Monday, 28 July 2014

Garland has a tough time.

 On Saturday I decided to give myself a day off. Ben (son) was home from London, so along with baby Hettie and Robyn we headed off to the outdoor pool at Lazonby. After a couple of hours, with the sun shining, I was just thinking how nice it was to have, a non-alpaca related, day off from the was at that point we received the call...Inca Garland was in the second stages of labour and it wasn't progressing...everything was thrown into the car and we dashed home.

Paul had called the vet who arrived at the same time as I there was I, in a bathing suit, kaftan, and flip-flops...holding Garland whilst the vet, dressed in the appropriate protective clothing, tried to get the cria out. Poor Garland it was a tight fit, and she wasnt dilating...eventually a beautiful fawn female was delivered...and although bruised and sore, Garland was not torn.

Garland was given pain relief and antibiotics, and the cria who was a bit dopey, was given bicorbonate of soda, steroids and later some vitamin B1. She was bottle fed cows colstrum as Garland was rather too sore to be thinking of feeding.

Unfortunately that was not the end of the trauma for Garland as she failed to pass the placenta. The next morning we gave a dose of Oxytocin, she kept straining and was obviously very uncomfortable, but no placenta. As Paul had gone mobile mating with St Patrick first thing, I was on my own...umming and arhhing ...when the  three females booked in for drive-by matings arrived, with their owners of course...opinion was sought.

Their females hadnt even been unloaded...their owners had never been to the farm before...but the decision was made to see what was happening. I wont go into detail...but one of our visitors was doing the back end inspection, and ended up in the boot room, in her underwear, with her clothes in the washing machine. That was within 15 minutes of arrival...what a welcome!

The vet was called and a uterine washout was given, the placenta was rupture but did come away eventually. She was then given an antibiotic washout and started on Marbocyl. After all that Garland loves her daughter (Beck Brow Dixie Chick) sired by St Patrick, and she is feeding her and smoothering her with kisses.

 Beck Brow Dixie Chick

After hearing last week that Nero Black Alpacas had had a lovely fawn St Patrick male, from Nero Black Rose. This week black cria from our boys, seem to be the order of the day. Prince Bishop Alpacas reported the delivery of a beautiful blue black female from Beck Brow Sophie (fawn) and Waradene St Patrick (fawn). Today Eden Valley Alpacas have also had a blue black female from a dark fawn dam (sire; Viracocha Black Sabbath). And earlier in the week, Amanda (Florens Alpacas), had a blue black male from a light fawn dam (pictured below)

We also managed to get the hay in. We only cut 2 acres and managed to get 295 small bales...not sure what we are going to do with all the rest of the grass...thinking we will be able to get it big baled and sell some.

Hopefully we will get some births this week....some of our key players are now due...come on girls!

Monday, 21 July 2014

Crack from Beck Brow...

 It's been a while since my last blog; but the sun continues to shine...the ogling of the males continues to fill the air...and the births...yes, the births...zilch for Beck Brow... the wait continues!

We have had a busy old time with drive-by matings to the farm, mobile matings, and on farm matings. Of course it is always good to catch up with fellow breeders, so it cant really be classed as work. However, a free weekend looks a long way off. At least we get about, on Saturday we were in Cheshire doing matings, and on Sunday in Scotland! Paul is doing the mobile matings next weekend, whilst I stay home to oversee drive-by matings with some of the other boys...I elected to stay home as Cambridge Camilla is due (EP Cambridge Navigator cria) cant miss that one!

We will be leaving quite a few of our females open this winter. So probably only about 20 - 23 of our own females will be mated. We are back down to 50 alpacas (without this year's cria) having sold one or two males recently (more than 50% of the alpacas at Beck Brow are now agisted!).

Beck Brow Inkster (sire: Viracocha Black Sabbath) has been purchased by Blueberry Alpacas as a future herdsire. Beck Brow Otis and Beck Brow Blue have gone to join the treking team at Velvet Hall Alpacas, and Beck Brow Barnaby has gone to Hannahston Alpacas.

The hay has been cut and the sun is shinning...fingers crossed it remains that way until Thursday at least. The girls have been enjoying the new paddling pool (£10 Asda!). Pebbles was first in and refused anybody else access....

Pebbles hogging the pool

but Summer Solstice (who I though was timid up until this point) managed to turf her out...

relegating Pebbles to the baby pool...

not a good look Pebbles...heavily pregnant and wet legs!

I just love the way Asterisk likes to be in photos...and always looks grumpy...just like Explorer did as a cria!

We have had one birth, just not ours. Waradene St Patrick had a lovely light fawn daughter (I know she looks white in the photo). She is adorable...I want her...

One week old
Some photos:

Beck Brow Bottoms Up! (someone sleeping behind)

Beck Brow After Eight  (this year's mischief) with Velvet

Just to prove we do all colours...

Bottom, After and Cloud Nine

mother and baby paddock

Snazzy look snazz

and just because...

Chaska and Cloud

Beck Brow Stardust

Honaria and Bottom

Damascus (sire: Prophecy)

After Eight

Velvet caught sleeping with Angel

Monday, 7 July 2014

Looking Snazzy!

On Saturday morning, it was the usual bright and early start; but at least I had plans for the day, instead of the usual farm watch. Paul had decided that he would rather stay home, than man our stand at Skelton Show (Paul can only smile for limited periods) so it was going to be down to me.

As I drove off, I though Katkin looked rather fidgety. So when I received a call at 8.30 am, it wasn't a great surprise to hear that she had birthed...the fact that she had had a fancy was a great surprise! This was her third pairing with St Patrick, the first resulted in a mid fawn boy, the second a black male...and now a fancy boy...consistent with the males at least!

Actually, I do think that he is rather cute. I have named him Beck Brow Snazzy...because I just think he is! Partially bottle fed because Katkin has a limited milk supply (she will now be retired) he is sure to be a favourite.

Katkin and Snazzy

For those of you who do not follow us on Facebook; an up-date on Roma and her rejected cria: Roma did decide that she didn't fancy motherhood. She watched her cria, but just let him wander off searching for her. If he did find her and try to drink she pushed him away. So we closed the pair together in an outside pen, with Lady Gaga and Posh Pants for company.

 Having read the blog about Roma on Facebook, Angela (Lignum Alpacas) suggested trying Roma with Sepia (homeopathic remedy) to calm her. We were on the case, Googling suppliers, when bingo...I remembered that I some on farm. Initially excited, Paul soon stopped that when he reminded me that the reason I had some, was because I tried it last time with Roma (Jayne from Zanzibah Alpacas had suggested it). However, it was day 3 before we managed to get hold of any last time.

I dissolved some pellets in water and gave them as a drench. In the meantime we fed the cria with cows colostrum, but he stuck close to mum. She may not have loved him, but he certainly loved her. If she sat down...he sat down close beside her...she had no choice but to be near him. The next morning, not keen to take a bottle, I decided that he must have had a feed from Roma. I decided to take the chance and let them out into the paddock (having given Roma more Sepia). Well, she was frantic...frantic that she was going to lose him...result! The most attentive mother ever. I have named him Beck Brow Asterisk...a little star!


Beck Brow Asterisk (sire: Beck Brow Explorer)

and another with milk dried chops!

I have decided that we are going to start putting in ear tags. I really don't like the idea, but as Paul points out, when I am away from the farm, recognition is difficult (and that is not just immediately post shearing). So, I have the tags...and the applicator...but no nerve. I did do the microchips, and managed to stab my thumb, which I thought was just revenge! I have decided that Paul will be good at tag insertion!

Beck Brow After Eight (left) was the cause of my microchipped thumb.

Still, my favourite, is Beck Brow Bottoms Up...she is such a sweetie...and a curly wurly. The patch where her fleece was shaved for her plasma transfusion, shows the amount of organisation in her fleece. Looking forward to seeing how she develops.

Beck Brow Bottoms-Up (sire: Beck Brow Explorer)

Beck Brow Cloud Nine with Chaska (sire: Lilly field Jack of Spades)

Lots of matings have been taking place on the farm; with our own, livery, and client's females, the air has been filled with ogling. This means that formal spitt-offs are often not necessary, as the open females plonk themselves down, when matings are going on. First in this queue, and this has been for the past few weeks, has been Beck Brow Cat's Pyjamas (Supreme Champion at Northumberland Show this year) she has had a date with Timbertop CT Goldmine ET...a St Patrick x that will have me excited for next year!

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Another cria rejection?....

Well, after a very long wait (370 days) Beck Brow Fine Romance went into labour this morning. She had been humming away for a week, so we have been expecting a delivery any day.

 For those of you not familiar with Roma, she is the dam of Beck Brow Foxy Sox (born in 2012). Foxy Sox, who was bottle fed... because her mum didnt want her! Roma didnt have a cria last year, and we were rather hoping she might have gotten over her self importance, and look after her cria this time. So some slight anxiety...

Beck Brow Foxy Sox (born 2012)

We viewed from a distance, through the long lense of the camera...and first signs were good, she didnt seem freaked out in any way by the second stages of labour...

also it was white (we decided that she didnt like Sox being fawn, as she had ran around after all the white cria in 2012). In fact she seemed remarkable chilled, not even bothering with the final push...

Not bothering to move is; Beck Brow Cloud Nine, our ninth female delivered on Sunday by Chaska. It's as if she is saying; "hey, I haven't featured on the blog yet"...

Still trying to ignore the fact that she has a cria crawling out (a leg still inside in photo below), Roma doesn't bother to stand...

But he (yes, our first boy of the year) is determined to meet his mum (leg still inside...we are avoiding any interference) is looking hopeful as she looks round (below)....

After a quick dry and spray of the cord; I sat him next to Roma, and stood away...It was looking good...

 What a little star, he was up on his feet and looking for milk within 15 minutes. Roma was not having him near her udder, but she was calling this point I was hoping that she just needed to pass the placenta, then she would bond. However, he was up and away and running around. She called but didn't go after him. I returned him a number of times but she wasn't interested.

We have now closed them together in a pen outside on the grass (with Lady Gaga and Posh Pants for company). Experience tells me not to hold up too much hope. Unfortunately Roma does not appear to have much of a mothering instinct. It is so sad to watch...another cria that will have to be bottle fed and not cared for by his mother...she sniffs the cria but walks away.

I am sure that the lovely Ep Cambridge Solstice will have him in her creche. She is pictured below with Beck Brow Snooty Boots (left). As mentioned in my last blog, Solstice runs the creche, as well as paddock protection services...


busy in the creche...

calling in Stardust for paddock protection duty (that will be Velvet in the grass!)

Finally on a happy note...some cria who do get looked after by their dams...Juno (St Patrick) and After Eight with Valentine (black Sabbath)