As you may have noticed I have finally had our website updated and professionalised. The old one was OK and served a purpose but did look a bit amateurish and I hope the new one does not. Thanks must go to Mark at Ridge Media for his hard work and expertise!
So, a new website and a new location for my blog. ‘Oh you do a blog do you? I hadn’t noticed’ I hear you shout. I know, the last entry was a report of the demise of poor old Dee our ‘Grand Dame’ who passed away in December. Six months have gone by since that post, which I admit, is a disgrace for someone who proposes to write a blog. I have thrashed myself thoroughly with a handful of thick brambles and as such I write this hovering in a crouched position with an arse full of thorns and plasters.
This is my first attempt at the new blog format so hopefully it will turn out alright.
It’s July and so I imagine we are all in the middle of the most stressful yet most enjoyable part of the year, birthing, unpacking, parturition season. We are about half way here in Patouland and as usual have been through the whole range of emotions.
Firstly, before I get into cria reports I would like to thank and old mate of mine who is very keen to become a professional photographer when he hangs up his handcuffs. He took some fabulous photographs this week some of which are now adorning the website. Great job Graham, you can come again!
So how are we doing, well we have nine cria with six/three split in favour of the boys. Sadly we lost a male who was born after just 10 months gestation. We threw every thing at him and nearly got there but sometimes you just can’t win.
Our experiment with using a white stud male (Hanley Hall RA Polaris) has had mixed results. Of the 5 cria born so far we have a brown, two fawns and two, um, how can I put this, two whiteys. We have one to come. I have to say they are all lovely and certainly the two white ones, even though they are permanently dirty, are very easy to find.
Young Percy and Peoni, Polaris cria.
The first of the year was born to my favourite alpaca in the whole wide world, my Lily. Lily, obviously, did a great job with the colour and produced a smashing brown male from Polaris, Patou Maverick, albeit at a stress inducing 9.45pm!.
Spirit also did a good job by producing the absolutely gorgeous Cassiopeia.
Vanilla, who whilst pregnant was the meanest meanie in the field is now in love with all and everyone having given birth for the first time. Another Polaris boy, Patou Pasha. Vanilla had very little milk and Pasha was very dysmature despite a gestation of 336 days. It was touch and go but after two loads of plasma and a lot of hard work he is now thriving.
After the Polaris lighties it was nice to get back to some proper colour with a couple of cria from our boy Qjori, all satisfyingly dark.
The first one was our 100th cria and predictably he has been called Centurion. Another dysmature male, he couldn’t stand for two days but he is also now thriving.
The latest arrival, born on Friday has been another story of worry which is now coming good. Despite being born fit and healthy and remaining so we have had to think ahead. His mother, one of our original girls, Bobby, has an udder like a Fresian heifer. No kidding it is a real swinging bag of milk with enormous teats. As such poor old Mowgli has struggled to get his mouth open wide enough! Anticipating his problem we had his blood tested for protein levels at 24 hours old and the result was a border line reading of 4.5 somethings. As a result this morning he was given a plasma transfusion to be on the safe side. He is a bundle of energy but his weight would indicate that he is still not getting enough milk so we are supplementing him temporarily with a bottle. Simple you may think? Well, Bobby is at the head of our ‘Hair-trigger spit monster’ family and as a result yesterday I had to change my trousers once and my shirt twice. She is a very good mother and we are having to use a lot of guile to distract her whilst bottling him. Luckily she is a greedy mare so food is featuring frequently in the field!
The excitement is building here though as we await the first of the Toft Timogen cria. We purchased a share in Timogen last year and he stayed with us for a few weeks, as a result we have seven lovely ladies, some of whom are due any day, with precious cargo. Hopefully my next posting will be sooner rather than later!