Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Post at last!

No, not the Royal mail, just meant blogger post.


Although we haven’t had a visit from the vet yet it looks like Rose will be our only cria this year as Jasmine and Tara are nearly at 390 days. They are bigger than Nicolette but we now think that that is just because she has lost weight since having her cria making Jasmine and Tara big in comparison. Even Anne who had been convinced that they were pregnant has conceded that it is now very unlikely and that they have probably just put on a little weight since arriving here.

Jasmine and Tara

Rose and Auntie Tara

In other croft news we decided it was time we had use of our barn back from our peacock, peahen, chickens and the 200 starlings that sneak in at night. After placing an advert in the local papers our barn was soon silent although in need of a good mucking out….another job added to the list!

I’ve finally started erecting some fencing that will split our main field which is about 4 acres into smaller paddocks of about 1 acre. This is so we can rotate the alpacas providing them with clean pasture every few weeks and also separate them from our stud who we will get next year.

Admittedly, I’ve not got very far with the fencing!

Friday, 9 October 2009

Will they ever come?

Ok, we are now at 369 days since both Jasmine and Tara were last mated, and with the normal gestation period being 315 to 370 days, we are concerned that either one or both of them won’t produce. We have compared photos of them when they arrived here back in July and they are definitely bigger around the middle but maybe they are just fatter. I have booked a visit from the vet who will hopefully determine if we are to expect anything.

Has anyone else ever hit or gone past 370 days? Here are a few pictures take recently.

Jasmine looking rounded but is it just a tummy full of grass?

What about you Tara, do you have anyone in there?

Our 1st cria and what a cutie, wee Rose at 1 month.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Wind? What wind?

As you can see from the photo below our alpacas aren’t phased by the 70mph plus winds preferring to be out and about. Only very heavy rain sees them return to their shelter in our barn. Both Tara and Jasmine (middle and right) are now at 363 days so we are expecting that they can’t go much longer without bursting. I guess they have been holding out for a calm sunny day but there’s not much hope of that for a while.

View from the beach in front of our croft

The storm having calmed a bit has left its mark.

A journalist from Fios (the local paper here) popped round for a visit last week and very kindly put an article about us. Thanks Hamish. If you click on the below picture you should be able to read it.

In other news from the croft I finally got that last load of peat off the moor but not without a struggle. As I drove onto the now soaking moor in our 4x4 the risk of getting stuck was very high and indeed was realised. Even with both centre and rear diff locks engaged the car just sunk right onto its belly. After spending several hours with a spade and trying to jack up the car to put stones under the wheels I realised I was getting nowhere fast and in fact lifting one side of the car only made the other go deeper into the muck. A call to a neighbouring farmer was required and he very kindly pulled me out with his tractor. Thanks to David from South Galson Farm however my problems were not over. After numerous times going forward and reversing it was apparent that the rear diff lock would not disengage meaning that I had to drop the car off at garage and was not to get it back for most of the week. As Anne needed our other car for work and not wanting our son to miss out on nursery I decided to get my bike out and attached a child trailer we have. Nursery was only 4 miles away and I thought the usual 5 min drive would be a breeze to cycle... how wrong could I be! I soon realised that not only would I have to cycle the 4 miles there and back but would have to repeat the feat again to pick our son up…. 16 miles and 2hrs of cycling in total and mostly uphill in both directions or so it felt! I managed this for a couple of days but with the wind and rain the following day I was glad of the excuse to keep Harris off. Thankfully we got the car back later that day and with Harris at nursery again I took the opportunity to return to the peat although this time I parked at the roadside. The last 18 bags were 200m away and again I misjudged the effort involved in carrying them across boggy ground. Anyway, after 2hrs trudging back and forward all the peat is now down and next year, I'll be sure to have it all done before the end of the Summer.