectant, hand gel etc; as well as all the alpaca requirements. Much more planning than a trip to India! This time next week it will all be over. The only thing that is guaranteed is that generous amounts of sparkly will have been consumed, be that in celebration or otherwise!

Friday, 4 March 2011

The new girl and an abscess...

As I mentioned in my last blog, I did eventually make a decision on the colour of our latest (and last for some time) alpaca purchase. After deliberating between black and fawn, it is somewhat ironic that I have bought a fawn female from Inca Alpacas; a breeder re known for breeding elite blacks!

Van Dieman Chaska of Inca is a fawn girl that I first saw last summer whilst she was at stud, and not at that point up for sale. She stood out in her small isolation group, having such presence for a female that she could easily have been mistaken for a macho. I have been keeping an eye on her and she just kept coming back to me as the right girl for us. Pregnant to Neptune of Houghton and due her first cria in May, she will - if all goes to plan- be mated with St. Patrick this year. The photo is taken from Alpacaseller if anyone recognises it!

Van Dieman Chaska of Inca.

I have had a busy schedule since coming home from our hols and today was no exception. I had arranged to meet up with Julie a textile artist who is doing some designs of alpaca on silk for us. One of my missions set for our visit to India was to source some top quality silk chiffon. I was a little apprehensive as I had bought 60 meters in total, in five colours...thankfully she liked it...her only complaint was; why hadn't I bought more and why no black! Anyway the designs are fabulous and we have agreed on a scarf and wrap design.

However, I did have a little trauma this morning prior to leaving. I knew Katkin hadn't been quite right for a few days. She was eating okay and there was nothing visible but she just wasn't her usual self. Well this morning the cause became obvious. It looks like she has developed an abscess possibly at an injection site. I managed to get her in (well to be fair she just came with me...she obviously knew that she needed some help) but not into the barn with the handling system. I wasn't sure if I could do it single-handedly, but I kept thinking of Jane, and I managed to give her a shot of long acting antibiotics, get the puss out, irrigate, and spray with anti-bacterial spray. When needs must!

Katkin and her abscess before treatment.

Velvet has been out and about with the alpacas all afternoon. I am sure that she thinks that she is their mate. The alpacas don't seem to mind and go along with it:

Holly and Velvet.

The final photo for today is of Anzac Almost Illegal (with Nimrod in the background). Almo will be starting work this Spring (although he will have only a couple of girls this year). He has a lovely fine fawn fleece (17.2) with very little guard hair, so the plan is to put him over a couple of dark brown girls to see if we can retain the colour but improve the micron...such fun experimenting...shame it takes years!

Anzac Almost Illegal...look at those eyelashes!

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Blown away...St. Patrick!

Today has been one of those gorgeous days; one that starts with a light frost and then turns into bright sunshine...perfect for a photo shoot. Well, so I thought. Paul and Amanda were both around so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to get a shot of our boy Waradene St.Patrick of EPC in his show ribbons. St. Pat was very well behaved but unfortunately the weather was not. Everytime that we got more than two ribbons in place the wind blew up and off they went. I wonder if Velcro works? Take two...three and four to follow!

Paul with Waradene St. Patrick of EPC...Take one!

We did get a nice shot of him ribbonless, not too difficult as he does rather like posing. I have to say...and I never like to say too much for fear of egg on face...but his fleece is looking fabulous...very exciting. He is obviously feeling like spring is on it's way as he has started sauntering past the girls field even at feed time. Nothing as undignified as running in front of his ladies.

Waradene St.Patrick of EPC

I have been a bit naughty today...Yes, I confess to devious behaviour. I arranged for Amanda to "come and hold" Lady Gaga, Caramella and Stanstead (Amanda's 2 girls) whilst I gave them their injections of Cydectin 2%, ready for their integration into the main herd... I am pleased to report that...without a chance to back out... Amanda gave her first sub-cut injection today!! Leading ponies and giving injections...what will be the next challenge?

We are now making plans for another quarantine group, as we have had confirmation that our new girl has passed her vet check with flying colours and will be coming to us later in the month. As she is due in May, at a similar time to Nina, they will be going in together with an older female for guidance (yet to be decided). Photo and info next blog (I have gone on long enough)

Finally a photo of Beck Brow Kenzie who now belongs to Bev and Andy at Lane House Alpacas He is such lovely boy with a fine bright fleece with lots of character, but the fawn on his neck means that he just misses the stud male standard. He has been in a such cuddly mood today...a little less usual for Kenzie than the other two boys. Gosh I am going to miss them.

Beck Brow Kenzie (g.s Bozedown Galaxy)