Wednesday 8 December 2010

A Proposal!

It was minus 12 degrees when I got around to checking this morning. The downstairs cloakroom has frozen, despite extra heating all night, so I expect it may have been even colder overnight. At least the sun has come out today and I managed to tempt most of the alpacas outside for some hay...much to Velvet's delight:

Velvet assessing the Minnie to be trusted?...going right is looking like the better option.

Can a lady not have some privacy and dignity?...

Okay...I'll show you...the grass is under here, you just have to dig a bit (Willow and Nina)

Getting rather brave...Velvet hasn't noticed Explorer approach....

OMG...that's scary...apologies for only getting his neck in the photo, I jumped as well! on photo for close up of full horror experience.

I have given up trying to keep the cria fleeces in anything vaguely near pristine condition. Keeping them warm and well fed has to be top priority in these extreme conditions. I know...I said the same thing last year...if it happens every year then can it still be considered extreme? Anyhow they have managed to get themselves looking like haystacks, despite my best sweeping up efforts. The only solution I feel is to cria shear, but with summer births (to avoid the late spring frost we often get) I would have been worried that they wouldn't have had enough fleece for the November frosts...what to do?

Not only a problem for processing, it also means that we probably won't end up with any cria fleeces suitable for showing. Now, this is where I have a proposal to put to BAS...a handicap system...they are already about to alter the BAS fleece scoring system to reduce the emphasis on weight...they could introduce it at the same time: Any cria who has to endure temperature of minus 10 or above automatically gets the full five points for lack of fleece impurities...sounds fair to me!!

Explorer...that's hay, straw and poo in there!

I go around thinking such silly thoughts just to break up the drudgery of spending day after day...hour after hour repeating the same jobs, with very little new achieved. Every day I try to change my opinion on which of the jobs I hate most...just to reduce the ground hog feeling...yesterday it was carrying buckets of water (which froze again before half of them were drank...then I feel that it is a complete waste of time). Today it is barrow emptying...I lowered my standards last night and didn't empty the wheelbarrows ready for the guessed they where frozen solid this morning...aggghhhh

My thought for today: If only I could invent something that stopped the water buckets freezing...that wasn't called anti-freeze...I could be so rich, as well as making so many people happy!


  1. Hi Barbara, Love the photos of Velvet and the pacas! They probably like to cover themselves in leaves, straw, hay and poo so as to help keep out the cold - they're probably not too bothered with BAS rules!! We have it on good authority that if you put Vodka into water then it won't freeze...........Stay warm. Shirley & Robbie

  2. I think cria are just like children and it doesn't hurt for children to get a little dirty from time to time does it? Maybe the fleeces with the most rubbish in them will weigh more??!!

    I think the worst jobs are those that you can't do with your gloves on!

  3. I wonder if Gin works - we drank the vodka!

    Worst job for me is feeding - they will jump about and it is soooo icy!

  4. I'll second your proposal to the BAS Barbara some of my cria fleeces are a disgrace despite trying everything I can think of to keep them clean!!! Looks like there will be a lot of picking and hand spinning of baby fleeces here next year, like you say I can't send those to the mill.

  5. What a scary moment !!...poor Velvet !!...and .. Explorer....disguised as a Chocolate Chip Cookie !!......I've never heard of a Straw...& Choc Chip Cookie !!......Jayne

  6. Yikes.... its Gorgeous, he is frighteningly handsome! Run Velvet run!

  7. Water troughs freezing has been discussed on a highland pony forum I am on. A few people have had great success putting a small amount of vegetable oil in the trough - which helps stop it freezing,.May be worth a trial and see if they still drink ( didnt bother the hipos!)