Sunday, 29 January 2012

Mittens...Mishaps...and Monkeys !

The matching...mittens..

My little monkey....Zirrianna !

Zimushka...and her mishap, thankfully no harm done !

The weanies...Zadi~Blanca (white) Hamish(black) Zoretah(brown) Zimushka(grey) & Zirrianna(rose grey)

Following on from yesterdays blog....I have managed to knit up the go with the little baby bootees....this is my first attempt at doing some baby knitware...with some of my white handspun fleece.

Its been a bit of a cold, damp miserable day today with scattered sleety showers. This morning the sun was shining when I turned the alpacas out..then the weather took a turn for the worse.....

I had a little mishap this morning, I usually turn the girls out before the weanies and the Nick Nacks as I have to walk them across the paddock that the babies are the time I walked back to get the babies out....I had already opened the gate and as usual they all ran out to play !

What I hadn't noticed was that Zimushka was wearing a 'hanger on' somehow, she had managed to get the piece of rope that I use to tie the gate shut...round her neck ! thankfully no problems there and she spent a little time with her additional neck ware...she didn't want me to take it I knew that it wouldn't cause any harm and it did fall off later in the day, I found it by the haymanger.....!

No harm done....but just goes to things happen....and even when you are about....sometimes...they can still find trouble.....I guess it goes with the territory...of being a baby !! ........full of mischief !

Finally I can't help thinking that Zirrianna....looks like a monkey..she has always looked like that.....she reminds me of a gorilla !!

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Babies & Bootees !!

Zoretah & Stravinsky ...

The little Baby Bootees....

Room for !!

Pocus....was the sun !

This week has been a bit of a chilly one, the mud has frozen which makes a pleasant change.

It is exactly one week gone Friday since the babies have been weaned. They are starting to settle down and get the hang of being on their own, even doing a bit of grazing now instead of just hanging around the top corner, near the gate.

I have manged to do a spot of spinning & knitting this week. I have been making some little baby bootees from some white fleece that I have hand spun, the fleece has been donated from Zeuss, my white boy. Tonight I have managed to finish them, so I thought I'd share a photo of a little new knitware selection, I am currently knitting up some mittens to match.

The babies and the Nick Nacks have settled in fine, I think its nice for them all to have some other company. I was sitting in the conservatory yesterday, doing a bit of knitting and I noticed two Pied Woodpeckers one on the Ash Tree and the other on the Pine did they know that I had just filled up the bird feeder only a matter of minutes ago....!

I then glanced over to the sun lounger.....and I couldn't help notice......that its obviously a hard life here for the dogs.....they say...'Two's Company.....and Three's a crowd !

Any room for me !!!!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Weaning Update !

Zadi~Blanca and Stravinsky

Molly, Thomas & Taco ....

Stravinsky & Sparky have company !!

The babies choose to graze on the frozen area !

Today I managed to take some photos of the babies after weaning, the first day they were kept inside as it was just far too windy to turn them out. So most of Saturday was less of a trauma for them, as their mothers were just on the other side of the divides.

On Sunday I turned them out and they spent most of the day...tramping around the top corner of the paddock.....they were not happy. Unfortunately they managed to turn a once green corner into a great dirty muddy corner !! the ground was so wet after the rain.

Today has been a far happier day, less humming and a more settled feeling crept into the group.

I actually spotted them grazing quite happily, most of them decided to graze amongst the frozen water patches which lie on the paddock, it has been a bright frosty day today.

The babies have settled in nicely with Stravinsky and Sparky, who I think are liking their new companions.

Tonight, I was very doubtful that they would come in for bedtime, dusk I went out fully expecting a bit of an ordeal....I shouted....for the 'Babies'....and they all ran towards me....I was thrilled, I was expecting to have to allow the girls they would this is what I had to do the first night !

What a great see all the babies and the Nick Nacks....running for bedtime....just lovely !

Monday, 23 January 2012

Bye Bye ..... Daisy !

Daisy on route to her new home !

The boys going play !

Off....she goes...!

Zeto....and the frozen mud !

Zerquo....and the boys one frosty morning last week ...

It has been a busy week here...

On Saturday it was time to wean the babies, I spent quite some time partitioning the barn to make room for the babies. This is phase one the older babies, Zirrianna, Zoretah, Zadi~Blanca Zimushka & Hamish have joined Stravinsky and Sparky (the Nick Nacks).

The weather has been quite miserable since Saturday, gale force winds and heavy showers, so the first day was spent inside the barn, I did turn the babies out with the Nick Nacks but most of them spent the day up in the corner of the paddock, the first days are the most stressful.

Today was the day that I said Good Bye to Daisy the digger, I received a phone call this morning to let me know that the transport was coming to collect her. Daisy was sold just before Christmas, I had decided to sell her as I had bought Ruby to make my life a little easier for mucking out the barns. Daisy has been a great little digger, she has done quite a bit of work here, however I wasn't using her as much as I might have liked and the Siromer tractor will make my life much easier hopefully.

The alpacas all appear to be in good health, the second phase of weaning will happen at the end of February, this is when the two youngest boys Zirrius and Rufus will be ready for weaning. Hopefully by this time the four girls will be able to move back into the herd with the girls and I will have a nice group of young boys which will remain together until they are mature enough to join the adult males. I find that the young boys are not mature enough until they are over two years old to be introduced to the older they will have plenty time to mature amongst themselves until then.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Boys, Girls, Puddle and Tara Palmer Tompkinson !!


Some of the girls and the babies....this week...

The girls and babies...out grazing...

Tara Palmer Tompkinson.....out of the chicken area....again !!

The boys.....

We have been pottering round as usual, the alpacas are fine and the babies are growing up nicely, the Nick Nacks are starting to mature into very handsome Machos, only to be expected coming from the prestigious Wellground Alpaca Stud !

Its very amusing just how the babies grow up...from being extra cute bundles of fleece, going through the gorky adolescent stage eventually into beautiful sleek graceful adult alpacas...most of the youngsters are in different stages, often the ugly ones...are the most beautiful when fully mature....we all remember the 'Ugly Duckling Syndrome' at one stage or another !!

The adult boys spend most of their time grazing, we have had a few really cold frozen days when the ground is rock solid....its better than the mud, but the downside of things is if its too cold...then the water freezes !

The other morning, I turned the girls out as usual and after a thaw there was a puddle which some of the youngsters just love, Zimushka loves the water she was quickly joined by Zullulah.....who was determined to sit in the puddle, despite the freezing temperatures....

After a bit of a sit and squabble.....they ran off to join the others on their way into their field.

I have been mucking out the boys barn this week, I tend to deep litter the animals through the winter, but they still get mucked out or the litter would just be too deep by the end of the winter.

The haylage is doing well...its the best decision I made last has turned out to be fantastic, everyone loves it. I have about 52 bales left at the moment, so I should have plenty to see me through this winter. I still have about 36 bales of hay also, I'm feeding the hay to the cows for the moment. We have only had a little bit of snow up to now so there is plenty to go around...

Tara Palmer Tompkinson..never fails to amaze me.....she is always...where she shouldn't be !

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Approaching..weaning time !

Some of the babies....with Zullulah

Duke & Zanubis....

The babies are now 6 months old....and we are approaching weaning time.

I am a little bit behind the weaning time, however all the crias are doing well, the girls are already 5 months into their pregnancies.....and in good condition for this time of year.

I am hoping to do the weaning in the next week or two, just depending on the logistics. I have the barn to re-arrange and a few other jobs on the list before I can do the weaning.

I'm hoping to do some halter training when I have the weanies to play with ! After the sad start this year, its just lovely to be able to give the babies a cuddle. I have been also spending more time in with the Nick Nacks....both are now coming over to see you and will hand feed.

Its lovely to have calm confident alpacas to spend time with, part of my aim is to work with all the animals I have to try and achieve this goal, mind you there are always some better than others at being in human company !

This is one of the reasons I bring my alpacas in every night through the winter months to be in close contact with people...I just think it gives them, that extra confidence from the very start...the foundations .....hopefully for their future life !

It is very quiet here at the moment, we are still coming to terms with we are trying to keep our chin up...and looking forward, making a conscious effort to make a little time every day, to see the nice things around you.....its so easy in times of sadness to just focus on the negative, but if you look hard enough...there is always something to lift your spirits....!!

Friday, 6 January 2012

Pacosha .....end of an Era !

Pacosha.....her last day out and photo ....

It has been a sad start to the New Year for us here at Zanzibah Land.
On the 28th December, I turned the alpacas out as normal, however what I didn't realise at the time, it would be Pacosha's last day out with the herd !
I noticed she was becoming very fragile and I decided to pen her inside the field shelter, whilst the others were out grazing......that morning she did not want to go out and hung back in the barn....but she decided to follow the girls out, it was a cold windy day and I suspected she was becoming frail. She spent the day in the field shelter quite happy with some haylage.

I had a sad feeling and didn't want to accept what was inevitable. From then on she spent a couple of days inside the barn, eating and being quite comfortable, on New Years Day....I spent some extra time in the barn with all the alpacas....I was sitting down just watching them to make sure all was 5pm that evening, Pacosha was sitting chewing her cud, I was quite surprised just how content she was. I left her to go in for tea.

I usually do the night time rounds about 9pm, when I went back to the barn things had changed, it was obvious that she was not going to make it through the night, she was drifting away, sadly she slept away peacefully, I was with her all the doesn't matter just how old she was still a very sad time.

Pacosha was one of my original girls, imported into the Uk in the 90's....she came all the way from Chile....on a Jumbo Jet. I bought two females in 2006 to start my herd, she was sold to me as a breeding female, however I was never to have any off spring from her, I found out over the years, that she was unable to breed.........I think this was the reasoning behind her sale...........however, I believe what goes round, comes round......and it takes all sorts in this world !!

I can only count on three fingers, pleasant purchase transactions.....and I know, those people know who they are !!!

Thankfully.......Pacosha was here to stay regardless....and I loved her all the same.

I am going to plant a her memory.

I believe her spirit is now roaming on the Ante Plano......where she can graze happily with the others....... she will be missed greatly, but I can take some comfort in the fact that.......whilst she was with us.....I loved and cared for her as best as I could......and she passed away very peacefully........sleep well Pacosha ! xx