Monday, 24 June 2013

Beck Brow Explorer has his first progeny...and the trend continues!

So much has happened since I last blogged that I could claim that I don't know where to start...but that wouldn't be true...things have gone completely out of chronological order...because I have to start with the most recent, and most exciting news...BECK BROW EXPLORER IS A DADDY!

Although Explorer has proven himself well in the show ring, winning three Supreme Championships amongst many other broad ribbon awards...we are well aware that the proof of his supreme qualities has to be in seen in his progeny. It has been a long exciting wait...and where was I when the moment eventually arrived...selling alpaca scarves on Whitehaven quayside...yes, I missed it...Robyn had the honour of being midwife!

I feel strangely's as if I am a grandma...Explorer has had a male who is the mirror image of himself as a's uncanny...we have had the photos out. It's the fleece style and coverage as well as his phenotype...I am proud and excited...well done my boy!

I should mention Morden Hall Honaria who did actually have a part to play in all this and is a lovely mum (she is nearly as proud as I am). We have named him Beck Brow First Edition (Eddie). Right I will stop going on about it now, but just a few photos...okay a lot....

Beck Brow First Edition (Eddie) at 20 hours old

Beck Brow First Edition (sire: Beck Brow Explorer gs: EPC Navigator)

Beck Brow First Edition (how cute?)

With mum Morden Hall Honaria (16 hours old and wet from all the rain overnight)

We have continued with the run of boys. I think we are now 10 v 2 to the boys at the moment. April had our first Viracocha Black Sabbath cria on Thursday. We have called him Beck Brow Inkster. He has a lovely dense crimpy fleece...I am excited to see the rest of our Black Sabbath cria if this is his standard...come on Pebbles (340 days today). Unfortunately we had to get our adopted black labarador (who was actually called Inka although I always spelt it as Inca) put to sleep on Thursday. She had been ill for over a month having severe episodes of fitting and as she was 10 years old it was just too much for her to cope with. So we have named Inkster in her memory. 

April with Beck Brow Inkster


 Jet also had a male; Beck Brow Jetson. This time a fawn from a black!
Sophia with Beck Brow Idris (a black from a fawn)

 Beck Brow Blue (whose mum is brown)

Now you might be wondering why Katkin's son (named Blue) is looking like he has gone through the's because he has. Last year Katkin developed mastitis at a point after we had already mated her. Thus we were concerned about her milk supply. However when Blue was born we checked her teats and she had milk and he suckled. All looked well...until we weighed him...he lost around 300gs on the first day but born at 10kgs we though it just a first day the morning of day two he had lost 900gs and he took a bottle readily. So a plasma transfusion was our only option to ensure adequate cover against infections.

Unfortunately the vet who came struggled to find a vein and poor Blue became balder and balder. A second attempt on Thursday morning faired no better. In the end a polite request to call a more senior vet resulted in the plasma being given successfully. Last year Pebbles fed Katkin's cria as well as her own, will we be so lucky again? Katkin is now going to be retired from breeding...such a shame as she is a lovely mother...Blue still suckles her but there is obviously nothing of any value there. 

But good news at Prince Bishop Alpacas...their little cria (named Horace) has eventually latched on to Finesse after 7 days...just shows how it is worth persevering...congratulations Carole.

Finally our mischief of the year...Beck Brow Crafter with Beck Brow Idris (foreground)

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Son day Monday!

I did mean to write this blog on Monday night hence the title...I also meant to paint the downstairs loo and update the online shop this week...but the sun has been shining and it has been no weather for inside jobs.

So back to Monday....after no action on the birthing front over the weekend when everyone was home to help if need was all go on Monday, when I was on my own! First off was Katkin, who has always produced fawn cria in the past, and being pregnant to Waradene St Patrick I was expecting the same again...but carrying on with the trend of St Patrick adding colour...she produced a lovely black boy.

Katkin was followed an hour later by her daughter Parisien (owned by Robyn and Craig), who also produced a St Patrick son. This time a medium fawn. In amongst all this I received a phone call from Carole at Prince Bishop Alpacas to say that Finesse had produced a St Patrick male at 310 days gestation, and that the cria was extremely weak.

So having ensured that both of ours were okay, and looking rather green from spraying the cord of Parisien's cria (she was rather anxious!) I jumped in the car armed with frozen plasma and colostrum and headed off on the hour and half journey to Prince Bishop Alpacas, mindful of the window of opportunity to get some colostrum into the cria. Thankfully I passed Paul coming home so knew ours would be watched over. I arrived not smelling my best, but in time to get plenty of colostrum fed before the cria was six hours old.

Poor Carole had been in the hairdressers when she received the call to say the Finesse had birthed a month earlier than anticipated,and left with her hair half cut. Their first birth has been a steep learning curve but they have done an amazing job. The little fella was obviously very premature and was weak and down on his pasterns, but had a real will to live so fingers crossed.

We have noticed that all of St Patrick's cria have a strong will to survive. It is interesting in the paddock that it is always his cria who are playing together, even at a day old they are joining in the antics. Our mischief of the year is The Crafter who is constantly getting told off, although Galaxy (his dam) turns a blind eye to it all.

Beck Brow The Crafter (St Patrick trade mark fawn ears!)

Katkin and son (and somebody sunbathing behind!)

 Beck Brow Boxster (sire Bozedown Omen) 

Beck Brow Idris (sire Lillyfield Jack of Spades) strange stance I think he was about to go to the loo (and someone looking very due behind!)

Beck Brow Bespoke (sire Bozedown Patriot) Wiseman Sweet Hazelnut (sire Waradene St Patrick)

We have heard that our Black stud male Viracocha Black Sabbath had had his first cria (a female) at Anzac alpacas...I am told that it is a 'ripper'...I think that is Australian for darned good!

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Timbertop CT Goldmine ET....Our latest addition to the stud!

We received some very exciting news last night; our recently purchased stud male who is presently in New Zealand, has passed screening and will be arriving in the UK in September. This male is exactly what we have been searching for and we are very excited about having him join our Beck Brow stud team.

Timbertop CT Goldmine ET has such sought after Australian genetics. His sire is the awesome Patagonia Celtic Triumph (sire Shanbrooke Accoyo Tulaco) and with Purrumbette El Dorado on both his dam and sire's sides he really is something special. In addition to his sires input his dam: Timbertop Miss Twiggy was a top female at Timbertop and was used in their ET programme. Twiggy went on to produce a number of stud males who are working both Australia and abroad.

However the icing on the genetic cake are his fleece stats. I won't bore you with them all (if you are not bored already!) but his most recent fleece stats taken at 4years and 3 months (November 2012) are:

MFD: 17.4,  SD: 3,  CV: 17.1%,  Curv: 71.8,  CF: 100%

This is incredibly fine and uniform for a working fawn male. We can't wait to have him meet our Waradene St Patrick females...Beck Brow Cats Pyjamas you have a date for 2014!

If that weren't enough i.e. great genetics and amazing fleece stats, he also has proven himself with his progeny; Gilt EdgeWhite Gold his first born and multi championship winning female had first fleece stats of:

MFD: 15.5, SD: 2.2, CV 14%, Curv 61.9, CF 100%

Exciting times ahead...


 Timbertop CT Goldmine ET

Goldmine's fleece

I did cause some confusion in an earlier blog as the photo posted is of one of Goldmine's progeny (Gold Prospect) born this year not of him.

Gold Prospect (Goldmine progeny)

Fleece of White Gold (Goldmine progeny)

We have had a couple of births since I last blogged. On Monday Blanche (one of our foundation females) produced a solid fawn male. Weighing in at 7kgs but strong and away. We have named him Barnaby (sire: St Patrick)

Beck Brow Barnaby

Then this morning Sophia (sire MD Miguel of Fowberry) who is a light mid fawn with a black sire produced a very dark coloured male. His sire is Lillyfield Jack of Spades (black) and he too initially looked bay black but might be drying to a very dark brown...but lovely whichever.

Sophia with her little man

Bay black or brown?

I have decided to name Magic Charm's brown boy Boxster. He has struggled a little to gain much weight (I suspect MC as a maiden hasn't an abundance of milk) but he is doing okay...and he is adorable!

I best go as I need to skirt and weigh some fleeces that I have sold for hand spinning (I have an aversion to skirting and sorting after doing 500+ a couple of years ago). I did weigh all the roughly skirted blankets last week. I use this for my EBV statistics (not quite as accurate as full fleece weights but it is much easier on shearing day to just bag all the first and seconds together, and the blanket gives a comparison within the herd). Obviously dependent on age and micron but I would say anything 2kgs and above for skirted blanket is good...EP Cambridge Aria who is 8 years old...3.25kgs...awesome for an older female!!

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Bozedown Magic Charm does it in style....

Just a quick blog to update on Bozedown Magic Charm who has been looking like she has been ready to birth all week. Well, just like Bozedown Celestrial she chose a sunny Saturday and delivered at noon in amongst the herd, and had a relaxed labour in the dust bath. What is it with those Bozedown girls do they have a spa down there? They definitely like to chill out.

There weren't many clues that she had gone into labour (well to be honest you dont expect it in the dust bath in amongst everyone) but once we saw that first push we started to get excited (no maybe that was just a 'me' rather than a 'we' but Paul was present). In this instance we were hoping for a male...a potential stud male unrelated to our we had decided it would be fawn but what sex would it be. Well we got our wish and more so...he is brown (I know he looks dark fawn in the photos but I am pretty sure he has dried light brown)...he is just gorgeous...lovely head and lots of curls!

Bozedown Magic Charm with her boy.

Magic Charm's boy (name pending)

Magic Charm taking it easy during labour...can you see the nose out?

stepping out for the final push with The Crafter taking great interest.

Like Bozedown Celestrial, Magic Charm had a text book delivery, followed by the delivery of the placenta within the hour. He was up on his feet within 30 mins and drinking at just over an hour old. Weighing in at 9.1kgs, a perfect weight. Well done girls what star maidens...such lovely mums and cria. I am looking forward to the Alpaca Classic 2013 in September already!!!

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Sunny Times...

We have sunshine at last...and how good does it make you feel...pretty good...especially if someone had stripped you naked whilst it was still just a bit nippy! Yes, the alpacas as well as the humans are loving it.

On Friday I had girlfriends over, and for the first time this year we were able to enjoy a glass of  late afternoon wine in the garden. But not before Beck Brow Explorer had greeted his two visiting girlfriends. Despite them having their clothes on he was happy to do the deed. Although, he is much happier working now that he has his fleece off. However, you may recall me mentioning that he had a five minute (maximum) encounter with EP Cambridge Aria a couple of weeks ago, before deciding it was too much effort with both of them having their clothes on. Well, she spat off at her pregnancy spit off...surely not? We didnt use Explorer for the spit off so maybe she just didnt like the offering?? Anyone had a pregnancy with such a short breeding?

We at last seem to be catching up with some of the outside chores. On Sunday Paul actually allowed me to do some tractor work...I am not allowed to dive with the poo sweeper on as he doesnt believe that his fences will be safe...however I was given the task of chain harrowing the hay field to break up the clumps of alpaca poo that had been spread back on a couple of weeks ago. I know... all this work sweeping up poo... then we spread it back on again...recycling poo what fun!

On Monday we had to have the vet out to Hazel. I had found her in the paddock laid flat out, with a respiratory rate of between 55-60 per minute and flaring nostrils. Her temp was 39.1 (just high side of normal) and her membranes weren't especially red, but her tummy felt hard. So deciding that it didnt look like an infection was the cause; I tried a Fleet enema, but to no avail. Being only a few days old we decided to take no chances and asked the vet to assess her. Hazel was given Buscopan and pain relief intravenously and gradually improved over the next couple of hours. Colic does seem to knock the little ones for six.

I have been trying to get some photos of Beck Brow Bespoke for a few days, but his mum keeps such a close eye on him and always calls him over when I arrive. His mum is Bozedown Celestrial one of the females that we purchased at the Alpaca Classic elite auction last year (sire Bozedown Patriot). I managed to get one of him sitting by mum who you can see is watching back...and quickly has him on his feet.

Beck Brow Bespoke with mum

Beck Brow Bespoke...mum is calling!

Our alpacas all enjoy sunbathing and lazing in the dust bath, but Beck Brow Fine Romance (Roma) does it on a level all of her own (she is in the fore ground below). We decided to spit off Roma as she looked a bit doubtful for being pregnant...we had only mated her once as she had a September birth last year (Beck Brow Foxy Sox whom she rejected) and we had immediately regretted it... as if she didn't bond with her cria again we would have been bottle feeding all winter again. So she was mated with Explorer a couple of days ago...much better to aim for a summer birth. So not bad 28 out of the 29 are pregnant.

Beck Brow Fine Romance (Roma)...sunbathing

Bozedown Magic Charm is still hanging on...spending most of the day in the dust bath...but who is that on the edge?

Poor Beck Brow Foxy Sox doesn't really know how to behave properly within the group (having been rejected by her mum, she hasnt been socialised properly) and often oversteps her position in the herd. She has been told that she is not allowed in the dust bath (as aren't any of the weanlings) but she likes to push her luck...just my head!

And finally a couple of photos that Facebook followers will have seen already...

The herd sunbathing; Morden Hall Honaria who is due the first Beck Brow Explorer cria in the foreground...note Roma on her back again on the end of the row, with Celestrial watching me as always!

A shot of Cat's Pyjamas' fleece as she slept in the sun...looking very Shirley Temple!

Beck Brow Cat's Pyjamas at 4 weeks old.