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

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.