Sunday, 31 July 2011

The Great Escape !!....

Mam and home, for a rest !

I have been getting a new pet Turkey !.....she(think) is about 7 weeks old...first day out in her new home !.....I have called her Tara Palmer Tompkinson (TPT) she has a long thin neck !!!

Some of the Zanzibah herd....enjoying the afternoon in the new larger field...if you look close, you can see the boys admiring them......over in the other field !

My special friend.....Haggis...after his brush, last night.

Let sleeping dogs lie !......Zonda sleeping with a little pest ! Jessie.

Well yesterday saw my parents head home for a well earned rest and the Great Escape back to the North East.

The pace has been relaxed considerably here for a brief moment......I have been watching the weather forecast and its looking like the second week in Aug is pencilled in for the start of the next quest......the haymaking experience !!

Yesterday I spent some time pottering around...doing a few catch up little jobs, I managed to pick some of the lovely Red Currants in the garden, and ended up making some jam. Most of the currant bushes are in the orchard, the chickens have managed to pinch the berries off these, but I don't mind.

I have moved the alpaca girls back into the 3 acre field, with the Nick Nacks and the younger girls, Zienna and Zakhura....the grass was getting down in the little birthing paddock and there is plenty in the other field, so I now have two groups....the boys and the others in opposite fields.

Its great to watch the babies running round the larger field and the speeds that they get up to is long as we have no mishaps ! I must say, I have also been bringing the girls in from the flies in the afternoon....they have been horrendous......lately in this field, they all have a siesta in the barn, then go out later for the evening for a few hours........

Last night I also managed to spend some time grooming my enormous hairy teddy bear, no not alpacas.....but Haggis, my lovely Highland Cow.....he is moulting and he has big tufts of old hair that hang on, Haggis grooms Dougal but sadly Dougal doesn't return the favour !! So every year round this time, I get my little hand rake out and groom Haggis, he stood for over an hour last night enjoying the experience, he is a lovely boy and he is very special !! I had managed to do one side a few weeks ago, but with the barn building he had the other side left to do, he is now looking very handsome with his new combed look......tuft-less !!

Needless to say, Dougal stood and watched the whole grooming experience, from a safe distance, he is still on the agenda....for those feet to be trimmed.

A bit of a lazy day today, but no doubt I shall end up doing something, I have some fleeces to sort out and some spinning on the agenda........mind you those jobs are really quite enjoyable !

Its a cooler day here today, with scattered showers, as I sit typing I can see the girls and the babies cantering round the field........what a wonderful view....I know lots of you out there have the same lovely scenery to I'm do just that !!

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Phase ..............FINISHED !!!!!!!!!

YIPEE.............Im chuffed to bits....its done !!

Looking from the opposite side.......finished......just a couple of little things to time !

The big doors.........are split...just incase, I decide to keep the alpacas in here for the winter...

This is what we started with...this morning !! is a great day...........the barn is finished....for the moment anyway !

Today we have managed to fit the door on the other side of the barn, fix the edging around the sides which finishes off the sides.

We have also managed to finish off the trim above the big doors on the other side. Fix the boarding around the doors and clear the trailer and some old bits n pieces that have been propped up where the new door now is.

My parents are planning on going home on Thursday, so tomorrow its a bit of a tidy up, along with getting some alpaca feed delivered and sorting out another couple of odd jobs.

The barn is finished for the time being, I shall continue to finish off some of the boarding on my own, and there are a couple of fixings to do which I shall get on with later.

On the side we have been working on today, there is a gap between the door and the roof, I have actually ran out of sarking board, which I use to do the Yorkshire boarding, so next time I shall be ordering some more planks just to fill the gap in, and we are a couple short around the main door, so these will be done at the same time.....

What a job..........I can't believe its done.......I'm chuffed to bits ....that its built.....we have been working on this for the past three weeks....and I can honestly say.....I think we are all pleased it is finished......and I know that I am even if I do say so myself.......quite proud of it !

Just goes to show what you can do.....with alot of hard work.....and determination......along with the obvious aches and pains.........

Nevertheless.............its done...............and the jobs....a 'Goodin'

We are all now have a lie down....for quite sometime to recover !!.....

My parents will be going home for a well earned rest....and I shall be getting my batteries...recharged..........just in time for the haymaking !!!!!

Monday, 25 July 2011

Phase 8 .......the end is Nigh !!

Zoretah and Zirrianna...sniffing my boot !!

The last door.....mam and dad is joined by Sonny the background, waiting for his tea !

Me sitting on the floor........putting the hinges on the door !

This door is now complete with 4 doors of yesterday !

Yesterday we managed to finish off the big barn doors.....what a job that was getting them hung up....however with a bit of a doo.....we eventually managed to get them hung yesterday. It is just left to do the finer points of finishing off the main boarding on the bottom section and around the edge. Fix a few bolts to secure them together and sort out something extra strong to secure them into the ground. As this is the windy side that gets battered by all the its got to be a good job !!

Anyway onto phase 8 !! This is to make the door which will eventually block off the opposite side of the barn which leads directly onto the track. This is a much smaller door....but it still measures 10ft x 8ft. Just as a matter of interest I have used 600 screws on the doors...I know this because the boxes are of 200 and I've had 3 boxes !!!

Today I have managed to make the door......this door can be completely allow the tractor in if required, however it will mostly be kept closed. I have made a window in the door, this will be used if there are any alpacas in this part over the winter......this will allow light in without actually having to open the door.....I have a similar panel in my other shelter I made and it works great....I can either open it and let the alpacas see out or close it up if the weather is horrible...

After making the door...we had to stand it up to put the hinges on......and a photo shoot was record the moment......I said we looked like the Punch & Judy !!'Thats the way to do it '!!

We had a little audience...the horses had came down for their tea.....and Sonny was in the background, waiting patiently, he is my oldest horse, he is now 27 years old....and I can remember the day he was yesterday !!

Now, I have the gate on, this works both ways, to block off the new part of the barn, or the main barn, depending on which way it swings. Which is great as I can now either block the main barn off completely and if I have to keep something in....I can do with the new gate.

I have spent alot of time....thinking about how to get things right which will help with the running of the place and the animals....especially being on your can be tricky at times, but hopefully things are getting sorted to make life ....just that bit easier......especially after this job has been completed......this is the last big job...on the list....!!!......honestly !!

The weather has been like winter, so cold we have got the winter overalls and ski suits out.....the alpacas have spent a bit of time in the barn as the wind and rain was atrocious.

I'm still confident that Marquette is pregnant....and I'm still waiting for this baby to arrive ...... I'm sure that there is one more baby to come ....sometime !

The other babies are growing fast and seem to be happy and full of life. Zirrius is very cheeky, he sometimes comes over and has a sneaky nose nibble !! Zoretah is also very confident round people and is happy to come to see you for a cuddle also....its lovely to see them all so happy and confident around choice !

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Phase 7 !!.....

We are getting there...!! Mam and Dad.....with one side complete ....

Zirrianna, she is now a month old !

The youngest, Zirrius(fawn) and Zimushka(grey) enjoying the sunny weather !

Zirrius is a sweetie, he is very friendly and comes to greet you.

The gate has been fitted to divide the barn.

It has been another very busy couple of days.....

The work force is is rapidly getting weaker by the day.....we are fighting a loosing battle with all the aches and this rate ....we will be needing a fork lift to get us out of bed in the morning !

I have spent the last couple of days making the doors, to cover the opening at the furthest side of the barn, these will protect what ever is inside the barn from the elements, either bales or alpacas.....who knows......but one thing for sure...this barn will be full of something over the winter months...!

We also have hung one of the gates on the inner side of the barn to divide the main section from the shorter section, this gate will also stop the horses...from pinching the hay, as they usually do after the barn is stacked.....up for the winter.

The other side of the barn across from the opening, also either will be used to store straw, or alpacas...depending on who goes where....I'm still sorting out the finer points.
Today, we have got one side finished and we are hoping to get the other side finished for tomorrow. I will then just have the other door to make to finish off the other side.

The alpacas are doing fine, the babies are doing well, enjoying playing with eachother, it is great to see them starting to develop. Zirrianna is now 4 weeks old today and little Zirrius is exactly one week old today.

I'm a little undecided if there are any more babies to come......Marquette is too large not to be pregnant, and she had us convinced she was going to have her baby on Thursday....!! she was behaving very strangely, I was sure she was in her first stages of labour, however...after a couple of hours of keeping a close eye on her.......nothing happened...and I think it was a false alarm ! is like winter here at the moment......more like October than July !

Lets hope the summer soon comes back........its far too soon to be feeling like winter !!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Phase 5 and 6 Complete !!... Happy Birthday Zanubis !

Zanzibah Zanubis is 3 today !.....

Me.......and the barn...nearly finished....Yehah !!

Zanzibah now dry !

Little Zadi Blanca.....enjoying the sunshine....

Zoretah...she is so friendly...she comes and sits next to me for a snooze !!

The work force.....walking the plank !!

Another busy day rest for the wicked...

Thankfully the weather has been kind......not the rain forecast, unlike some ! So once again it was time to don the work-wear and get more of the barn finished.....

I can happily is nearly I type the blog tonight.....phase 5, the long Yorkshire boarding is complete...and not only that....I have also managed to get phase 6 done...this is the smaller Yorkshire boarding to completely cover in the bottom. This measures approx 4ft and it makes the whole of the bottom of the barn wind and if I decide to use it for my alpacas.....then in the severe winter weather...the barn will still be nice and dry and cosy !

The rest of the barn measures approx.....10ft tall and is open at the gaps, to allow the air through, without it being drafty.

So we are nearly there....and I must say, I'm really pleased its up.......I have thought, wished and wanted this barn to be built for over 5 years.....and now its done. It will make a massive difference to me, my animals and just giving us all that bit extra space, especially in the winter time...when we are usually packed to the rafters...with hay and straw !

Today I was out with the camera...and I managed to take a couple of photos of Zirrius....he is now dry and is a lovely shade of fawn...with a darker fawn stripe down his back, darker fawn ears and dark fawn knees......he's a happy, chunky little fella.

Next on the agenda, is to make the doors for the far side of the barn these will be full height, to allow me access with the tractor....actually the whole barn has been made, so I can drive right through....if needed......then a few gates....and it should be complete.....

I think I can safely say.....the hardest jobs are done....and its hopefully well on the way to completion !! is Zanubis's 3rd Happy Birthday Zanubis !!

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Zanzibah Zirrius .......

Zanzibah Zirrius.....tonight in the barn....

The longest section is nearly complete.....but I was rained off tonight !

Tremona is checking her new baby out !

Just born this afternoon.....

Tremona has had her baby this afternoon.....

This was a mating with Zanzibah Zeuss , his pedigree includes Purrumbette Ledgers Boy he is a lovely white boy with a very laid back attitude, regular readers will recall that Tremona is my .....mighty flighty I really wanted a quite natured boy to improve her she is so I decided to use Zeuss. Often temperament is overlooked in the quest for fibre fineness....but to me it makes a great deal of difference when you are having to deal with your animals....we all have some who are far more pleasant than others......!!

He is a lovely fawn boy, he arrived around 2.45pm. I had just returned back from shopping and my dad greeted us ....pointing to the paddock and saying....'You've got another one'!!

So needless to say I rushed round to see who had given could only be one of three and my money was on Tremona.....she was sheared yesterday and I was worried about shearing her....however we had no choice as I had postponed the shearing till after the babies arrived...and I still had three girls who had not had their babies.....

Thankfully, all was well with the birth as I had to pop out to get some more roofing finish off securing the I had ran out.

This little fella is very strong......Tremona is getting used to the idea of having a baby to look after....she is nice with him...but she hasn't quite got the hang of keeping an eye on him......and looking after her baby...she was walking off and leaving him after the birth, so I kept a close eye on them to make sure...things were going to be ok.

He was soon up on his feet within 10 mins...and chasing after his mother......she likes him and is happy to let him feed...infact he was feeding within 30mins......and he hasn't stopped.....Tremona just leaves him and goes off to graze as if he wasn't her concern, but little Zirrius is soon after her and he was quick to follow and he has continued to get stronger and get the hang of those legs....

I think he is fawn....mind you I have never had a fawn baby......he has some very light colour variations throughout his fleece.....with a fantastic luster already !!

He is tucked up nice and snug in the barn with the others tonight as the weather is quite miserable, foggy and rainy.....

I'm pleased that I have the barn to give these new babies the start in life they deserve....after all we wait so long for these little ones....and the weather is so unpredictable at the moment...I'd just be worrying if they were outside on a night like this.....

Today I have been doing a little more to the barn.....the first part is Yorkshire boarded up and there is only the short section and the bottom to do......along with the doors and the gates......then will be nearly finished...apart from the guttering, which will probably be done another next on the the win some Hay !

Hopefully, the weather will settle long enough for me to get some hay, I am also going to make some haylage and silage this year for some of the other animals......

Well......thats...the plan....anyway !!

Friday, 15 July 2011

Another Busy Day.......Phase 5 !

The girls today after shearing !

The barn is coming along.....

Me.....up the ladder now !!

James and Kym arrive to shear the girls....

Today has been another busy day new arrivals unfortunately !

The weather has been kind to us as we continue with the barn, we are now onto phase 5 !!

The forecast is for the weather to change over the weekend and into next week, so we had to get done as much as we could whilst the weather was good....who knows what we will wake

up to tomorrow.....I might even get a day off....!

The rest of the wood arrived yesterday, this will form the Yorkshire Boarding on the sides of the barn.......although we had another also.
James arrived around midday to finish off the shearing, this time it was the girls turn, I am still waiting for definitely 2.....maybe 3 more babies to arrive, obviously they all have other ideas and must be happy where they are for the moment.....but they had to be sheared....

By 2pm all the girls had been sheared and were wearing a slightly new sleeker look ! the babies were pleased to be reunited with their mothers...who do look very different, but everyone knew...who was who !! and who belonged to who !!

So tonight another busy day.....we are getting on quite well with the barn and hope to get it finished by next permitting..... arrivals.......take priority......

Thankfully the girls are just across from the its a good excuse to keep a close eye on things.......its great to see the round playing with each other !

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Zadi~Blanca 24Hrs Old....Phase 4 Complete !!

Zadi~Blanca and resting in the barn.

Yippee........Roof completed....tonight !!....Yehah !!

Zimushka....had an itch !

The relieved to get the roof....finished !! ......who invited Humpty Dumpty !!

Little Zadi~Blanca is now 24hrs old, she is coming along nicely after her arrival into the world.

She has continued to grow stronger and is feeding well and since standing has been very active getting used to those long legs...she has already started to join in playing with the others....which is nice.

It has been just under one week since we started to fix the roof build the roof. This is a big job and we had finished it on Saturday, which meant that by Sunday we were ready to fix the roofing sheets......and today we have completed that job so we have managed to roof the whole building in 4 days.......not bad for a geriatric workforce !!

So tomorrow I have a load more timber being delivered, this will be used to make the now we can look forward to phase 5 !.........for tomorrows 'to do list'.....

The 'lean-to' barn is measures approx 60ft by I'm sure you can imagine the size of the roof.....we have spent most of the days.....climbing up and down the ladders......thankfully....we have managed to finish the roof ...without any mishaps.....!!

So, sometime tomorrow....we are working at ground height...which is nice for a dad decided to take some photos of me tonight...just finishing off the you can get an idea of the size......of the looks huge...infact it makes me look...small, standing at the other end......we got finished at about 9pm tonight....

Hopefully.....I think that is the biggest jobs complete...and we can crack on with the sides.....the task is to get it finished..before my parents go week sometime.

The babies are all doing fine, its great to have some little ones to enjoy this summer.....hopefully the girls will be sheared on Friday so they will feel much cooler......I wonder if I get any more babies....before shearing.... I hope so, after all, I put off shearing till after the babies were born......but you can't rush these things and you just have to go with mother nature....

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Zanzibah Zadie~Blanca

Zanzibah Zadie~Blanca ...has arrived !!

The others come to see the new arrival....

Zanzibah Zimushka...and Dusty today...

A well earned rest.....Aymara with her little girl...

My Dad and Me.....up on the roof !!......

We have a new arrival today......

It was not without a bit of a drama.....Aymara has had her baby ! I have waited for this baby to arrive safely for years......I was worried about this arrival as the last baby Aymara had was three years ago.....unfortunately it was a breach birth and the baby had died before delivery.

It was a very sad time for us all this baby was a real concern.

I remated Aymara the following year, but she did not has been over three years since we lost her last baby...I was hoping for a girl from her, as this was the last time I would be breeding from Aymara as she is one of my older girls and I don't really know exactly how old she really is.

The father of Zadie~Blanca is the same male I had used before....actually I have used him four times over my girls and every time he has produced a girl......he is also the father of Zakhura(Black) and Zienna(White/Brown/Black)......I thought that it might be asking too much to hope for a little girl this time...but I was secretly hoping !!

Anyway.....back to my new was a slightly traumatic time.....I did call the vet Aymara unfortunately had not managed to deliver this baby after an hour of trying....I was really worried that this might be another breach birth.....

I had quickly see if I could find the legs....but they were no where to be found ! I could feel.....something, I thought it was the rear at this point...the vet was called...I was worrying about a c-section...and hoping that things would be fine....

I went down the road to meet the vet as it was a different vet who was covering for I was sitting in the car at the bottom of the road....and my phone went !

It was my mam......saying 'Its here.... !!....shortly after that the vet turned up and we quickly drove back to the farm.....all the time I was wondering....what I was hoping to find !

Honestly.....I didn't expect to see...what I did....a brilliant white cria....lying next to Aymara......for some reason....I was expecting....a brown colour...similar to her mother....!!

My mam said ....what do you is......I said.....a Girl !......WOW !! Yes indeed...another little for us at Zanzibah Alpacas.....

So that's.....four babies....this year....and four girls......what a result....!!


Getting back to the barn...we are getting on....just fine.....with the odd distraction....I have been up on the roof.....fixing the sheets....

I could...say.....'I'm on top of the world !!'
Or at least the roof !

Tonight, Zadie~Blanca is feeding and appears to be very bright and active....

The logic behind her mam is called Sadie, and she helped deliver her, hence Zadie....also, she is so white.......just like a little snowflake ! that's the reason for the Blanca !!

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Zanzibah Zimushka !!

Zanzibah Zimushka .......arrives !

Minutes old and already looking for a first feed....

Just born....the others are there to greet her !

Starting to sheet the roof !

We have a new arrival here in Zanzibah Land....

Dusty has had her baby, a lovely grey girl born this morning at 10.12am. We were busy working on the barn and I thought that Dusty was in labour.

A close inspection and yes she was. I was up bright and early this morning at 5.30 am, I was convinced that Dusty was going to have her baby either yesterday or today.

Dusty hardly shows any signs of being in labour and just quietly gets on with it ! This little girls was born within 10 minutes, no complications and certainly not wasting any time entering this world !

This was exactly the same mating that produced Zeto two years ago......I was secretly hoping for a grey girl, just like Zeto.......and just look what we got....

She is very similar to Zeto, slightly darker.....but I'm not complaining.....she was up within 20 mins and feeding.......running round getting to grips with those legs......within the hour....

Fantastic ! what a lovely little girl.....I have named her Zimushka.

She has dried out nicely and looks to have a lovely long fleece, very like Zeto, I wonder if she has as much neck fleece ...........time will tell.

So we now have three cria born..........and all girls.....WOW ! That's fantastic......I'm chuffed to bits.......after all we missed out on the babies...last year, so we are making up for it this year !

I have spent most of the day on the roof, keeping an eye on the new arrival.....

The barn is coming along nicely, we have started sheeting up the roof, it took a bit of working out...but I think we now know what we are doing !!

So tonight.....Zimushka is in the barn with the others.....tucked up nice and snug......

I'm still waiting for Aymara to have her baby.....lets hope they arrive before Friday, as James is coming back to finish off shearing the girls .......

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Zoretah One Week Old Today .....

Zoretah and Zirrianna enjoying the evening sun !....

The barn is taking shape.....

The roof structure is nearly complete......

Dressed as usual......NOT !

My Mam meets Zoretah and Zirrianna....

It has been a really busy week here.....

Zoretah is one week old today, she has continued to improve and now spends most of her time running round the field chasing Zirrianna. It is hard to believe that a week has flown by already, it is also amazing just how much she has continued to improve and grow much stronger over the past 7 days.

Her front leg is still supported for the time being, but it has improved loads since she was born, I think I shall be taking it off in a day or two. Now she is standing better you can see just how much bigger she is when she is next to Zirrianna.

It has been a bit of a mixed week for weather, sunshine, showers and obviously with the sun comes the flies.

I have been very busy, my parents arrived on Sunday for a little visit.

Needless to say, on the agenda for the 'to do list' is the barn which was started earlier, we have been on phase is coming along quite nicely...hopefully it will be done just in time for haymaking......or failing might make a lovely new alpaca building for the winter...I haven't decided yet exactly what it will be used for....but I'm sure its going to be a great addition to the farm....I have wanted to do this building for about 4 hopefully this will be crossed off the list soon......I'm really quite excited....about getting this building completed.

Hopefully most of it will be completed before my mam and dad go back about a week or so.

On the baby new arrivals here at the moment...however, tonight Dusty's baby has been jumping around.....we are currently on day 343 days for these any time so