Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Update............... 9:30pm

Just a quick update......I have just been down to see the baby and to offer to help her have a feed. We have some outside lights next to the barn. I popped out about 8.50 pm and put the light on, just in case she might need a feed....I went back about 9 o'clock.

Guess what, I had to take a double look, I sneaked a look and Minstrel was standing up, at first I thought it was Zeto pinching off Minstrel !.....But it was NOT......the little girl was feeding all by herself......how fantastic is that.

I stood and watched quietly.......inside I was so pleased.....how brilliant.... I even got the torch out just to make sure. She was feeding for a few minutes.

I will sleep better tonight !....I'm sure we all will.

However...I think Marquette is uncomfortable tonight, I wonder if she will have her baby tomorrow !

A Brighter Day !!!!!!

This is the closest she has been.... with her mum
Feeling her feet.....

Great to see, after her reluctant start .....

If you didn't know the problems we've had you would never have guessed !!

I have pondered about this blog, but here goes...I don't want to temp fate !

Today has been a much brighter day, with our little new arrival. I was up bright and early to feed the baby, I went down to the shed with my various items !...bottle with 75ml of goats milk, towel and halter and lead rope !

The plan is as follows, I have to tie Minstrel up as she really protests when you go any where near the baby !....squeals, spits and generally is not a happy girl, she will not let you assist the baby feeding at all until she is tied up. So I have to tie her, just to stop her getting too upset, I then place a towel over her head to shield her eyes, mainly so she can't see me handle the baby. Once I have done this she will stand quietly, this then allows me to assist the baby in the feeding department !..this morning we did this, I gave the little one the bottle with the goats milk in, she soon made history of that, she was managing to suck much better than the previous day. I think that part of the problem is that she was not getting the hang of the angle she needed to be in to reach the udder. I have feed her with the bottle in a specific angle to try and mimic the angle she needed to be, as she was doing so well I decided to position her onto her mum, and she managed to find the 'knack' after a little while. I watched her feed for a few minutes, I was chuffed to bits !... Minstrel stood quietly and was a good girl whilst the little one had a feed.

After my success, I was really pleased with the progress. I thought that I would have a quick shower and go back at dinner time, to repeat the process. I was nice and clean, for a brief moment. At dinner time I went back to do the same process. I hadn't even managed to get over the gate and I was meet by the biggest, greenest and stinkiest splattering.......from Minstrel !!!.....at close range, I had a face full of chunky spit and had to scrape it off and go and get the towel !!!.....at the time I did thank her for her gratitude !!....smelling not so sweet, I decided to persevere.......I'll have you know I don't give up that easily ...... we did the same process and .............hey presto ......... baby feeding...... fantastic ....... I was so pleased... I had forgiven Minstrel already !!......well its an alpaca thing isn't it..... I didn't take it personally at all.

I had decided that if we managed to have a good feed that I would let them out in the field. As the weather was improving, as we have had rain and it has been very damp and misty up here.. I was reluctant to let them into the field, just in case I had any emergencies.... incidentally I had a chat with Debbie of Barnacre Alpacas this morning, apparently a lady called Lorraine rang Debbie, asking for me, she had similar problems last year with some of her cria...and to cut a long story short was recommending that I turn them out of the building... thank-you for your concern, its always nice to get advice or help from other concerned alpaca owners....if I didn't blog then this couldn't happen.

I let the girls and the new babies out into the field, well I thought that a couple of hours out would do them good and it would be nice to see if the baby took more notice of her mother in the field.... and guess what she did.....she ran out after her mother......she was tearing about it was amazing..... she even showed much more interest in Minstrel....I thought that this would improve the bonding and it definitely has..... I watched them for ages !... they were out about 4 hours and I sat on the seat in the garden to keep an eye on them. I must admit that I was really relieved just to see her interacting with her mother.

I was not expecting the next thing, but it happened, after about 2 hours....I was sitting watching them all and guess what...yes... the baby was with her mother, she nuzzled under her belly and began to feed all by her self............how fantastic was that.... brilliant

I shall keep an eye on her, but I will not interfere if she can do it naturally.. after all, maybe she just needed a little help to point her in the right direction. Nature is a marvellous thing.

So we are a little more happier tonight. I shall pop down later tonight, just to check things are ok.

Felted Hat !

I thought I would change the topic for a moment, from the baby-sitting duties. My parents have been visiting us last week. It was my mam's..... Birthday... so I decided to surprise her with the 'Zeuninni' Shawl that I had knitted. At the time my mam thought that I was making it for myself..... I had to pretend that I was because I wanted it to be a surprise, however I wanted to know which one she preferred, as I had made two !....thankfully she picked the one I thought she would, she actually has a crochet hat with the same blend of alpaca wool, so it should all match.

Before the babies arrived, I decided that I was going to have a go at making a felted hat !....so I had a little help from my parents. I got my felting book out and made a pattern......I showed my mam and dad how to felt ! ......

I said if it was ok, my mam could have it as an extra birthday present.... it took all day but I managed... I was quite proud of the finished article. So I thought I would show you as I managed to take a couple of photos of my mam wearing it just before they left us....although it was raining, I think it looks good... she actually suits it !...

Some people think that I'm a bit mad, but I like it and I would wear it !... honestly !!

Monday, 28 September 2009

Baby Blues !!....

We are having a bit of a doo, with our latest arrival.....Minstrel's baby who was born on Sunday morning. All appeared fine for a few hours, until the baby showed no interest in her mum !...this has continued and has not changed. Minstrel is a lovely mother and has been clucking and showing great interest in her baby, but to no avail !

Some regular readers will know that Minstrel is my resident spitter and is not the best girl to handle when she has a cria !....needless to say we are having a 'bit of a doo'!....however with a bit of trial and error and lots of perseverance, we are managing in a fashion.

I have given the baby powdered colostrum, mixed with some goats milk. I have since managed to milk the mum, various techniques !....with a syringe and also by hand.... I have mixed this with the goats milk, the baby is getting the hang of sucking, but she takes no notice of her mum, she appears to be getting stronger and tonight was playing around the building with baby Zeto, who has got the hang of feeding and appears to be doing fine. Dusty is also a lovely mother.

I have not named her for the moment, I think that it can wait...for the time being....we are doing our very best to give her a good start in life and Minstrel is trying her best. The little one is more interested in sitting next to the building wall. Once given a bottle she can suckle, and appears to have a good appetite. She is currently taking about 550ml of milk in about 6 feeds over 24 hrs. I am hoping that she will continue to improve and hopefully will realise who her mum is....and eventually get the idea of feeding, and bonding.....time will tell !!

But for the time being we are definitely on baby-sitting duties....

Marquette is still hanging on to her baby, we are still waiting for her to give birth...

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Sugar and Spice and all things nice .......!

Up early this morning....for the new delivery !

Minutes old.......
Finding those feet.....

Early start this morning......as predicted Minstrel has given birth today.....to a lovely little multi coloured girl !

I had my alarm set this morning, but I was woken by an early morning call.....by John, who had been out with the dogs. The new arrival was not there when he checked as he passed, however when he returned and checked again there she was !

Minstrel usually gives birth quickly and true to form, she had .......Needless to say I was out like a shot, in my PJ's with my overall pulled on !.....

She was born at approx 6.45am this morning, I have left them in the building, getting to know each other.....

A little snap-shot of the new arrival !.... there will be more, no doubt as and when !!

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Zeto 2 Days old...a lovely sunny day !

A little call of nature !

Slinky...the pussy cat...

Tail biting.....Trienza....

Lazy, Hazy......days !

No place like home...........beautiful day....with alpaca friends...

We had a lovely sunny day today here in Scotland. All the alpacas were out enjoying the autumnal day. It was so nice i decided not to put baby Zeto's coat on, so he enjoyed the warm rays of the sun all day.

He spent most of the day practising running, sleeping and visits to the poos pile along with the rest of the big girls, its so funny how he already has his alpaca instincts....at only 2 days old.

At one point, Trienza who is fascinated by him decided to follow him and bite his tail, Dusty was not happy and quickly took him away....he was trying to have a feed at the time.

It was such a lovely day I decided to take the camera out into the field and have a sit, a little alpaca time...just looking and enjoying the day and the animals. I was followed by two of the cats, who took up position in the tree and on the fence post. I took a couple of pictures of the lovely day we enjoyed, you have to make the most of the sun, autumn is definitely in the air !

We are still waiting for at least two of the other girls to have their babies, I have watched Minstrel all day as I really did think that she was going to have her baby. I am sure she will have her baby tomorrow.

Here is a little selection of pictures to prove that we really do get sunshine....this far north !

Friday, 25 September 2009

Big Day Out ! ... with the Girlies

Today was the first day Zeto has been out running with the herd..!

He was out and about this morning with the other girls...its marvellous how quick these little ones adapt to those long legs... today was a lovely sunny day and he was learning to gallop with the others.

He managed to keep up with the girls up the track to the field, once out he began to get to grips with those long legs and the speed at his leisure... I did have a waterproof type coat on him just to keep the wind from chilling him....one minute he was galloping around the next having a feed and then a well earned sleep.

I did manage to weigh him yesterday when he was born. I was quite surprised he was lighter than I initially had thought. Zeto weighed in at 5.75kgs....so his not the biggest of chaps...although he is definitely very strong. Last year Dusty had Zakhura she was 7.25 kgs, born.

He is feeding very well and has definitely filled out in a matter of 24hrs...I shall weigh him again, just to keep a record of how he is progressing....although you can see just how much he has progressed in such a short time...lets hope that this continues......we will keep a close eye on him.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Zanzibah Zeto...!

I know that regular followers will know that here at Zanzibah Alpacas we are on a bit of a 'Z' theme....well it had to be official.

So, I have decided to call the latest arrival, Zanzibah Zeto....I just thought of his name this afternoon.. I think it suits him.

I have lots of weird and wonderful 'Z' names on my list, so it will be a little while before I run out of suggestions.

Mother and baby seem to be doing well. He appears to be very strong, he was up on his feet within minutes of being born. We are all tucked up safe and sound for tonight. Although my crias are late this year, it shouldn't be too much of a problem as some would know, I bring my alpacas in every night for bed-time !... I have even put a coat on him, to keep him warm. Just for good measure. So Dusty and Zeto are separated from the main herd at the moment, although they are still in the same building...in the maternity suite !! next to the other expectant girls.

I hope that the others will soon have their babies, now we have started....the girls are at 342 days at the moment...so hopefully the others will be well on their way.

I shall be keeping an eye on them. Its lovely to have one here, safe and sound....now we just have to give him the best start we can..... he has a big world to grow up in !!

We have a New Arrrival !!.....

Approx 10 mins old
Learning to walk....with those long legs

Zakhura is meeting the new arrival !

Strong little fella after about 5 mins he was learning how to cush..

Just born....he arrived at approx 1.30pm......just like his mum !!

This is what we have been waiting for.....we have a new arrival. Dusty has had a little Grey Boy at 1.30pm.

This is going to be a quick blog....so here are some photos... as I am on baby sitting duties.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Still Waiting ...

Just a short update tonight.....we are still waiting...nothing has happened over the weekend. The girls are holding on to their babies.

It is now over a two weeks since Dusty's baby was bouncing around inside her....I must admit, I thought that the cria would be here by now.....

I have seen plenty movement over the last couple of days from all the girls.... should I repeat myself..'.Im sure its going to be tomorrow'....at this rate, we will be into October.. this is every day.

I know, the more you wait, the less likely its going to happen....a watched pot, syndrome.

So, as long as they come when they are ready, safe and sound, we will just let nature take its course...so its going to be a case of some time soon...probably tomorrow !

Friday, 18 September 2009

The Girls this evening..

Taking it easy
Sometime soon ............

No News !.....yet

This is what you get for trying to predict your new arrivals....

Its now 3.45pm and there is nothing to report !...there has been lots of tail swishing, rolling and visits to the poo pile, but sadly nothing has come of it....I thought that I would just up date any readers who are eagerly awaiting the new arrivals...

I have spent most of my day watching the girls from the conservatory, there has been various checks the the binoculars, but nothing has happened. We are still waiting.

Changing the topic slightly, I have managed to create a funky hat and scarf, with the wool that I purchased from the craft shop in Cullen, so I thought that I would bore you with a photo....sorry that its not the new arrivals, but as soon as there here, providing all is well the photos will be on the blog....I have the camera at the ready.

Whats the betting that something has happened while I'm doing this blog...I'll keep you all posted....

Thursday, 17 September 2009

I predict babies tomorrow !!

This will be short and sweet...I think that we will have some new arrivals tomorrow 18/9/09.

If the girls are running true to course...Minstrel will be at 336 days....and that's the day she gave birth last year....I also think that Dusty is also going to follow....although she did carry 338 days last year. Tonight there was distinctive movement signs with Dusty and Marquette...so we will be watching the girls very carefully tomorrow, for any signs.

Its a bit of a waiting game, but we are getting very near.....

I have my thoughts on who will have what, but I'm not going to say, as I don't want to count my chickens so to speak....but I will let you know, if all goes well....with safe arrivals.

Tomorrow might be the big day....I will keep you posted....all being well.

Jumping Beans.....or Alpacas ! ...

Tranquil scene....the girls on their best behaviour, but don't be fooled !

I was going to keep this little event a secret as I was just bragging to Debbie a couple of hours ago, just how well behaved my alpacas are, how as usual they just run in to their shed on an evening....Debbie asked 'Does the tape stop your alpacas ?...I said 'YES' with confidence...they have only gone over it once !!!

A couple of hours later....bed-time was calling....I had left John cooking the tea, he's a modern man, I'll have you know. He knows the difference between the cooker and the sink !

I went out to put my alpacas in...no problems there I thought...I'd just be a couple of minutes.....How wrong was I .... as usual they all ran down to their shed, apart from Tremona....who has turned into a right tart at the minute !...she teases they boys and has turned into a right flirt !....Now she can jump better than the horses...she cleared the tape like a race-horse...needless to say Trienza followed and off they galloped into the distance down the track...disappearing beyond the hedgerows !....I was left behind in a cloud of dust !....I called for the troops !!...John, Debbie and Paul jumped into action....it was just a couple of hours ago...there had been a discussion between the males...about running...half Marathon's etc, time and distances...so here's your opportunity boys....the human sort...get after those girls.....the men ....ran with speed and left us girlies to gracefully jog across the field and down the track !!!...I'm a plodder not a sprinter I'll have you know...but I get there !

The girls were turned round about half a mile away...as our track is just over half a mile long...they were stopped just before our neighbours turning.....once again they ran back with grace and speed......needless to say I had to run back across the field to shut the gate...as I had opened it to let the boys out...I didn't want them to meet as I'm trying to re-set the mating clock into spring....and these girls are not pregnant !......I was off like a shot !.....at the time...Debbie did manage to stall them for a little while to give me a head start...I needed the quad not a head start....these blighters can run.......I did feel a bit sick and puffed at the time...but I got there....thankfully I don't smoke or drink !....although you would think that I had been a forty a day kinda gal !....at this point....

Ok, have you got the picture.....I think the scene has been set.....the girls came back...and the men came back....and we retired into the house for tea....which had been left simmering .... a nice run before tea... gives you an appetite.

Moral of the story.....They never do what you say they do !... do they !!!

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

We have had visitors ! ... and Ice Cream's

On Monday we were visited by Debbie and Paul from Barnacre Alpacas in Northumberland.

They came to see us and have a little holiday in Scotland. Debbie even managed to pluck up the courage to cross the Forth Road Bridge !

We introduced them to our little alpaca herd and the rest of the animal family..

Good food, nice wine and good company flowed over the next couple of days, we talked alpacas, knitting and general chit-chat into the wee small hours, it was nice to be reunited with the fleeces that I had entered in the Kelso Show.

I took them to all the best places !...namely the renowned 'Spotty Bag Shop' in Banff and the best ice-cream shop in North East Scotland, in a little coastal village called Cullen.

So feast your eyes on this, the evidence.... this is only the 3 swirl !....I tried to persuade Debbie and Paul to have a 7 swirl !....but we chickened out !....then off to shop around the local craft shops and back home to see if I had any new arrivals....but thankfully not...

It was lovely to see Debbie and Paul, and a big thank-you to Debbie's Mam and Dad for looking after the Barnacre animals.... I bet you are both exhausted !!! after your little holiday in bonnie Scotland.

Now thats what I call a Sunset !!

Ok people, feast your eyes on that !.....what about that for a sunset. This was the view from outside the other night....I was amazed so much so that I went and got the camera.

One word magnificent !!!!! ..... I just love it. Incidentally just to let you know that the swallows have left us for sunnier climes....they left on the 10th September, missing you already...!

Nature is fantastic and you can find beauty where ever you are. Sometimes its right under your nose ! You just don't see it.

Its nice to be able to take a little bit of time out to appreciate just how marvellous it is.

The girls are taking it easy, we are now at day 334 of their pregnancies....so any time soon I guess you could say. I am watching them like a hawk....if you can go off their last pregnancies, Dusty (Grey) carried for 336 days and Minstrel (Black/White) carried for 338.

Its an anxious time, a mixture of concern and excitement !

Horrace gets a Facelift !!

The blog has been a little sleepy over the past couple of days, but don't be fooled into thinking that nothing is happening up here in Zanzibah land.....that usually means that some where behind the scenes someone is busying away. In fact we have been quite busy over the past couple of days.

Now, how can you forget my 'Paca' Bear.....yes the one with the Pinocchio nose !...mind you he doesn't tell lies, he was born that way...well crafted with love and affection, lets just leave it at that...as previously mentioned he is much better looking in real life.....a bit like myself !!....of course !

However, I was not happy with his eyes !...so we have given him some new ones !...I think he looks much better.

At least he can see where he is going now ! It has been confirmed by visitors....that he is much better looking in real life....I guess you could say that the camera DOES lie in this case !!!!

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Alpacas and ....'Paca Bear !!

Is it a Bear or a Womble !!..... you decide !

Girls enjoying their day out
A new member of the Zanzibah family.... 100% Alpaca

Just a couple of photos of the alpaca girls, grazing happily in the field over the weekend. We are now approaching the last couple of weeks in their pregnancies, so time to take things easy before the arrival of the new babies.

On a lighter note I have been a little bit busy, not felting but knitting. I thought I'd try my hand at a new idea. I have managed to follow the pattern, this is quite an achievement for me.

Incidentally, it looks nothing like the pattern, I have named it a 'Paca Bear, its supposed to be a Teddy Bear, but it looks more like a Womble !!.....I think its the nose....well going off breeding it certainly has an alpaca nose !

So there you go, a new addition to the Zanzibah family, a little 'Paca Bear to cuddle, he is made with 100% alpaca fleece, knitted and stuffed with alpaca love, to enjoy !

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

And another one !!

Ok, ...after this I promise not to post any more of my felting !

I know that you must be a little bored with the same topic, however I just couldn't resist one last photo shoot of my latest creation.

So, this little number was created using, Zeuss (White) with flecs of Dusty (Grey) and Zaninni (Chestnut Brown). I couldn't decide whether I liked it or not, it was just a little trial experiment, that I could not resist.
Its a little bit hairy, but I think I like it..

The felting experience is great, getting 'crafty' with your alpaca fleece, you just can't beat it !!

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Felting Frenzy !......on a Roll !! ...Now

Ok guess what I've been doing today, yes I've got the felting bug. So I thought I would make something a little larger and keeping to the scarf theme.

I have made another scarf, this one is much larger, it measures about 15" x 60".....so it isn't short on size, if you get my drift.

I have used a blend of Dusty (Grey female) blended with Trienza ( Dark Fawn) and added a little bit of Zakhura (Black) just for effect. The result speaks for itself, I have really enjoyed the whole felting experience and its marvellous how you adapt your own techniques as you go. I'm sure with time these first attempts will look very novice indeed, but for the here and now I'm really quite pleased with the over all result.

Its great to have the whole alpaca experience, from owning and caring for these lovely animals, raising your babies and expanding your herd, then to go and make something quite individual, I think its a real treat. The satisfaction of all aspects from the beginning to the end process is really very rewarding.

So, just to bore you with another of my home made creations.....here is one I made earlier !!...another felted scarf.. I would love to think that I have inspired someone out there to give it a go. Its great !!