Friday, 28 January 2011
A,D & E...paste or injection?
A quick blog before I start doing something that falls within the category of paid employment (as much as I try to persuade Paul that alpaca care is a chore, he knows that I enjoy it far to much). The problem about working from home is that it does require some discipline to knuckle down to it; especially difficult when I can see the alpacas outside, enjoying what is a lovely sunny day.
Yesterday Amanda and I gave the herd their monthly A,D & E paste. Whilst this is easy to administer single-handed; getting the alpacas into the catch pens is much easier with two. Amanda, who is learning some hands on care before deciding if she wants to take her girls home, managed to administer the paste without any trouble at all. No spitting, no kicking, plenty of 'muddling'; it was a pleasure. They were so well behaved that I was rather proud of them I have to say.
On the subject of A,D & E; I had intended to change to the injectable form when we finished our current supplies of paste. However we do feel that all our alpacas are doing very well with their current regime (1ml per 8kg i.e approx 10mls per adult monthly). Our vet doesn't see the need to change and I can't really find any firm evidence that the paste is less effective when administered correctly. Injections must be much more practical when dealing with large herds and I imagine more cost effective but we are a relatively small herd. I had heard that the injectable form lasted for up to 8 weeks but most breeders seem to give monthly, so no advantage there. Has anyone had an experience of paste being less effective? I believe overdosing of Vitamin A can be quite toxic so don't want to change for changes sake.
Whilst we had all the girls in, we had a good fleece rummage. It was good to be able to discuss the reasons for choosing a particular male over each female with someone else. Time will tell if these decisions are correct, if not we learn and modify! The girls fleeces are looking great, I am beginning to wonder if all of them are still pregnant; well behaved and with such bright healthy fleeces!!...however all were scanned pregnant by the Vet in September...we have discussed buying our own scanner, maybe we need to revisit this...however we wouldn't re mate this time of year anyway, so not a lot to gain at present.
Favourite female fleece from the rummage?...Silverstream Galaxy ET...her fourth fleece is stunning; bright, fine, and between 10-12 crimps per inch. It would appear that the importation process took it's toll on her fleece last year which lacked some of the brightness now obvious. Her fleece now displays a happy, healthy alpaca! One who is hopefully still pregnant to EP Cambridge Top Account of Fowberry!
St. Patrick's fleece is also growing back nicely showing extreme brightness. He does seem to have settled in very well amongst the boys. He does however think himself rather superior. With Lady Gaga being of a similar belief, I can only imagine how their offspring will behave. Will it be a curtsy or a bow that is required?
Waradene St. Patrick of EPC surveying his land!
The messiest eater?...all of that hay was discarded overnight!
Right... back to the paid employment...what is in essence my FOURTH job after breeding alpacas, creating a knitwear range, working on Intensive Care...I am again doing some legal-medical work preparing medical notes for litigation cases...very interesting but better kept for days when the sun isn't shinning!