Monday, 23 December 2013

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year !!

Its Christmas Time once again and may I take this opportunity to wish all those who happen to visit us, a very Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.  Lets hope that the New Year is a good one !  I must say I shall be pleased to see the back of 2013.

Pharaoh & Phoenix  braving the winter morning .... but look who's been sleeping in the chicken shed, and caused a bit of a stir when he left ...... Pocus !! 
The Peacocks weren't happy and did not want to go inside ... then Pocus appeared and all returned to calm ....

Just take a look at this photo, I managed to take the other day when I was sitting in the conservatory.  I couldn't believe it and was amazed at what was in the sky .... might this be the Christmas Spirit ..... I wonder ..... how magical, the sky just captivated me .... I wonder if anyone else noticed this that day !!

Now ... yesterday when \I was out shopping ... just look what I found .... aren't they gorgeous, this got me thinking... as you do !  I thought a few of these would look great roaming around Zanzibah Land .....????

The Reindeer were attracting a crowd and we stood ages admiring them.

This is the only Reindeer I could find....a one on the Christmas Tree.....
May you all have a Very Merry Christmas & Happy New Year !
Lets hope 2014 is an Extra Good One ... & that Santa has managed to bring all your heart's desire ...

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Winter is here !

Pharaoh and Phoenix having a drink today
This week we have been battered by gales freezing temperatures, power cuts and snow.  The Peacocks are growing fast, they have started to change colour and their tail feathers are growing long and have started to trail on the ground. 

The fire is now fitted in the conservatory.  I have made a stone plinth and rendered the blocks.  I just have to paint them and finish off the flooring.  Its lovely to have a roaring fire to keep you warm and it does throw out lots of heat.

Phoenix is standing in the water trough which is frozen but there was a drip from the roof and they both stayed there ages having a nice cold drink.

That's my boy ... Haggis is watching me as I take the dogs for a walk up the track ... he is my pal and is extra special.  The cows have been tucking into their bale of haylage over the past couple of days as the temperatures tumble.

This was a test run before the rendering and the protective heat resistant sheeting around the walls.... I decided to fit before the fire melted the conservatory.  I have now managed to sort out the telly in here so we can have a choice over the festive season .... when my parents visit.  We now have all the mod cons .... I'm spending more time in there than the house !!

Little Zymerah and Zucco ... out today its been freezing here but there is still plenty of grass to nibble.  The girls have a routine spending a couple of hours in the field before they retreat to the little paddock and their haylage, then its in for bedtime .... and a quick story !! before lights out.

The snow has nearly gone but we have been covered with hailstones, the ground is frozen today the gales have settled.  We were battered by 80mph gales a couple of days ago, thankfully we survived, but we did have a power cut from 5pm Thursday evening right through till 11am Friday morning.  It was freezing in the house with no heating but both fires were lit ... I had an early night with my thermals .... needless to say.

Doza is now much bigger ... he has put on quite a bit of condition and I think he has grown quite a bit in height since I got him.  This is him out this afternoon having a little walk up the track.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

First Snowfall of the Year !

This morning we woke up to the first snowfall of the year here in Scotland.  With the colder weather
brings extra jobs.  This is Haggis enjoying his new bale of haylage, this means he can enjoy his food without having to hunt for the grass.... well he is special and deserves the treat, after all he is 16yrs old.

The girls going out this morning, they had hardly left the barn and they were rolling in the nice fresh snowfall.

This is the very first snow that the babies have seen.  Zambo had a great time jumping up and down.  The babies were fascinated with the arrival of the first snow.

Dougal is making his way down to the new bale of haylage.  I have my stash of haylage in the field for the cows, this means that I don't have to always take the tractor up to feed the cows if the weather gets too bad.

The babies enjoying the snow, Zambo spent ages rolling around.

Then it was time for Zymerah to have a go ... the girls are too busy around the hay-ring.  Looks like the haylage has the seal of approval.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Retail Therapy .... the best kind !!

I thought I would introduce you to my new arrivals..... meet Pharaoh & Phoenix, most people who know me already know that I have always wanted some Peacocks....these are Indian Blue Peacocks.  I have had them for just over a week now and they decided to venture out into the midday sun.  Apparently they take approx 4 years to reach maturity before they have a magnificent display of tail feathers.  These two are just babies at only 5 months old. 

We have started to get a bit of wet weather and the pond has started to fill with water, it looks so different with some water in ...I think it actually looks bigger !

Another few jobs have been crossed of the 'to do list' .  Ive been wanting a path leading to my chickens, as over the years I have had to take a muddy slippery route to their door, it was just a matter of time before I ended up on my backside.... however I now have a nice level gravel path.  Which is quite a treat when I nip out in the mornings to let the chickens out in my all terrain slippers !!

'Puffing Billy'  .... another little spontaneous purchase.
My parents are here at the moment ... not much call for designer clothes up here ...I'm afraid.  Overalls are the dress of the day.  I have also been out shopping for this new fire, I intend to refurbish it and it will be looking like new.  My Dad has managed to release the doors and do a bit of sorting it out.  This is them feeling the heat, as we decided to light it to see how it works.... it works great.  I managed to pick it up on my travels .... I do like a bargain and I already have decided where its going.

More winter preparation, for years this area has always been muddy in the winter,  now that the extra wooden barns have been built this area is where the horses come and stand.  It is also where the alpacas get sheared, under cover between the barns.  I now have lights in all the barns which is great for the darker nights and over the canopy.... which is great as I'm usually pottering about till dark.

This is a close up of the fire on the trailer before and after photos....I'm really very chuffed at how it now looks.

This is the finished newly painted and renovated wood burner, I just fell in love with it when I saw it and just had to buy it..... I was confident that I would be able to find a place for it.  The aim is to put it in the conservatory as I like to sit in there and watch the alpaca girls and babies, but it gets far too cold on the wintry days .... I'm guessing that won't be a problem any more.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Cheeky Boys !

True to form .... Zonko has his own style of doing things, Couldn't help wondering if he was .... sleep feeding.

Doza is enjoying a chew ... just as well I'm not too house proud !

Doza playing in the garden after the treat, he is growing into a rather big boy.  But very much still a puppy !  He has put on quite allot of condition.  He has a very loud snore which I can hear through out the house.

As we have had such a long dry summer the pond has been virtually empty until now.  After the other day of torrential rain it has started to fill up with water.

It will be lovely to eventually see it full .... all in good time.

And finally .. one of the girls out grazing last week.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Better Late than Never ... Zucco, Zonko & Zymerah

I thought that I had better update the Blog, as I have been otherwise occupied to say the least.
My parents have been staying with me over the summer months and to say I've been slacking would be an under statement !!

Zucco, Zonko !! & Zambo
All my babies are now here, these are the boys.  We ended up with three bouncing boys and one beautiful girl. I think that the pet names are going to stay. 

Little Marquette's baby was named as he is always sleeping !!  and his name just stuck hence 'Zonko'.  Zullulah's baby is a real sweetie, I think she might be Rose Grey but its really hard to say at the moment.  I think her name will be Zymerah.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Sad ....

This is a very sad blog, unfortunately little Zaroo died yesterday after a battle to save him...we tried everything to help him but in the end things weren't meant to be.

He was only three weeks and one day old a very brief life so cruelly taken.Unbeknown to myself as I thought he was doing fine.  He became lethargic three days ago and I wasn't happy with him, he was treated for a range of potential issues from slight constipation to an infection, his temperature was low the first day he was off colour and it continued to drop the next day, he was given Baycox, Baytril and a little enema to see if that did the trick, sadly he only deteriorated and yesterday although being turned out for a brief morning spell I decided to bring them back in as I was not happy with him.  He was bottle fed with milk and honey and the vet was consulted.  The vet was on route and poor little Zaroo fought one battle after another to hang on to his precious little life.... I spent what seemed ages hosing him  down under his belly to try and regulate his temperature...

The vet arrived and I just knew that it would have to be a miracle for this to be a happy ending.  He was given plasma & glucose and a little sedative to ease the stress on his heart.... I was advised by the vet that the outcome would be bleak ... we had just given him his glucose and sadly he died in my arms ... such a shock.  The sedative helped him pass peacefully I guess it was just too much to hope for a happy ending.

So yesterday was a very long and traumatic day.  It has been suggested that he died with Septicaemia, brought on by his inability to absorb enough Colostrum from his mother in the first few hours of life .... How could we know, there is very little that can be done once the infection gets a hold and its a silent killer.  This has come as such a shock, as he fed really well and appeared to be doing fine.  Last week he was running around the field with Zambo.  I thought all was well.

Holly is obviously looking for her baby and they say time is a great healer ....for all of us, such a shame.  His little life was short and precious, he is sadly missed.

We are trying to accept and come to terms with the events of yesterday .... just goes to show, you never know what life has instore.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Still Waiting !!

 As usual its been another busy week.  We are still waiting for new arrivals, Zambo & Zaroo are now real pals and have lots of fun playing together and when they have tired themselves out they like to sleep together ... it takes lots of energy to grow up beautiful !!
Marquette is hanging onto her baby along with the three other girls who are due ... any day now.  She looks fed up, I wish they would all hurry up .... maybe tomorrow will be the big day and no doubt they will all arrive together .... that will be manic !!  I do hope not !

Zanzibah Zyisha .... has now grown up.  I can't believe that she is nearly a year old.

Zaroo is now bigger than little Zambo ...and he loves to pester him, how the tables have turned Zambo was a real pest when he was days old.

No rest for the wicked .... just a little job on the 'to do list'  I've been busy spreading 50 ton of crushed rock on to the yard area in the hope that it will be much drier and nicer under foot in the winter time.  I have another 20 ton of smaller rock to dress it off and part of the area will be finished.  Hopefully this will be all done before the haylage bales appear.... some time soon.

Nearly finished..... I now have two more piles, just waiting to be spread. This was a photo before they arrived. 

Oh, yes .... a few minor adjustments around the buildings, I decided to move some nice little Fir trees as they were growing under the electricity wires, then thought it would be a good idea to have a gap dug into the bank where I have now relocated my manure heap....the idea is to get the yard all tidied up and then when its time to do the muck spreading to load the muck spreader on the field side to try and keep the area tidy .. so this is the new cut through being dug in, with the big digger and the trees being dug out.

Finished ...the trees are now located up the field and the gap is complete, I have already moved the manure pile into its new home !
So hopefully we will get organised before the weather turns.  The pending job is the haylage .... and
waiting for the new arrivals !

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Centrifuge First Plasma Run !!

Yesterday afternoon was the very first time the Centrifuge was being used to harvest some life saving plasma.  Gerry & Lucy from Coire Alpacas came prepared with two bags filled with blood donated from two of their resident stud boys.  Their vets had harvested the blood then it was transferred over to us for the big day. The aim was to harvest some plasma to have in case of any emergencies that might arrive, as their cria are due any time now.
The Centrifuge worked well, it is a time consuming process, however the end result is worth all the effort.  It took approximately four hours to decant the blood into the centrifuge, we did not know what ratio we would obtain from each spin, but we were very pleased with the amount of plasma harvested.  We did eleven spins of 120ml, each spin gave over 60ml which is more than one full syringe.
We ended up with 11 full 60ml syringes.  I was doing the drawing off from the blood bag and decanting into the centrifuge tubes and Gerry was busy drawing off the plasma into the syringes.  The plasma was placed into a freezer bag and taken back to Coire HQ !
It was around 7pm when Gerry finally left with his precious cargo !!
I think it was fair to say that we were both impressed with the Centrifuge process .... it takes time, but you can't rush these things and the opportunity to have your own plasma can be an invaluable one. 
 Unfortunately up here in northern Scotland this option is just not there, but with having the centrifuge facility here ... now it is !
Hopefully it will not be needed, but it is a great peace of mind to know that you have the option in emergency cases.
So the Centrifuge has done it's maiden voyage ..... I shall tweak a few minor adjustments but overall it was a great success.  I think we both quite enjoyed the whole process, I was very satisfied that we had managed to obtain our goal  .... A good job, well done.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Sleeping Beauty !

What a difference a day makes ... little Zaroo is now dried out fully and yesterday he spent the day out enjoying the sun.  Today however is is pouring with rain and all the alpacas are inside, one good thing is the pond is filling up with all this rain.

Zaroo out yesterday, he is a beautiful apricot colour, I have had a little look inside his fleece and it is really golden in colour.
Little Zaroo has the most whiskers on his nose I have ever seen on a baby, after having a close inspection of Stravinsky he has the same whiskers ....obviously this little fella takes after his daddy. 

Less than 24hrs old and he is already strutting his stuff, he is 6 days younger than Zambo but he is much bigger, but not as mischievous.

Spot those whiskers ....