About Me

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Sedgeberrow, Worcestershire, United Kingdom
Breeding and Selling Quaility Huacaya & Suri Alpacas.

Saturday, 24 December 2011


Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas, may you eat, drink and be merry.  And I hope you get everything you have wished for.

Love & Best wishes from all at Cotswold Vale Alpacas xx

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Wealthy, Well Off, Rich ???

How do you define being wealthy, well off, rich?  well in our case it is not how much we have in the bank!! Because there is very little in there!!

Having sunk all our savings into living our dream, we feel we are well off in many other areas.  Its not easy living in a mobile home with limited space, and many people said we had gone mad!!  but the view from our window makes up for the loss of our marbles and lack of space.  We have invested in our dreams as we didn't want to go to our graves thinking "If Only we had.........!!"

But we do feel we are "Well Off" - we are doing something we had dreamed of, we have lots of adoring animals (even if its their tummy's they loves us for) and most of all we have a close and loving family.

We have loving daughters, son, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, future son-in-law and two amazing/gorgeous grandchildren.  (and that's just our little family unit) and then there is the rest of our family.

I think in a time which is extremely hard on finances we must all remember how lucky we are, that our love and our time is free to give. (yes I know that children don't see it that way, but one of the best gifts we can give them is to teach them the value of money, giving and receiving.) 

And how can I forget my very favorite girls - The BG's - still as always making me smile.

Here is Roxy helping herself to Rica's hay, even though the hay racks are all full in the barn.  She even caught hold of the hay net with her leg to stop it moving around, so clever never stop amazing me, so, so funny.

And here they are with Ewen one of our Stud Males.

And a big job we have been trying to get done for ages, when we design the barn I wanted both ends open, but didn't realise the builder was going to leave the opening so big! and we have the wind and rain blowing in, after a lot of talking and changing our minds, we finally decided we would drop the sheeting down and then put some covered gates so we could shut it in. is to fill in the end of the barn to stop the wind and rain blowing in.  Here are photos of the first stages of dropping the sheeting (before and after)

Next stage will be the sheeted gates!

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Busy Few Days

Well I am back on the farm after a very busy few days!!  I left my youngest daughter and husband in charge of all the animals and spent a couple of days with my eldest daughter and my gorgeous grandchildren : -)

Callum is 2years 9 mnths and Ava Lou was 1 years old yesterday (10th Dec)

So on Thursday it was off to buy Ava Lou's very first shoes, she has started to walk, just a few steps but is getting better everyday and soon will be running everywhere!!

Then on Friday it was Callum's pre-school Christmas party at soft play.  

Here is Callum, Ava, Mummy and Cookie the Bear 

Then Saturday was Ava Lou's first birthday

Here she is in her party dress with her big brother.

And the very proud Grandparents : -) xx

We are very proud of our gorgeous grandchildren, they make us smile, they make us laugh and light up our loves :-) xx

It was a very busy couple of days, but I loved every minute.

And got back home and all the animals had been well looked after and I don't even think they had missed me!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Scam Warning!! Please read and pass on

Not a blog from me, just passing on someone elses experience to help STOP another SCAM!!


Please read and pass on where ever you can, lets stop these people taking advantage of hard work people trying to promote and build up a business.



Thursday, 1 December 2011

Busy Knitting

I have got to say knitting wouldn't have been top of my list of things to do, but over the last year have surprised myself and managed to produce some quite nice stuff (even if I say it myself!) AND even managed to sell some of it as well (Bonus!!)

Well here is a few of my latest achievements

New Born Baby Hat, Mitten & Booties

And my favourite - little slippers

I quite enjoyed knitting the baby items, they didn't take too long and are so, so cute :-)

But my favourate of all the items I have made is my felted bags, I love doing these.  They are easy to make and I always can't wait to see how they turn out, as they all turn out different and unique.

Well I am sure with the winter coming in fast! I will have lots of time to sit and knit.  And gain lots more experience and hopefully produce lots more lovely items for gorgeous alpaca wool.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

What a Difference Today!!

What a difference today is from yesterday, horrendous wind and rain!!  But today the mild weather is back with us its really mild and the sun is shinning, a huge difference from yesterday!  The grass is still growing (although we don't have loads) you can tell its still coming as the Alpacas are eating less of the hay.

I have just moved them all around this morning to give them some more grass, they do love changing fields, and that will be the last of I see of them down in the main field until tea-time, can still see them but in the distance.

Coming to Hay!!  hopefully with this prolonged fairly mild weather we won't be using as much, boy oh boy is it expensive!!  I am paying double what I was 2/3 years ago!!  And I am not sure if its my imagination but I think my small bales have shrunk!!!  is it possible to change the size of bales you make!! ??

I know probably quite a dumb question.  But I think its like everything these days somewhere along the line manufacturers manage to shrink the product and still make people think they are a getting a bargain (but in fact they are getting less for their money!!)

Example: Tin of Roses - I have an empty tin from last year (keeping doggy treats in) and the weight is 975g and I am sure I paid £5 for it.  This year the tin holds 850g for £5 - so same price but less for your money!! (sorry I know Roses are a luxury item but its the only thing I have available to compare and prove my thinking)

And now to mobile phone bills!  I thought if you signed up for a contract you were safe in the knowledge that the only additional charges would be if you overspend your minutes/text or phone chargeable numbers so that's down to you being careful.  But on no we just got a text from Orange saying they are putting up our contract charge!! even though we still have a year to run on the contract.  And you can't get out of it (its in the small print - and yes like everyone I didn't see that in the small print!!)

But back on a lighter note - our BG's lol still being naughty and still making me laugh :-)

Butter wouldn't melt! Ronnie & Roxy having a snooze.

Up to their old tricks "Oh dear!! caught on the roof again!!"

"Quick get down the stairs, mum is coming!" - too late she's got us on camera!

Naughty BG's still up to their naughty tricks and still making me laugh :-)

Sunday, 27 November 2011

AD& E (confused!!)

A question?  Do you give AD & E to all alpacas? (Adult, weanlings & Cria)  or is just the Cria who should have it?

I have been doing all of mine, but someone told me they only do their cria.

So what do I do?  The bottle from the vet only gives me the amount for cria.  Last year we used paste, but got to the end of December and sadly had a little female cria go down with rickets, even though I had been giving them the paste monthly since the end of September!   So on the advice of the vet changed to injections.

So any info on who I give it to mostly gratefully recieved.



Thursday, 24 November 2011

Revamping out Website with a "Gifts for Sales" Page!

I decided to have a computer day and I really don't know where today has gone!!  It was about time to up-date our website and add some items for sale.  I can't believe how long it is taking!!  Still have quite a bit to do.

But here is a peek preview.


I can't believe how mild the weather is, this time last year we were covered in loads of snow!!

November 2010

What a difference this year is!!

November 2011 - I know its a bit dark, but it was first thing this morning when the sun was beginning to rise, it hasn't stayed out all day but it was beautiful to see.

And I just have to put this picture on the blog, it was so funny.

This is two of our stud males, while I was feeding the horses the dogs were happily sat waiting for me when I turned around I caught Ewen chancing his luck and trying to mount Angel !!  poor boy must be desperate and Angel wasn't too impressed either!

All the girls are now grazing down by the barn so I can see them through the window, and OMG I have just spotted a naughty weanling feeding from her mum!!  Naughty, naughty girl, she has only been back in with mum for a few weeks and this is the first time I have seen this, I did think she was getting quite big!  So don't know how long she has been doing it!!

This is mum's first cria so obviously don't know any better, mum is (or we hope she is still) pregnant and due to give birth early April, her condition seems ok, but what am I going to do?  I don't have any other cria ready to be weaned, I can't put out with the other weanling because he is now out with yearlings (and I certainly can't put her out with them)  oh what am I going to do?

Always something to worry about!

Help - Sales Advice Needed

All is well with our animal family, everyone seems to be enjoying the mild weather, who would believe this time last year the snow was on its way (ooh hope I am not tempting fate there!! lovely as snow is, it does make life a lot harder both on the farm and out on the building site where Tony's works)

So to my blog title, I really need some sales advice,  in my past life I was office bound, a financial / office manager.  A wiz with a computer, and a fountain of knowledge and experience with word, excel, access etc and a head for figures.  BUT SALES IS QUITE ALIEN TO ME!!

We made a huge change in our life's direction to follow our dream, sold our lovely comfy house and invested everything into Cotswold Vale Alpacas.  Its been a bit of a roller coaster, not more so due to the recession, but wouldn't change our decision for anything, we didn't want to be one of those couples who said later on in life !If Only We Had!!!!!"  with hind sight we may have changed some of the way we have done things but not   the decision to breed Alpacas.

Tony's has carried on with his day job which has helped keep our heads above water, last year I was made redundant from my part-time job, which pushed me into working full-time with the Alpacas (which I love)

Having never run a smallholding I have learned loads, am very confident in caring for the Alpacas, proud of our healthy cria from this year and even more prouder of learning to spin & knit (getting better & better at both as time goes by) especially as I have always been a brain person not a hands on person!

Now for the help - Sales advice needed.  How to advertise & sell some girls, how to market them & where?  how do I decide who to sell!!  I have never been a sales person and feel way out of my depth with this (I knew it was coming, but time has flown and it seems to have come around so quick!)

We have sold boys, (I really don't want to part with them!!) but I need to sell girls!  Any help and advice would be gratefully received.

Many thanks

Friday, 18 November 2011

Where has the time gone!!

It's been a long time since I have blogged!!  2 months!! where has the time gone?

All the animals (Alpacas, Dogs, Cats, Horses and Goats) are doing well, but I have lost count of how many animal mouths we are now feeding!  But we love them all.

We did have a bit of a worry with Ronnie a couple of weeks ago, Ronnie is our little beige pygmy goat, she became very quite and didn't want to come out of the stable, which is certainly not normal!  Normally the minute they hear the patio door open they both start calling to be let out, but it was funny they were both very quiet, they normally run out of the stable to get their breakfast.  But Roxy came running out but Ronnie was sat in her bed (an old plastic dog basket with straw in, which they both love to sleep in).  I went in and she got up but appeared to be a bit lame, I couldn't feel anything wrong, her leg wasn't swollen, there was no heat and she wasn't too worried when I moved it, so I put it down to a strain (which I am not surprised at,as they are both forever jumping in and out of the feed which are hanging on the hurdles (just to make sure we don't have any unwanted creatures getting into them) and I have even found them up in the hay racks!!

But thankfully within a couple of days she was walking a lot better, although she was still quite quiet, but now I can report that she is definitively back on form as you will see from the photo below.

Here they both are on top of the dogs kennel waiting for their tea, as you can see they have been very naughty by stripping the felt off the roof and pooing on it!  Just can't keep them from jumping onto everything, I think they have springs on their legs!.

They are so, so funny and we love them to bits, during the day they have the full run of the barn, yard and field, if you go out they called to you, if you are in the barn they follow you around and if you ignore them they will pull at your trouser and push your legs, they love to be tickled and scratched, and even wag their little tails.  They do so many things which make us laugh.

Here they are in what should be their tunnel, which they took apart!!  But how can this not put a smile on your face?

The Alpacas and Goats get on well now, and just mingle in together, sharing food and hay.  So here is a photo the girls waiting for their tea, its amazing they can all be at the top of the field when I go out to do the feeds, the goats hear the patio door open so start calling, the alpacas hear the goats calling and immediately come charging down the field and before I have even got over to the barn they are all queuing up for their tea.  And as soon as the horses see the alpacas come down, they too are calling for their tea!!

Here are some of the girls already down in the barn.  Come on Mum, where's our tea??

They are happy for me to get in amongst them to put the feed in the troughs, but I do sometimes get someone spit at the back of my head!  But I do know its not aimed at me, but at each other tussling over who gets to the trough first, but try as I might I cannot get out there without them noticing, due to them noisy BG's (be some much easier to put the feed in the troughs without them all in there)

But they all seem to be very happy and well, if they are a bit dirty!!

Well hopefully if wont be as long until our next update!!

Bye for now.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Another Busy Couple of Days.

The two suri weanlings seem to be very settled with their new paddock and routine, and aren't humming as much.  And the two mums seem to have accepted their babies are gone and have gone back to grazing with the herd, thank goodness.

Tony, my husband and labourer!! has been very busy putting in some fencing to make a penning area around the barn so we can feed the girls and boys into the barn in different directions, which will be very useful and fenced off behind the barn to give us another little paddock when needed.

He has also been out doing a bit of grass harrowing, that's kept him busy until he goes back to his day job tomorrow, there is no peace for the wicked!

We have also done some nail clipping today, as some of the girls seemed to have grown a lot of nail since being done in May, can't believe how much, especially the Suri girls and a couple of the white ones.  Will have to wait until next weekend to finish the rest off, as my back was hurting quite a bit with the bending over (oh dear I did feel my age today lol)

So its a nice sit down now with some supper and a nice glass of wine (medicinal of course for my back)

Well goodnight everyone


Friday, 16 September 2011

I Hate this Job!!

No not my day job, looking after the alpacas, but the time you have to wean the cria from their mummies :-(  it was time to weaned the two suri cria born in March.  They are only just six months old, but they are getting very big and have I felt it was time to give the mums a break from feeding them, as they were beginning to loss a bit of condition.

So on Monday we moved them into the paddack along side the barn, with a couple of yearling girls they have got very close too and a couple of older girls to keep them company.  The first couple of hours they didn't seem to notice the milk bar wasn't available, typical alpaca more interested in the grass in their new paddock.  But then disaster struck one of them spotted their mum up the main field and tried to get through the stock fencing!!  and got a little bit stuck, luckly I had been watching them from the window ( I love the way we have positioned the mobile, we can observe all the paddocks from the windows -  I am glad we put a lot of though into how to position the mobile)

So I quickly went out and managed to free his head, he just couldnt work out if he put his head to the side he could get out.  He wasn't too stressed as I caught him almnost in the act, but I'm not sure how he would have been left there for any length of time.  Silly boy!!

So I decided it would be better to shut the gate to the paddock and restrict their access to the run into the barn for now and they seem to be very settled now without any more problems.

But sadly, although it seem the cria have setttled well, the mum's are not happy about the seperation at all :-(  I feel so sad watching the two mum's hanging around the gate trying to get a glimpse of their babies, they know they are there but can't seem them, (good job they don't scream well whinny like horses do, its awful to hear and generally the kindest way to wean a foal is to take it completely away out of sight and sound as I have seen a mare jump several fences to get back to her foal!

But for these two poor mums, this being their first cria they obviously didn't understand.

Its been five days now and they are starting to move away for longer and longer periods, and they have gone back to being very attached to each other, so hopefully it wont be too long before they have forgotten their babies and can concentrate on grazing and gaining back some condition.

Apart from this little bit of sadness and little drama all is well at Cotswold Vale Alpacas

Bye for now


Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Debate!! Do we or dont we need to live on site with our Alpacas??

I have a question for Alpaca breeders.  I believe a new planning guidance document states that Alpaca breeders do not need to live on site in order to care for their animals?

I know from my experience where I stand on this.  What do other breeders think, what is your experience?  I would like to here boths side to this story.

Please let me know


Saturday, 10 September 2011

Alpacas Won Hearts at Evesham Charity Gala Day

We are famous (well just a little bit lol) last weekend we took the boys to a Charity Gala Day, they were very well behaved and met lots and lots of people who adored them.

It always makes you feel good to help raise funds for very worthy charities.

Click the link to see the newpaper article. Alpaca Won Hearts at Evesham Charity Gala Day

As for everyone else, they are all doing well, we have had a lovely lot of cria this year with some amazing colours and fleece.  They all seem to be thriving and we hope this continues through the Autumn and fast approaching winter.

All females have been mated and are spitting off apart from Jaz who's baby is just 10 days old so has not been remated yet and then there is Toya who is spitting one week and then the following weeking sitting again!!  She spat off last week so we will have to see if she repeats she cycle of spitting and sitting, if she sits again we will have to do something about it, as we are fast running out of time for mating this year.

Well I hate to say it, but it is now time to start preparing for the winter, the barn pens are coming on, having a lot more alpacas this year we have had to do some additional penning as we like to get all the alpacas down into the barn during the winter, we like to have the paddock around the barn accessable for them all to come and go as they please.  Its been a bit a like a jigsaw puzzel adapting as we have gone along, but it all seems to working out quite well.

A big winter expense on the list is the Hay!!  I cant believe how much it cost these days, last year we managed to cut some from our fields, but not this year, so we have to buy it all in.  Yet again we are being told there is a shortage so the price will stay high!!  But needs must, we have to make sure all the animals get fed during the winter.

Well thats it for now, must get on with some more knitting.

Bye for now.


Monday, 5 September 2011

Mixed Result Spit offs!!

Now all the cria have arrived we have been concentrating on getting them all pregnant again,  with mixed results.  We had the usual spitting from some, the look!! from others, spitting and kicking and the please get me out of here reaction from the quieter ones.  Thats was the huacaya girls.

And then we had Suri girls, we had a violent spitter, one that actually saw me coming to get her and she jumped the gate to get away!! And one that hasn't even been mating kicking and spitting for England - obviously not reading to get pregnant again just yet?? even though her cria is over 4 weeks old, we will just have to try her again next week.

Then we have Toya, the girl we just don't seem to be able to get three spit offs in a row??  We have never had a problem with her before and she is a definate sitter or spitter so usually makes it quite obvious if she is pregnant.  She had a cria last year, but during the winter got ricketts (even though we had been giving her Ad&E vitamin paste from end of September on a monthly basis - but it appears she had either not been getting enough or not absorbing it)  it also appeared that Toya had very little milk available, so we took over and fed by bottle.  Toya had lost quite a bit of condition, so the Vet took poo and blood samples, but all came back fine.

In March I generally do spit offs with all the girls just to confirm who was or wasnt still pregnant just so we don't sit waiting for a cria when there is no cria there.  Toya sat so it looks like she had absorbed or aborted sometime during the winter probably due to her loss of condition.

The vet recommended we left her for a couple of months and just mad sure she regained her condition, which is what we did.  We first re-mated her at the end of June, all went well and she spat of the following week, then on the second week she sat!!  She was remated, spat off the next week, then the second spit off she sat again!!  We mated her again and she did the same.  I spoke to the vet and he said we would need to take her to the surgery to have an internal scan (which I have got to say I am not too keen on doing, one because she doesnt travel too good and two after having a huge bill waiting to be paided from Dayna & Dexter, I really cant really afford another huge bill on top just at the moment!!) 

So it appears that she is ovulating ok and the male is experienced so the question is??  does anyone have any experience of the same thing??  any advice would be most welcome.


Thursday, 1 September 2011

Last Arrival for the Year

Well again its has been a mad and busy week, just don't know where the time flys to!!

Our last cria of the year has arrive, not without drama I must add!!  Jaz was not due until 14th September, but she caught me quite unawares.   Tuesday I had visitors, friends from where I used to work had called over for a catch up on all the gossip.  As it was pretty chilly we sat in the mobile, chatting and drinking coffee.

I can see the field from the window and as usual the alpacas had made their daily route around the field, passing by the window several times and all seem ok.

When my visitor left, I went out into the barn to check on the BG's to make sure they were ok, they were unusually quiet.  But this time they were behaving and were having a snooze in the stable.

The girls had spotted me and charged down the field thinking it must be tea-time.  I noticed two had stayed up at the top of the field, Dayna which was not unusual for her with her baby and Jaz, but there was another little cria up there!  I took a quick head count and found that everyone else had come down to the barn, so I could only assume Jaz must have given birth without me even seeing.

I ran (well fast walked) up the field to check and yes indeed it was Jaz's little baby, who was up, dry and running after mum!.  I managed to catch hold of him and to my dismay his tummy was covered in blood!!  He was bleeding from his cord, I quickly carried him back to the barn so I could get a clip to clamp the cord and stop the bleeding.  I could feel the blood soaking into my jeans and running down onto my foot.

I put him and mum into the pen then ran to the shed for the birthing box, dam!!  I had not replaced the last clip (naughty, naughty!!) and in my panic couldn't remember where the bag of new clips were!! 

I decided I needed to improvise until I could fine the cord clips, I quickly sterilised a peg from the washing line and attached this to stopped the flow of blood.   I checked mum's milk, which was well and truly running, and stood back to watch him feed, which didn't take too long.  I then went to find the clips, (as my brain had starting working and I remember where they were - funny how the brain freezes when your in a panic!!) I sterilise one and then replace the peg with it. 

Phew that gave me quite a start!!  What a way to end our birthing season!

But he is a strong little man, he doesn't look premature, his teeth are through, his legs are strong and he is feeding well.

So please meet the latest and last addition for this year, to the Cotswold Vale Alpaca herd, as yet does not have a name.

Here he is with Whitney who is having a good old sniff.

I am sad this years birthing season has ended, as it is always so exciting when you have a new arrival.  But am also glad, because we have had our fair share of problems, thankfully all turning out well, but I believe only because I am here on site and am able to watch, observe and step in when needed.


Friday, 26 August 2011

I am horrified - Eating Alpaca!!

Purely by accident I came across this article in Stoud News & Journal Local Company given a licence to Sell Alpaca Meat!! I am absolutely horrified!!

How could any alpaca breeder say there alpacas is not suitable for breeding and sell them to be slaughtered and sold for eating!!

One of the main reasons I went into breeding alpacas was the fact I didnt need to breed for slaughter!!

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy and Time flys By!

Another very busy week with very little time to stop and blog!

We had our very first Craft Fayre on Sunday with mixed results! For the very first time we took two of our boys out to meet the public and to sell some of our alpaca hand-made items.

We took Cosmo and Ewen who are two of our stud males, they were amazing and so well behaved, lots of people enjoyed getting up close and personal to the boys and enjoyed having a feel of their fleece.

There were lots of people enjoying a sunny day out, but not too many people buying, I did ok selling two of my felted bags and several smaller items, but my sister and many of the other stall holders didn't have many sales :-(

Here is a photo of Cosmo with one of his many admirers, Jayne is a very huge fan of Alpacas.

Our next trip out will be on 3rd September to a Charity Fun Day, so we are looking forward to this.

We had some lovely visitors yesterday who came along to meet the Alpacas and look at their fleece, I am sure they enjoyed their visit and went home with a gorgeous fleece, I know they will enjoy spinning it and make some lovely items from it. For more about their visit you can go to: Lucy 'in the Sky' - "A Real Alpaca Adventure"  where Lucy has done a brilliant account with photos of their visit to Cotswold Vale Alpacas.

Well I must get back to work down on the Alpaca Farm so until next time, bye for now.

Ginnie :-)

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Dexter update.

It has been another very busy week or so!! But I can now report that our little Dexter is doing ok. After a few very hairy days, he has gone from strength to strength. He is now 11 days old and I feel a bit more confident in doing this update blog on him.

After two days of bottle feeding him and milking mum, on the third day we eventually managed to get him to understand where mummy's milk bar was.

His first two days were quite hairy!! He took the bottle well, but was not standing and moving around very much, so I needed to go out every hour to remind him to get up and move around. He was extremely down on his pasterns and it made him look like he was walking with great big hob nail boots on.

We had given him plasma and colosturum on his first day so we new he was covered from infection, but his temperature seemed to be going up and down, so after collecting anti-biotics from the vet he seemed to stabalise, unfortunately he then got diarrhea! now this could have been due to getting too much milk (as he did seem to take his bottle very well) or due to the antibiotics upsetting his natural bacteria within his gut, as anti-biotics kills good bacteria aswell as the bad ones!

So another visit to the vets to collect some Pro-Kolin + and some Lactosym Natural Live Symbiotic, both were to help settle everything down in the gut and help stop the trots the poor chap was suffering from.

We had kept him and mum in a pen in the field as mum was not easy to catch hold off when we needed to. On the third day he much stronger so I took the decision to stop bottle feeding him and see if we could encourage him to seek milk from mum, as I had been going out and feeding him every two hours he really didnt feel hungry and feel the need to seek milk from mum. (this was not an easy decision as I felt extremely mean doing it, but was ready to step in and feed him if he started to fade in anyway.)

We went out on the hour to milk mum a little into a bottle, we wiped milk around her teats so he would be able to smell it and then we gave him the bottle with mums milk, once he had the taste we then stood him in the right position.

After a couple of hours of doing this he was getting the idea and had started to seek out the milk bar, by lunch time he was feeding, but we still needed to go out and remind him to get up and move around.

By late afternoon he was feeding very well so I let them out into the field with the rest of the herd, this seem to encourage him to start moving a lot more, and by the evening he had start to have a little run around.

So here is our little Dexter. (sorry the photo quality is not too good)

Whitney and Vanilla Ice saying hello to Dexter.

He is a lovely chap and we can only hope he will carrying on get stronger and stronger.

Just one more baby due and that will be it for this year, which is alway sad, but will be a relief we know all the babies have arrived and are safe and thriving.


Monday, 8 August 2011

Another Worrying Time

We had another birth yesterday, Emily gave birth to a little boy. This was Emily's first cria and she is not a very big girl, she had quite a hard time and was running out of energy, she was lay on her side pushing and pushing and in the end needed assistance to deliver his shoulders, with a pull while she contracted we managed to get the shoulders out and then with a final push he had arrived in this world.

He is lovely light fawn boy with the longest curliest fleece I have seen this year. Within 10 minutes he was sat up and look liked he was going to fine but that was as far as he was willing to go!!

Although Emily was 350 days and he weighted 8kg, he still appeared to be premature, his teeth have not come through yet, he had membrane still attached to his mouth and he had little flippers on his feet.

Emily is normally a real placid girl, but she had suddenly turned into a vicious monster, spitting and stamping, and charging with her teeth fully beared at anyone who attempted to approached her baby, this being alpaca or human.

So we stepped back and watched from afar, but after a hour we tried to encourange him to move, he did stand and walk for a minute, but promptly sat down again. He did eventually start to get up and move around, although in a very clumpsy way he looked like he had long boots on and found it difficult to walk, this was due to him being very down on his pasterns.

About 7pm he was over 5 hours old and still had not fed, or even attempted to feed, so I defrosted the plasma and gave him it in a bottle, which he happily drank, this perked him up a bit but at 9pm he still wasn't attempting to feed from mum, so I then gave him a bottle of milk.

Got up this morning not knowing what I would find, he was still with us, but still not feeding from mum.

So today I have taken over mums job with the bottle, he takes it well, but still doesnt get up for very long. The vet gave me antibiotic injections to give him to cover him for any other infections.

So please meet "Cotswold Vale Dexter"

I couldnt make up my mind if to blog about him, but I think he deserves a blog, we are doing all we can and at the end of the day mother nature will decide his fate (brave words I know, and I wont sleep much tonight and will not look forward to going out to the barn in the morning!)


Saturday, 6 August 2011

Busy Time

Not have had much time to blog this week, we have been very busy since my last blog (or RANT)and a lot has happened.

We have been busy head collar/Lead training the young boys from last year, especially Polo, Levi & Quartz who will be soon going off to their new home.

Their new owners are coming for a visit tonight and some training. They will be moving to their very nice new home next weekend.

We have also been busy with new arrivals, arriving at various times of the day from 7.55am in the morning to 7pm at night!!

First one of our Suri girls, Emma gave birth to a lovely fawn boy. Its was a early birth for us he arrived at 7.55am it was a classic birth and he was up and feeding very quickly. We were very pleased with his arrival as his sire was from outside our herd so this could possibily bring new blood to the girls if he carrys on how he has started, one word for him gorgeous.

Cotswold Vale Zeus

The next to give birth was Ipsy, she is our oldest girl and a bit of a grumpy old madame. She had been sitting around a lot during the day, but she had been doing this for days but she waited until 7pm to give birth, rather late for a birth!! She gave birth to a beautiful girl, the birth was fine, and the after birth followed straight after the cria, there was a lot of blood down her legs, being difficult to catch we needed to get her down to the barn to wash of the blood to stop the flys bothering her.

But she was not having any of it, it tooks us half an hour to get her down there!! we checked her teats for wax and she had plenty of milk, then washed her legs down. By this time is was after 8pm and she just wasnt interested in standing still for baby to feed, every time she found the right place ipsy would move, more interested in eating the grass in the pen, I can only assume she had been uncomfortable for a long time and was now very hungry. At nine she still wasnt letting her feed and I was getting concerned as the light was beginning to fade. So I decided to give the cria some plazma as I didnt feel she was going to get her colostrum.

We shut them in the barn and I just prayed that Ipsy would feed her, in the morning I let them out into the pen, the cria was very bright and I saw her feed a couple of time, so decided it would be safe to let them out into the field with the herd. They ran up the field to greet the rest of the herd, and she has gone from strength to strength. (again I thank goodness we are on site and were there for the birth, I'm not convinced she would have survived without our intervention.)

Cotswold Vale Amber

Then on 29th July 11 at 2.30 Beau deliver us a gorgeous little girl, I had been waiting in anticipation for this delivery. Beau had been mated with Efron our Suri Stud male and I had been hoping and praying for a little girl, well we were not disappointed, she is amazing, her coat is the colour of chestnut and I have never felt anything so soft and silky.

Although the delivery seemed to be a classic delivery, once born she really worried me, she was breathing but lay with her legs outstretched and she just shook from head to toe. She never wriggled or moved, just lay and shook!

I gave her a good rub with a towel, but still she never attempted to wriggle or sit up! I checked her temperature and it wasnt too bad at 37.6 I gave her some lamb start and I decided to carry her into the barn to get her out of the breeze and see if she warmed up a bit we would get moving.

After 45 minutes she still was still not trying to sit up, so I sat her up and surrounded her with straw to support her and keep her warm. After an hour still she just sat not moving, getting more and more concerned I called the vet, they told me I had done everything I could and if she wasn't up in half hour to try and hold her up and see if she would feed.

Half hour went by and all of a sudden she was up and moving, it was as if she had just woken up, she went from strength to strength was feeding and getting stronger on her feet, a couple of hours later I let them back out into the field and she hasn't looked back.Cotswold Vale Bella.

Cotswold Vale Bella

And finally on 5th August quite by surprise as she wasn't 335 days until the 10th Ana went into labour, I had been up the field to check on Emily who is now well over due, but she showed no sign of anything happening, so we did some more head collar training on the boys. This took about half hour, then on the way back to the mobile I noticed Ana going around in circles and there appeared to be something bulging out the back, I walked up the field and yes in deed she was in labour, within all of ten minutes she gave birth to a stunning little boy.

As yet we have not named him, but he is very strong, up and feeding within half hour and now is already running around the field with the rest of this year babies.

As yet I haven't managed to get a good picture of him yet, so this will come in a following blog.

Well that has been quite a week or more, we now have five boys and five girls born this year, and we are waiting on just two more.

Watch this space.


Sunday, 24 July 2011

Sorry!! But I have got to have a rant!!

Really sorry everyone, but I have just got to get this off my chest before I explode!!

Its nothing Alpacas based, but family and the UK system!!

We are a hard working family and do everything we can to be honest and pay our own way, but they system just smashes you in the teeth.

My husband and son are both bricklayers in the building trade, as everyone knows the recession has been hard on all fronts. Two and half years ago when they had very little work coming in my son and his partner Hannah took the hard decision to move out of their home and move in with Hannah's family and rent out the house so they could keep up with the morgage payments.

Their first tenants were very good, and caused no problems, but the second one has been a nightmare, she is behind on the rent, they have caused damage to the property, had the police called there and has had no respect at all the my sons home. Needless to say this person is a single mum on benefits and not a bloody care in the world. (I have to say I dont have a problem with people on benefits as many are in need of support, but some definatly take the system for a ride!!)

Anyway, my son and partner got married in April, and had decided they wanted to move back to their own home, they gave the tenant the offical 2 month notice last November, expecting to have the house back in Feb to give them time to get the house sorted ready for them to move back after the wedding.

She was due to move out on the 15th Feb, a few days before this they contacted her to arrange a date to do the house inventory, she informs them that she wasnt moving out, she had spoke to her housing officer and was told oh dont worry you dont have to move yet and it will take the landlords at least 2/3 months to get you out, they will have to got to court to get a possesion order!! Now this is the Council telling her this, never mind my son and his wife were going to be homeless themselves. Hannah contacted the council and they told her that thier tenant had only gone to see them on the 8th Feb to say she was going to be homeless and there was nothing they could do and suggested that my son took court action!! on hearing this Hannah said but what about us we are going to homeless in April they just replied do you both work, of course they work so were told the council could not help them!! and they would have to rent privatly themselves (but they have a house why shouldnt they have it back!!)

So my son had no option but to go to court and get an eviction order costing them £150!! Unfortunaetly although they had give her 2 months notice they had set it on the incorrect date and the court would not take action!! So they had to serve her 2 months notice again for the correct dates, wait for her to not get out!! which wow and behold she didnt go, then they went back to court to get the eviction order, to which they got.

She was to move out on the 28th July 11, great my son and his now new wife were looking forward to getting their home back. But yesterday Hannah phoned the tennat to arrange the date for the inventory only to be told - you guested it!! she is not moving out, she has again been told by her housing officer she will have a least another month!!, the landlord, my son will now have to go back to the court and pay £95 to get the bailiffs to evict her!!

After getting adivice from a solicitor they have been told oh yes this is normal, and the tennat will probably move out the day before the bailiffs are due so the bailiffs wont need to go, but my son has still had to pay out £95

I am so ANGRY, my son and his partner arew honest and hard working people, paying their taxes but they are the ones who are getting penalised!! The system is so wrong and so unfair!!

And people wonder why landlords wont take on people on benefits!! I now totally understand and would now say whatever you do dont take on a tenant who is on benefits!!

I think the laws protect the tenant, which I agree they need protecting, but what about the innocent landlords where's their protections??

Rant over!!


Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Another new arrival

Well they are coming thick and fast now, yesterday we had another cria born, a lovely Big Brown Suri boy (10kg), mum Eydth was at 329 days, I know this is classed as early, but not for our Suri girls, in the last few years they have been giving birth around the 320 day mark.

It was a classic birth, at 9.30am I noticed Edyth was moving around the field from poo pile to poo pile, sitting down then getting back up. This went on for about about 30 mins, she is a very experience mum so I just observed from the mobile with the faithful binoculars.

Just after 10am, I could see the feet and nose so collected the birthing box and wandered up the field, by time I had got there he was already on the floor. I took the membrane away from his nose, checked his sex, teeth, mouth and rear end, then sprayed his cord. he was a little slow and wasnt wriggling much so I gave him a good rub with a towel and put a little rug on (it had started raining and was a bit breezy)

I decided to pick him up and bring him closer to the mobile, Edyth happily followed me down the field, I put him down and went back into the mobile to watch from the window.

Although he had sat up within 10 minutes, he was not making any attempt to stand, so after an hour I went out, gave him another good rub to warm him up, although his temperature was fine, I gave him a couple for pumps of Lamb start and within minutes he was up and trying to get his legs going in the right direction. At that point mum decided to take him back up the field to the rest of the herd, before she did I cleared her teats of wax and there was plenty of milk. So off they went to join the herd, placenta came away a hour later and he was already feeding well and skipping around the field.

So please meet our latest arrival, no name as yet, but looking for names beginning with Y.

And legs in action!!

Well thats six down (3 Girls, 3 boys) six to go.


Sunday, 17 July 2011

Latest Arrival

We had a new arrival today, not from a mum I have been expecting to give birth! About 10am I went out into the field to check on Ispy who I have been watching closely, expecting her to delivery any day now, she has been bulging out quite a bit, but she was fine, no signs of labour at all!! Then there are three others who I have also been keeping a close an eye on

But it was none of those!! While checking on the expected girls, I noticed Faith following me around and humming, very strange for faith as she is quite a shy girl and normal moves away when you go near her!

She was only at 327 days so as far as I was concerned should not be delivering just yet, this is also her first cria and to me she didnt look very big. (well what a surprise we were in for!!)

She didnt have any other signs except the humming, so I decided to watch from the mobile with the faithful binoculars as not to crowd her too much. She us up and down, going around and around and rolling. I still stayed watching from the mobile.

About 11.30 it looked like there was something poking out the back, so we collected the birthing box and wandered over. Yes there was something, but it was one leg!! on no alarm bells started to ring, we watch for as she pushed and pushed but nothing else appeared.

So I decided to have a check to see what was going on, at first I could only feel the one leg, so gently pushed it back in and then felt to see what else was there, I felt what seemed to be a nose, one leg and nothing else!! Next thing back out comes one leg and a nose. I had another feel, but could still not find the other leg!

So it was on the phone to another breeder for advice (have read all the books, but have no experience of this!) just as they answered the phone out popped the other leg, but it still didnt look quite right. But decided to give her a bit of time. She had lots of attempts to push further but nothing was happening.

So again I decided to step in and try to reposition the cria, by this time it was obvious the sack had broken and we could just see the cria was breathing. With a little manipulation I managed to get the legs in the correct position, but still she was struggling, she sat down and I gave her help by gently pulling when she had contractions, and a few pushes he was out and we could see why she was struggling he was huge, on weighing him he just over 9.5kg.

He certainly was a strong lad, within 5 minutes he was sat up and within half hour he was standing and searching for the milk bar.

Here is his first photos.

And his first steps out into the field.

He has had a really good afternoon, although it has been quite windy here with some heavy showers so has had a rug on, but he seems to be at the milk bar every 5 minutes, so fingers crossed he has his important colostrum.

I did have to seperate the herd though, as I caught one of yearling girls trying to feed from his mum!! And then the placenta split and only half broke away leaving a long peice hanging, which did eventually come away.

As yet he doesn't have a name, we are looking for names beginning with X, so any suggestions please let me know.


Cotswold Vale Alpacas Open Day - 10th July 2011

We would like to thank everyone who made Cotswold Vale Alpacas Open Day such a success.

The weather was kind to us, we had lots and lots of visitors and best of all we made £434.71 for two very worthy causes (Cancer Research UK & Help for Heroes)

So a BIG, BIG thank you to everyone who helped with the organising and the running of the day, and a HUGE thank you all the lovely visitors who came to see all our lovely alpacas and generously made their donations.

Here are some lovely photos memories from the day.

We had a suggested name sheets for our new little female cria and the two naughty BG's (cant keep calling them the BG's)

So please meet.

Cotswold Vale "VANILLA ICE" - Vanilla was suggested by "Mel Wootton"

AND the two BG's - Please meet - Cotswold Vale "RONNIE"

And "Cotswold Vale "ROXY"

Thank you to "Helen Hope" from Cheltenham for suggesting Ronnie & Roxy.

So a huge thank you everyone from:

Ginnie & Tony and all the alpacas, horses & pgymy goats.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

What a difference a day can make!

After a very stressful 48 hours, I can say that little Whitney has picked up very well (although we are under no illusion that things can change very quickly) but fingers crossed we are on the right path to having a very happy and healthy cria.

After a very worrying day on Tuesday, Wednesday started off with me being very apprehensive to go into the barn and check on Dayna and her baby. But to my relief they were both fine.

After the vet had given her plasma directly into her stomach and antibiotics, I watch over her carefully for any side effects. But the afternoon went well and she seemed to feeding very regular and was bouncing around the pen (at once stage I got quite worried she wouldn't stop and would end up crashing in the fencing!! The vet said to top her up with a bottle a couple of times a day and keep an eye on her weight.

I had intended to keep her and mum in the barn overnight, but mum was getting very stressed about the whole thing of being penned away from the rest of the herd (although they were always in sight) So after a top up bottle I took the decision to let them back out into the field with the herd.

Well I have never seen an alpaca run up the field so fast, and little Whitney was right by her mums side all the way. It was time to get reacquainted with the rest of the herd. Little whitney seemed to be in her element, bouncing around the field with all the other youngsters following behind. This certainly looked a different cria to the day before!!

I spent a good hour watching over her, she was happy to have her freedom and returned several time to mum for some milk.

Again I went to bed worrying if she would be alright and if I had done the right thing letting them back out into the field.

Again I got up this morning wondering if everything was ok, I shouldn't have worried as she was fine, feeding and running around. She has been feeding regular all day and has been very active, she looks like a different cria.

So I feel a lot better going to bed tonight, although I wont be able to relax for quite a while, until I know she is growing and putting on weight like she should be doing.

But I have got to say, thank god we live on site, thank god I am able to sit and watch them which enables me to spot a problem early and take the steps to make it right. I am sure if I was not here, and just visited twice a day I would have missed her problems and we would have lost her.


Wednesday, 13 July 2011

What a Day!! and What a night!!

Its been quite a roller-coaster 24 hours!! Little Whitney (and I really mean little!! born at just under 6.5kg and so tiny) has really had an up and down time.

Arriving in the world at 336 days we were assuming she would be ok, but it turns out she is definitively premature. The birth was quite a classic delivery with no obvious problems, she was quite lively, sat within ten minutes and walking at just over and hour old, she had started feeding fine and seemed to be ok.

But my gut feeling was she was heading for problems. I did make the decision to give her a bottle on Monday evening before I went to bed just to ensure she at least had something in her tummy over night.

Dreading getting up yesterday morning, I was up early to find she was up on her feet and seemed to be feeding well. But by late morning it was becoming obvious she was very tired and got up very little and seemed to be snoozing a lot more that I would like to see, I know the cria are usually quite sleepy for the first 12/24 hours, but she seem extra sleepy and when she did get up she didn't attempt to feed much.

By early afternoon she didn't appear to be getting any better, and I hadn't seen her feed for several hours, so again I gave her a bottle, checking mum, we found she had plenty of milk so it wasn't that there was no milk available, it appeared she just didn't have the strength to feed, especially as she is so small and mum is big, she had to reach up a lot further to reach the milk bar (she is so tiny she can literally walk straight under mum without even touch her belly!!) And it always makes me wonder if sometimes after the strain of being born and they way they have to bend their head and necks to feed if it is sometime uncomfortable or painful for them to feed??

Well late afternoon after a quick chat for advice with a good alpaca friend, I phoned the Vet to get his opinion, from what I told him he said it sound like I was doing all I could, I am convinced (well as convinced as you can be!!) that she got her first important feeds from mum) but he did say sometimes when they are so tiny they don't absorb as much as they should, and the other option was to give her plazma to back her up, BUT I had committed the ultimate sin, I had no plazma available, it had been planned to be done but things kept getting in the way and we had left it too late!!

He told me to carry on feeding until she was strong enough to feed from mum, and he would come over first thing in the morning to check her and if need be he would give her a transfusion direct from Mum, although not the favored treatment it was an option if she was not picking up.

So I went out to give her a bottle, but was not happy, she kept flopping down as if she was dead!! (and as we all know this is a classic response for a cria when they are stressed) I was getting more and more uneasy about it, she also sound like her breathing was laboured. So straight on the phone to the vet and he came out within the hour.

He confirmed she was premature, but he could find no problem with her heart and lungs, and her temperature was fine, she was actually a lot livelier that he had expected she would be (had I over reacted??), he said it was likely that she was having problems feeding because she was so tiny and didn't have the strength to stretch up to feed.

So I was to carry on feeding her over night, we took blood from the big boys to get some plazma spun up (luckily we have some-one that could do it only 30 minutes away and he kindly agreed to do it that evening)

So it was a quick dash over to get that done, then back to try and get two feeds into her before bedtime. It has not been easy getting the milk into her as she refuses to suck, and keeps playing dead!! but I did manage to get 150ml into her before bedtime.

I have got to say I went to bed, dreading the long night and with the fear to what I would get up to. After a very fretful night with very little sleep, I got up just before 5am made up a bottle and headed for the barn, dreading what I may find.

But to my great relief, both mum and baby were sat side by side and looked quite happy. I managed to get 50ml into her and she did actually start sucking, but not for long. So I decided to let them out into the pen near the barn, she actually seem quite lively and had a little run around. And then took the last 50ml of milk.

So the vet will come today and give her the plazma as a precaution as he said if she pulls through the next few days, there is a risk she could relapse in 10 days or so.

So its fingers crossed with lots of prayers that she will continue to get stronger and soon be back out in the herd very soon.


Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Meet Cotswold Vale Whitney

Well we were up bright and early this morning, keen to check on little Whitney, well she was already up about in the field with her mum, so a heavy sign of relief. But I will be spending another day sat keeping a close eye on her to make sure she is feeding, peeing and pooing!!

Here is a couple of videos taken yesterday, just over an hour after her birth. Her first attempts to stand.

And her first steps and first attempts to feed, just over an hour after her birth.

She meets the little girl born on friday, wow you can see the difference in size Whitney was 6.5kg born and the other little (now named Cotswold Vale Vanilla Ice) was 9kg!! So funny as Dayna, Whitneys mum is far bigger than Pip Vanilla's mum!!

So hopefully a couple of days and we will get some nice video of these two little girls charging around the field together :-)

I have just seen her take a morning feed (thank goodness for binoculars) she is so small she has to stretch to reach and can walk straight under mum, but it appears she knows exactly where the milk bar is.


Monday, 11 July 2011

WELL what a couple of days!!!

Yesterday was our very first ever open day, and wow did it go down well, we were lucky with the weather, it was a lovely calm sunny day and lucky with the visitors.

Saturday saw us putting up gazebos!! and hoping and praying they didn't blow away as we have had quite a bit of wind around here!!

Sunday found me awake at 4.30 with everything we had to do going through my mind, 6.30 I am waking my sister up with a text!! forgetting what time its was as I had been awake so long!! And then its all go for setting up, it was a lovely morning with the sun shinning down on us.

Ten o'clock family and friends begin to arrive to give us a helping hand, it was a real family affair :)

And even before the 12 o'clock open time we had cars driving into the field!! and it never stopped all afternoon with a steady stream of visitors coming in.

Everyone had their jobs, and mine was talking, and talking and talking alpacas, it was never ending, everyone was so interested in the alpacas and the newest member of the herd was going down a storm.

We are so pleased and happy to announce we made £434.71 for Cancer Research UK and Help for Heroes. I myself sold £163 worth of alpacas items (well I didn't actually do the selling, my very special alpaca friend Shani from Peopleton Brook Alpacas looked after my table of items for sale) and my Sister also had a stall selling her beautiful hand-made cards, jewelery and bunting also sold £87 worth of stock.

So its a big thank you to all my family, friends and of course all the visitors for making our very first open day a roaring success :) (no photos yet, will post some as soon as we get them )

So after all the excitement of the open day, this morning I was feeling a little tired and jaded, so was looking forward to a bit slower day, BUT that wasn't to be, after doing a bit of box sorting, I had just sat down with a cup of tea and some toast (late breakfast) when I noticed Dayna one of our maiden girls looking rather uncomfortable, walking in circles, sitting down then getting back up, so out come the binoculars, and yes she was in labour. So out comes the birthing box and a wander over to get a closer look, not getting too close as she is a rather shy girl I could see she was having contractions but nothing was showing, so back to watching from the mobile window to give her some peace and quite.

She was up and down, and went around and around for about another 20 minutes, and then the nose and feet appear, it the perfect birth position. But I have got to say in all the births I have witnessed I have never seen one like this!!

She looked like she was going to lie down, but instead she just went down on her knees with her bottom in the air and pushed, and pushed (it look so funny I couldn't believe it) the cria came out to the shoulders

Then she decided to lie down and finally gave birth while lying down. And it was a little GIRL brilliant, after letting her wriggle around for a bit, I stepped in and sprayed her cord and weight her (omg she is tiny and only 6.5kg, bit of a surprise because mum is quite big.)

She is such a cute little thing, very special because she is born from a Cotswold Vale Alpaca, who was one our very first alpacas born pre-fixed to Cotswold Vale, and she will be called Whitney, which was my new daughter-in-laws maiden name.

So meet Cotswold Vale Whitney, from Cotswold Vale Dayna.

with my youngest daughter Natalie, who is alway a brilliant help with the Alpacas.

She is little and not as lively as the little girl born on Friday, she seems to be feeding, but its hard as mum is a little worried so when you go near and she moves away, and as she has light fawn around her mouth you cant tell if she has been getting any milk, we have check a couple of time mum has milk and there is plenty there but i did decided to give her an extra bit of help and given her a bottle of colostrum, But I have got to admit I am a little reluctant to go to bed tonight! But we have done all we can to ensure she has had the best start we can give her.


Saturday, 9 July 2011

She has arrived

Yes in the end Pip gave up and gave birth to a beautiful not so little girl (9kg which is a big one for Pip, her babies are normally quite small, like she is) Anyway after nearly a week of me following her around she finally went into labour (well the bit I caught) One minute she is grazing the next minute she wandered off away from the herd into the far corner and start to crouch down.

I watched from afar with the binoculars for about ten minutes when I could see a noise, but couldn't see any feet. So I decided to get a bit closer to find there was definitely feet there as well.

For the first time I have ever know, she spat at me!! Pip is one of our nicest kindest girls, so this took me quite by surprise. But then I have to admit that she usually manages to give birth without anyone ever seeing her, so this was a first for both of us!

She had to choose the windiest day we have had for ages, with heavy showers!! Baby came out quite quickly, wriggled at first, but didn't make much attempt to sit up, she seemed to be shivering quite a lot so I stepped in risking another spit attached, but Pip just sniffed me and let me carry on.

I gave her a good rub, to stimulate her and dry her off, but still after an hour she didn't want to sit up. I game her two pumps of the lamb start which seemed to give her a little boost, but still she didn't stay sat up for long.

It was very windy, so we made the decision to move them into the shelter of the barn, picking her up and walking towards the barn, Pip duly followed. Once out of the wind and in the shelter she seemed to pick up, so we left them alone for a while to get acquainted. On coming back I found sprawled out with all four legs going in different directions!! I picked her up and balanced her, she seemed keen to find the milk bar, and Pip being Pip let me guide her in for her first feed. Thank goodness!!

We left them in for a few hours and she seemed to feeding well, so it was time to let them out into the field.

Here is her first steps out in the wide world, as you will hear the wind was still quite high, but she was really enjoying her first run around. Only problem her rug wouldn't stay down, I hadn't hooked it under her tail!!.

So here's our new little princess. No name as yet we are on V, and are hoping our visitors to our open day tomorrow will be able to give us some ideas.

So her is little V just 4 hours old.

Aunty Dayna is very interested in this new little arrival.

I am now just hoping no-one else decides to give birth tomorrow at our Open Day, be nice for everyone else, but I think I may find it a bit too stressful!!

Will up-date on how the open day goes in the very near future.


Monday, 4 July 2011

No Babies today!!

Well I was convinced that we would have at least one new arrival today, have a look at Pip's rear end, looks like its going to explode!!

Well I got prepared, got the birthing box all ready, and waited, and waited and waited!!!

But no one arrived! she just got back up and walked away with the rest of the herd (and the big bump had disappeared!! So I have been sat looking out the window all day, and going out every half hour to check on things, but still no baby. And she doesnt even look like she is in labour or at all uncomfortable.

Have just been back out to check her and she seems fine, so looks like no baby today, so fingers crossed it is tomorrow as I don't think that back end will take much more stretching without giving way!!

Such a shame as it has been a perfect day to be born, lovely sunny and warm. But I bet she will now give birth in the rain as that's what we are expecting tomorrow!!

Oh well they wont come until they are fully cooked.


Saturday, 2 July 2011

No babies yet & Millies Puppies

Well we are still waiting for an alpaca birth, we have several on the radar, and I think the big boys are sensing this as they have started to fight over who is getting closer to the fence (and the girls!!).

Would be great to have a few babies for visitors to see at our Open Day next week.

But even nicer if we have one today as it is my sisters birthday and I sure she would be so pleased to have one born on her birthday.

But we all know alpacas, and they wont come until they are properly cooked.

Millie and her pups are doing really well, they are very active and so, so noisy! but at least we know they are healthy.

She still wont let go of her cuddly toy though!! I take it out! she puts it back! lol

Well hopefully my next blog will be news of new arrivals (X fingers crossed X)


Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Naughty BG's

Well I have just got to tell you about those naughty BG's, up to no good again!!

I went to put the dogs in the barn while I went shopping, something caught my eye up on the roof of our tack room!! It was the BG's!! they had heard me talking to the dogs and started calling. They had only escaped from the pen and gone up the stairs to the tack room roof!!

I didn't have chance to get a photo of them looking down at me, but did get them coming back down the stairs, like a pair of naughty children, calling to me!!

They are so funny they make me chuckle all the time. Wonder what they are going to get up to next??

The Naughty BG's (who still havn't got names and happily come to the call of Billie Billie lol


They have arrived!!!!

Yes Millie's puppies have arrived (in the end) after a very fretful night followed by a fretful day the first little one entered the world at 15.40, Millie had not liked me moving even a couple of feet away from her and the minute I left the room she promptly jumped onto my sweatshirt!! She definitely wasn't going to use her whelping box, it was the settee or nothing, so out came all the old towel and the settee was covered by several layers!!. And that was me set for the day.

Late afternoon she started to have strong contractions (and just like when the alpacas are in labour everything goes through your head, is it ok? is it stuck? is it going to be alive? should I call the vet??!!! then after about 20 minutes the first one was born and it was a little boy.

Millie was the perfect new mum, licking and cleaning him, and chewing the cord and eating the placenta (yuk didn't like that bit!!) its amazing how they know what to do, the only problem was I had to keep an eye on her as she was getting a bit keen on chewing the cord and I knew if she chewed it too short it could cause a problem and maybe even infection. He was a strong little man and within minutes was making his way to the milky bar, finding it with no trouble at all (not like the frustrating time you have watching the cria trying to find the right place and at the same time as trying to manage to stand on its new wobbly legs!!)

She had about 40 minutes rest, again after about 20 minutes the next little one arrived another little boy. Which again she pay plenty of attention to and he was soon settled at the milky bar with his brother.

She seem to settle down and had a lovely happy proud look on her face. Was that it??

No, about two hours later it all started again and out popped a lovely little girl. Millie started licking, cleaning her and chewing away at the cord, I went to shout to my husband to tell him she had just had a little girl, less than a minute and disaster struck!! Millie had done exactly what I was worried about, she had chewed the cord too short and there was blood pumping out!! I shouted for my husband to come quick, he held the pup while I put some cotton around the cord trying to stop the bleeding, it was very difficult to tie the cotton around such a little cord and the puppy was wriggling around all the time, eventually I managed to tie the cord off and it seemed to do the trick. With a quick spray of antibiotic spray to stop infection and Millie doing any more chewing!! disaster was averted and all three pups were happily having their fill at the milky bar.

So here is proud mum Millie with her three little babies, and they are so cute even if I say it myself.

Thankfully non of the alpacas gave birth, not quite sure what I would have done!! But its now back to cria watch and the wait for the new arrivals to the herd.


Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Puppies today??

Well Millie our Jack Russell is fast approaching her due date, and think today maybe the day she has her first litter!! I am shattered, had a really bad night with her, lots of fidgeting, panting, licking and whimpering!! (not had puppies before, kittens and cria but not puppies so this is a first for us, I understand the first stage of labour can be 6 to 18 hours long, so after the night we have had I wouldn't be surprised if they are on their way.

Problem is she wont stay in her whelping box and keeps getting on the settee with me, oh well as long as she is happy she can stay and once she starts delivering we can transfer her back into her box.

Millie on her cushion with her cuddly toy.

Am on my own today so just hope we don't have any cria arriving today as-well!!

After a really bad night I had an even worst start to the morning, my daughter is on holiday so along with all our cats & dogs, we also have her cat (FIFI) holidaying with us, she is our cats kitten from last year (although you can see they are related by looks, Tinky being a brown tabby and her daughter being a silver grey tabby - they do not like each other at all!!)

So we are in a mobile with a dog due to give birth and two cats which really don't want to be in the same room together (and FIFI not being used to the dogs!!) So for safety reasons we were putting FIFI in the dog cage over night so she didn't get beaten up over night by Tinky!! And plus Tinky likes a window open at night so she can come and go as she pleases (so we didn't want FIFI to escape as-well.)

I didn't really like her being shut in the cage, so though it would be nicer for her if she had the run of the 7.5t horse lorry (her own little living area) first night was good, but this morning I went to bring her back in to the mobile, and couldnt find her anywhere!! I thought she couldnt possibly have escaped as all the windows were shut - except the ones in the horse area which had bars on, she couldnt possibly have got through them!! or could she? well Tia our German Shepherd puppy was very interested in something under the lorry!! So I shut the dogs in, got on my hands and knees (not a pretty site!!) and called!! low and behold there was a tiny cry, which got louder and louder and from under the wheel arch crawled FIFI!! omg she had escaped but thankfully she hadnt gone far and was very happy to see me (my daughter would have never forgiven me with we had lost her baby!!)

So what a night and what a start to the day, but alls well that ends well, FIFI is now safe in the mobile, and now its a waiting game to see if Millie produces her puppies today.

Phew I need a cup of tea now, and will then sit, knit and observe and maybe play doggie midwife.

Who knows I may have more news later, just watch this space!!!!!