Saturday, 21 May 2011

The Pied Piper and the weeds...(that's his pet name for the weanlings)

We are still not enjoying the sunny weather reported in the South of the country meaning that being on birthing watch is not as pleasant as it could be. Thankfully the due females have now all come to rest outside the window next to the study, so I can keep warm, keep an eye on things, and write a blog!

A few of the girls are bagged up and looking ready but I really don't know who will be next. Chaska looks like she is ready to pop. She really can't be bothered with anything. She eats her breakfast lying down then she goes outside and lies down and eats the grass surrounding her. Then she only gets up to visit the poo pile or when she runs out of grass around her! Surely she won't be much longer; but she is only just due (using our average gestation period).

Paul looked like the Pied Piper when I spotted him out with the back pack sprayer earlier. Or was it a game of hunt the thistle:

The Pied Piper crossing the weanlings paddock.

You can see Explorer (the only male) at the back looking for an opportunity to catch Tabitha unawares. He has just started having an interest in the females (for reasons other than play) and has a pretty loud orgle perfected. He is of course all thought and no action at the moment, but we will have to think about where to move him at some point.

The boys have already had a move around. Since mating has started the stud males have been getting rather more boisterous with each other. There has been rather a lot of screeching and chasing so we decided to split up the group last night. Anzac Almost Illegal had been identified, by Paul, as the instigator of any trouble within the group. I actually felt that this was a little harsh; was this stereotyping because of his name? After all there had been no trouble before Waradene St. Patrick of EPC arrived. St. Patrick of course looks like butter wouldn't melt in his mouth. Anyway, we couldn't risk any wounds, accidental or otherwise, so we moved St. Patrick and Nimrod and Julius (the 2 wethers) into a seperate paddock. St. Patrick then chased Julius; who then kicked out; and St. Patrick ended up with a bloody lip. Told you it wasn't sweet little Almo (Almost Illegal)!

We also did some halter training with Poppet and Nutmeg yesterday. Fortunately, we decided to use Roma as the trainer. I say fortunately for as Paul put on her halter he noticed a small lump on her jaw. Yes, a jaw abscess. It bust easily and we cleaned out the puss. She is now on a course of Florphenicol antibiotics. It just goes to show how easily they can get missed with a heavily fleeced face. We do routine checks so it is obviously fairly recent.

Roma and her jaw abscess...yes I did have to lie on my back in damp field for the benefit of sharing!

It has been the usual Saturday morning duties including poo picking the paddocks. Caramella has always been fascinated by the quad bike and poover and couldn't wait to introduce Mini Me (Fendi):

Caramella and Mini Me

Fendi has been amazing at using the poo pile since she was a couple of days old. Firstly shown by Mum, she then just started wandering off on her own to find the nearest pile. She was especially obliging this morning doing her duties just before I had got to the pile:

Fendi...adding to the poo pile before I got there!

The NFU Countryside magazine arrived this morning; how strange to see a photo of yourself on the contents page!... We were contacted by them out of the blue last month, to ask if they could do a profile piece on Beck Brow. I have to say that a telephone interview is much more difficult than I expected, however I think the article gives a fair portrail of the joys of owning alpacas...well I do hope so.


  1. Barbara, it looks as though your opportunity to do a little real toilet training has arrived! Fendi looks like the perfect choice...just get her used to you holding the bucket and not worrying about it tapping her legs...eventually she may do what a few of ours do and wander across to oblige whilst you are cleaning up! Just use a poover...not sure whether alpacas can aim that well!!Is this the only advantage of bucket and shovel over poover?!! Good luck!

  2. We have not yet received our copy of the NFU magazine so look forward to the read!

  3. Do you find the female cria are better than the male on the toilet training front, they seem to be here.

    Fendi is a little sweetie.

  4. Nice to know that we're not the only ones having a weed problem this year. Our problem is buttercups - vinegar is apparently very good at getting rid of them but the place ends up smelling like a fish & chip shop! Lovely photos by the way. Shirley & Robbie

  5. I think Caramella is saying to Fendi "You drive and I'll pick up." Great magazine article.

  6. Looking forward to that magazine article!

  7. Poor old Roma. What a coincidence, I just checked the boys while you were writing this. I checked them again properly after I read the blog. No lumps, a few humphs though.

    Noah always poos, direct to bucket. Thinking of having Bev stand in the paddock 24/7 bucket at the ready.