Sunday 12 October 2014

All Here ....

Last Friday afternoon Zimushka went into labour, I was keeping a close eye on her as this was her first baby and you just never know how things are going to progress..... after about 20mins it was apparent that things weren't going as they should.  This was the time that you are hoping for a slightly different scenario.  I decided after watching her trying to deliver that it was time to intervene and help.  Just as well that I did,  I discovered that the cria was not being presented properly, both legs bent back and no sign of feet.  This baby would never have been delivered without any intervention. I managed to locate one leg and then the other, once the legs were brought forward  I made sure that the legs weren't crossed the cria was delivered after about 5mins.  Its always a worrying time, hoping that things are going to be ok. 
After a brief moment of panic, it was time to check over the new arrival.... here we welcome into the world Zimushkas new baby.  A lovely very chunky boy.  There is a debate regarding his true colour, he looks quite brown but he has a grey head, with grey tinges to his ears and legs and a big white spot on his nose !  That is the only little bit of white which is rather different, it will be very interesting to see if his colour will lighten and he might even end up a rose grey.  He is a very similar colour to Zymerah who you can see inspecting him with great interest.
Zimushka is greeting her new arrival, she has a white face usually.  But she has been licking the molasses mineral lick, maybe that's why her baby has a brown tinge !
Here he is all dried out .... Im currently debating over name choices, some have been decided and others are still under deliberation !

Well after all that worry and excitement I was on high alert, as I had another maiden due.  Funnily enough both girls were mated on the same day so she was due any time.
On Thursday afternoon again at 356 days Zadi Blanca went into labour.  As usual I watched with binoculars from a distance, hoping that  things were happening normally.
I was relieved  and quite surprised to see that the cria was being delivered, the surprise was up to now Zeto who is a solid mid grey has managed to make a mark on the colour of his progeny.  Tremona my light fawn girl was also mated to him and she has produced another surprisingly all grey baby with the most even marking I have ever seen .... as he has dried out you can clearly see he also has some darker fawn spots.  It is looking like Zeto is also producing spotty babies as his first ever cria Zyisha is my appaloosa girl born a couple of years ago.

After a little time .... here is Zadi Blanca's new baby ... another Boy ! 
He is brilliant white ...not a hint of grey any where.  I was also surprised to see that he does have the most bright blue eyes.  Now most alpaca breeders will know that there is a concern with blue eyed white alpacas.  This can cause a problem, sometimes there is a deafness/blindness problem associated with a defective gene in blue eyed white alpacas.
However there is another gene link that is not a defective gene, but it is associated with spotted alpacas, this can also cause blue eyes in white alpacas that have no defective genes, it purely is a spotted mutation and the spotting results in a blue eye.

Here is Zadi Blanca greeting her lovely new arrival, he has the most gorgeous long bright white fleece.  I have been watching him for any problems, but he seems to be doing fine.  Time will tell but at the moment there are no concerns regarding his sight or hearing.

This is Duke's two babies together, now a couple of weeks old and doing fine.

and here we have Tremona's little spotty grey boy all dried out.
Well I think its safe to say the maternity suite has closed for this year.  I don't think I have any more babies due although I did do more matings.  I don't think any more girls are pregnant.
The Zanzibah babies are all doing fine, its lovely to see them playing and chasing each other around.
The arrival of the babies is lovely, its a worrying time getting them here safe and sound but it is wonderful to watch them grow and be full of life ..... nature is really amazing.
Like most, I was worried how the maidens would take to their new role as mothers, but I can safely say that they are attentive mothers who clearly are devoted to their babies...
All I have to do now is watch them grow, enjoy them and look after them. 

Monday 29 September 2014

Baby Boom ....

We are having a bit of a baby boom here ..... yesterday morning around 10.45am Tremona had her baby... a lovely little grey boy !
Here he is .... only minutes old. He has lovely even markings, four huge white socks.  When I decided last year to pair Tremona with Zeto, it was a bit of an experiment.  I was hoping that we might get a grey baby ... and it looks like it has worked.

He is doing well, here is Tremona having a good look at her new baby, with a bit of a puzzled look !
So we have three new arrivals, the girls due are maidens and I'm hoping things go well.  The aim was to try and get finer greys,  I mated one grey girl Zimushka with Duke white.  The other maiden due is Zadi Blanca... she is white, but I once again choose Zeto mid grey for her.
Its quite exciting, I don't think we will be waiting too long before we find out.

Friday 26 September 2014

We have a little Dukette !

We have a new baby, yesterday afternoon Marquette gave birth to a lovely fawn girl.  This is the very first Duke baby to arrive here, hence she has been nicknamed 'little Dukette'  

Here is Marquette taking a well earned rest after delivering her lovely little girl into the world.  I was on hand to help a little as the cria had a leg bent back, once she was positioned correctly and we got both legs forward things went as normal and she was delivered quite quickly.

This is them this morning before turn out ... all dried out and looking super cute.  She is a beautiful light fawn colour and has a super soft fleece already.  So little Zorro has a play mate, he didn't have to wait long.

Ive managed to upload a little video of them yesterday afternoon.  After a little feed she was up and off ... getting to grips with those super long legs.

I have a name in mind for her, but I haven't completely made my mind up .... I wonder who will be next.  I think I have another three girls to go and then that will be the new arrivals for this year.  Unless I get some surprises as I did more matings but I don't think that any more are expecting.... time will tell.

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Zanzibah Zorro !

We have a new baby .... on Friday morning Zakhura gave birth to a lovely rose grey little boy.  He is doing very well and is full of life.  He was up within ten minutes and feeding, since then he hasn't stopped running around !  That's the way I like them, he appears to be a little whirl wind. 
I have decided to call him 'Zorro'  as his markings on his face look like he is wearing a mask.  This is him early on Friday before he dried.

Here he is at top speed .... running around checking out his speed ability... less than a few hours old!

And finally a much slower photo, he managed to walk past me and I captured a quick photo opportunity, he is now nice and dry and a lovely colour with lots of curls.  Zorro is a lovely happy little chap.  All my girls are due any time now, so I don't think it will be long before he finds a playmate. 

Ive managed to get the haylage sorted out for the winter, it was a bit of trial and error as usual and the weather wasn't great at times.  But I'm just pleased to get it out of the way, which gives me a bit more time to spend with the babies..... when they arrive, the haylage is due to be wrapped tonight, so no doubt it will be another late finish.

Wednesday 27 August 2014

Mobile Pedicure !!! ...

Well here we are again, some readers will remember that about two years ago I had Dougal's feet trimmed by the vet.  I have looked for about 10yrs to find someone who can do the job, with the facilities to manage my pet Highland Cows.  Both are really quite old now, however the youngest, Dougal has always had problems with his back feet.  Mainly due to the fact that I have failed to be able to find someone who can do !!  If you know what I mean.

Well this has now been rectified.  After a very long quest I have eventually managed to locate a very nice chap, with a special mobile cow crush who does this for a day job.  His cattle handling facilities are larger than the average cattle crush.  Which is exactly what we required.  So last Wednesday it was the day of reckoning..... I must admit I was sceptical and worried all at the same time.  On Tuesday evening it was a case of getting the cows moved down into the barn. I did have help, my contractor who does my baling came over and we moved the cows successfully into the barn rover night, to be ready for 'D' Day !!

Now the man who can is Syd !  Here he is persuading Haggis to fit into a slightly smaller gap than you would expect him to.  After a bit of time and gentle persuasion... he went forward  into the crush.

Now for the clever part... Haggis's horns were just too wide for him to get his head through, but Syd decided to remove the left shoulder bar to give Haggis some more room.... however he still could not get his head through.  It was decided to just go ahead with the job.  It was done quite quickly as we didn't want to keep him fastened any longer than necessary.  His feet were not too bad.  

This is the main one ... Dougal !  His back feet were terrible, although the vet had trimmed the two years ago, he couldn't get them done properly at the time.  But this time, access was no problem !

Here is Dougal unceremoniously being placed on his side, his feet are tied to the side of the crush and he has two massive straps to hold him secure round his belly.  Syd get on with the job....

No need for nail files here I'm afraid, its something rather more powerful.... an angle grinder.

And finally ... back in the field, like nothing had happened.   I don't know who was more stressed ....Syd, the cows or me.... but at various stages of the process it was quite worrying.
I don't drink ... but I could easily turn to drink .... if that was my day job !!
What a relief .... all round .... now its slightly less stressful, as I attempt to hay make ..... then it will be time to think of new arrivals !
The babies are due around mid September.

Sunday 17 August 2014

The Duck Collector has Returned !!

It has been a very wet week to say the least... needless to say the pond is looking good.

The pond is starting to settle and become established, this is taking some time but the plastic ducks seem to be enjoying their swim !  But not for long....

The duck collector has returned.... Doza just loves to round up the ducks.  Its a great game.  I throw them back in, they float around and he tracks them around the pond and then its collection time.

I really enjoy walking round the pond and watch it mature, I've already seen tiny frogs...  The swallows just love to swoop over the water hunting and drinking.  We have also had four real Mallard ducks come for a visit.  Just hoping Doza can spot the difference !!

Sunday 10 August 2014

Seriously ..... Slacking .... !!

The new Brahma Boys
Ok, I am guilty of seriously neglecting my blog over the past few months. 

The Peacocks are starting to look very nice.  Both have grown quite a bit and have taking to exploring around the garden ! 

I have chicks ....  this is them on the kitchen table ... when they were a week old.  They have now been moved out of the house, they are three weeks old today and the eggs were hatched by an incubator !  But don't tell Mrs Orpington who found 8 chicks under a gooseberry bush .... she just loves them and took to them straight away, which was amazing to say she wasn't even 'broody' at the time.

The alpaca girls are enjoying their sprinkler .... thankfully the weather has cooled down just a bit.  I still have loads to do .... as usual I am late doing my hay/haylage but I'm confident it will all get sorted on the next dry spell... I'm gearing myself up get cracking !!

On the job list that has been done, I have managed to get the piggies mucked out .... we did as usual have some minor mechanical issues.  Which meant I was still busy at yontime .... but we achieved the end result .....which was amazing under the circumstances.
So to the more exciting times, my babies are due mid September, by then I hope to have done all I need to do, so that I can concentrate on the new arrivals. 
I am hoping to have a talk with myself about compiling a sales list .... at some point, but I can't promise anything !......... Just Yet.