Saturday, 24 September 2011

A correction and another delivery!

Following on from my blog yesterday, announcing the arrival of Easter-Wood Dante, we reminded ourselves that we had set out to follow the Three Musketeers theme for our elite boys and clearly "Dante" doesn't fit....doesn't even come close to D'Artagnan so we have re-named him Easter-Wood Athos!!

A slightly "cleaner" version of Athos

With this correction suitably addressed, we now come to the naming of our elite male delivered this morning! Easter-Wood Porthos came into this world at 9:45 am weighing in at a healthy 9.59 kgs. His Dam is Yuralee Daisy of Cambridge and his Sire is EP Cambridge Strike Gold with genetics as follows; EP Cambridge Valour, EP Cambridge Peruvian Spartacus, EP Cambridge Equinox.

Porthos - at 6 hours old.

Porthos completes our 2011 birthing and so we are now planning for next year's show circuit and as we have recently purchased a suitable "Paca Wagon", we are looking forward to hitting the road, so to speak!

Will be back again soon.

Friday, 23 September 2011

A bright start to the day!

An early rise to this view above our farm was recorded this morning and my thoughts turned (for some inexplicable reason) to an event in British history which happened way before I was born ... the Battle of Britain!!

Anyway turning to modern history, I am proud to announce the arrival of a very healthy male cria born this morning to Eringa Park Artistry of EPC and was sired by Cambridge The Chairman of ACC. We have named him Easter-Wood Dante. Sadly, mum decided to deliver him directly on a patch of very dusty earth which has given him a distinctly filthy look!!

Easter-Wood Dante

A "sooty" looking Easter-Wood Dante seeking the milk bar!

His genetics are as follows; Jolimont Commisario, Cambridge Show Stopper, NWA Ltd Ruffo, Jolimont Encantador.

Following this mornings excitement, we then got on with other jobs around the farm, one of which is my routine "clearing up" of the spillage from the hay feeders......Whilst these feeders are meant to keep the hay/haylage within the feeder itself, our alpacas seem to be able to spread hay/haylage over an extremely wide area around the feeder! I must have cleared at least four barrow loads from the proximity of two individual feeders! Messy lot!!

Will be back again soon.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Something is in the air!

Just a short blog tonight......As Lawbreaker's Legend and Adelle are rapidly developing, they are now inseperable and whilst all cria's are gorgeous, I can't help spending so much time just simply watching these two play know what I mean...... the evening pronking and the playful tag's all so spellbinding. I guess I have to admit to being a bit of a softy really! Anyway, here are a few photo's of the aforementioned pair:

Lawbreaker's Legend and Adelle's first attempt at a kiss!

Mirror image as their attention is grabbed by chickens on the other side of the fence.

Lawbreaker's Legend wants to play rather than graze!

Adelle chases away a playful Lawbreaker's Legend

If you enlarge this photo, you can see the reflection of Sheila in Lawbreaker's Legend's eye!

The weather hasn't been to kindly today but at least we managed to clear two paddocks of alpaca poo....a job which is always quite demanding however, Sheila drove the mini tractor whilst I "poovered" this time which made for any easier and quicker task.

Signing off for tonight but will be back soon.

Monday, 12 September 2011

What a night!!

Our poor little Lawbreaker's Legend went through the mill yesterday/early this morning!!

Yesterday morning, it was evident that he had been rolling around in the mud a lot and his demeanor, to say the least was listless. During the course of the day, he would kush then roll over and kick his legs out. This he did frequently. He would then get up and walk a bit and then drop down again onto his side and again, roll. He did not take any feed from mum whatsoever during the whole day, so it was down to bottle feeding him with some of mum's milk that we had expressed. Took his temperature........that was fine but nonetheless fitted him out with his cria coat. Called the vet and went through all the likely possibilities. Took instruction all to no avail. Decided to bring him into the barn with mum and continued the bottle feeding. This carried on until late last night when we decided that we were none the wiser as to the cause of his problems and we called the vet out on an emergency!

She arrived in the early hours of this morning....checked temperature, listened to his pulse rate, checked abdomen, weighed him, took blood samples and then as we had not seen him poo yet, she administered a liquid paraffin enema! Well that certainly did the trick in quite a spectacular way!! No sooner than he had ejected the retained meconium, all of his troubles were over and within 20 minutes, he was up and feeding from mum. We all breathed a huge sigh of relief but it taught us a very important lesson.......................if you are unsure about the ailment of your alpacas, do not hesitate to call the vet!!

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Two Special Arrivals!

We are very excited about our latest cria who was born today exactly as predicted (according to our "Alpaca Manager" software). Our Cambridge Sara is always consistant not only with her gestation dates but the sex of her cria. She delivered a beautiful, healthy male cria today out of  Eringa Park Lawbreaker, this years National Supreme Champion. This is her 3rd male cria since we purchased her some 3 years ago. We have called him Easter-Wood Lawbreaker's Legend and he came into this world at noon today weighing in at 8.4 kgs. He adds to the latest foundation of our elite breeding programme for the Easter-Wood herd and we are so delighted with the genetics he brings into our herd namely; Jolimont Warrior, Jolimont Conquistador, Eringa Park Showtime, NWA Ltd Ruffo, EP Cambridge Peruvian Maximus.

 Within 20 minutes, he is getting some of mum's colostrum

Adelle looks on as Lawbreakers Legend struggles to find his feet!

Still struggling to stay upright!!

The second arrival announcement comes in the form of alpaca transportation! We have been seeking high and low for the right kind of vehicle to transport our alpacas around and until 2 days ago, we had drawn a blank. Either the vehicle was too small, too large, not enough power, wrong get the picture? Anyway, we spotted what appeared to be the perfect solution..............a horsebox! It made no sense to us to purchase the van and then spend a fortune in modifying it, so Sheila came up with the solution....a horsebox.

The aforementioned vehicle however was found in Hexham, Northumberland so yesterday, I took a plane out of Heathrow and flew to Newcastle where I was greeted by a lovely couple, Sarah and Jools who very kindly picked me up from the airport. The van is great and after a chat about all sorts, including alpacas of course, I set off back home in the newly acquired "alpacamobile".......8 hours later, I arrived back totally wiped out but satisfied that it was a good buy! We will of course be applying some signage on the bodywork but in the meantime, here is a picture of the vehicle:

Once we have new signage on it, this will be the Easter-Wood Alpaca wagon!

Will be back soon.

Monday, 5 September 2011

The next chapter for Easter-Wood Metisha

Our lovely Easter-Wood Metisha and cria are on their way north!

Sheila and I had spent some time deciding that Metisha should be sold but we were always concerned that she was our only EP Cambridge Neptune progeny currently left in our herd after Easter-Wood Navigator was sold late last year. Her pedigree was always precious to us however, but once we had commited to sell her that was that;..... or so we thought. Readers of this blog will have read that she gave birth last week to Easter-Wood Adelle, a beautiful female out of Cambridge The Chairman of ACC and we then started to have doubts about selling her and her cria once more!! From the genetics point of view, Easter-Wood Adelle has a stunning pedigree with Jolimont Commisario, Cambridge Show Stopper, NWA Ltd Ruffo and Cambridge Neptune all in her blood line! However, Barbara from Beck Brow Alpacas came to the rescue and made up our minds once and for all as she had earlier expressed an interest and since we are due another The Chairman cria from another of our elite girls, we happily agreed the sale and so both Mum and Daughter will be heading off to their new home in Cumbria some time in the future. We are actually delighted as Barbara and Paul at Beck Brow Alpacas of Cumbria are a very professional team and we know that the girls will be given the recognition and care that they deserve.

This past week has also given us a fair old challenge on the weather front too with intensely strong sunlight and very heavy (torrential) showers which severley tested my previously erected gazebo to act as a sun shade for a few of our pregnant females. This sun shade was in the form of a tarpaulin hung from the side of one of our field shelters and tethered to some Alpaca hurdles some 12 feet away. Anyway, I didn't reckon on 1) the vast quantities of water falling incessantly from the sky and 2) unexpected and intermittent violent gusts of wind which finally did untold damage to my "construction"! Two tarpaulins later, I have now admited defeat and will either purchase another field shelter or hope that our English summer is finally over!! (I can't believe I actually said that!!).

Whilst the grass is still growing (what with the rain etc) it simply doesn't have the quality that the spring growth brings and as a result, our alpacas are really demolishing our haylage stocks. Mind you, I can understand how they feel as whenever I am loading the haylage into the various feed bags, I am overpowered by the wonderful aroma of it! Fortunately, we had the foresight to order more than we were expecting to use!

I will sign out now but will be back soon.