Thank you for all your comments, emails and calls giving moral support to Sox (pictured above today) .She is being brave, much more than I had anticipated. However, she was in no way fooled by my efforts to sneak Dingo away from under the towel...she is raging with me...blaming me for taking him. Raging to the point that it is difficult not to smile, as she makes such a deliberate effort to let me know she is mad. She wont even look at me. and marches off if I call her. It is good, as she has moved her focus from Dingo to me. She will eventually forgive.
However, I have broken my resolve to keep births tighter next year. Matings were planned to start mid June...yes, Sox and Cat's Pyjamas have been mated today. As Paul always quips - "the majority of Barbara's decisions around alpacas are based on emotion rather than practicality" - so here's another one! They both seem happier knowing they will have another cria.
Now that I have changed plans I decided to at least get a few mated together, rather than have stragglers. So, Explorer was brought to the barn for some romance, whilst Goldmine was looking after his girls. First into the pen was Pheonix...pretty little maiden...who sat as Explorer mounted. Seconds later Explorer is standing, sniffing where gentleman ought not to, and then he just sits beside her. Now, Explorer is fussy when it comes to colour, he dislikes blacks with a passion, but Pheonix is beige, he doesn't have a problem there.
Next I try Elvira (lovely white Telstar daughter also a maiden) this time he sniffs and doesn't even bother to mount. Okay I am getting worried now, our star stud male no longer likes the ladies? Is it because they, and he, are fully fleeced...too much effort?..he is lazy. Does he want a bigger percentage? I used to reward him with a few peas and beans but they weren't good for his waist line...cant have a stud male where his belly gets in the way of work.
Then I remember that he is much smarter than I; he knows when females are receptive with one sniff. I bring in Renatta, a female left open to bring on to summer birthing, she is sitting whilst Goldmine is working...wham, bang, mated...no holding back. Normally I do let maidens see some matings first and get them sitting, but both these girls are coming up two years so I thought that they might be more receptive...stick to the tried and tested methods... Explorer knows best!
Beck Brow Game On is a delight. So friendly like all Waradene St Patrick cria. This boy must have the densest fleece I can remember seeing on a cria of this age. He is a hungry boy, and I have struggled to get a photo of him when he hasn't been under Solstice. I suspect she hasn't the greatest milk supply being a maiden (no weight gain today still 9.2kgs)