About Me

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

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)