Sunday 19 July 2015

Droning on - Gala progress.

Gala has been progressing well - she is now eleven days old, and has averaged over 300grams per day weight gain. With alternating showers and warm sunshine, she has cleaned her fleece from the mud that stuck through being born into the rolling pit, and is now a lustrous bright white.
She shows the fabulous comformation of her dam, Apples, sire CCNF Talon and grand-sire, Dovecote Jaquinto.
We had a bit of fun this week, when a friend brought his 'drone' over, with mounted camera, and took some aerial shots and film of the herd:
As with any photography of animals, it takes time to get the views that you want, but it also gives further fascinating insight into their behaviour as a herd, and as individuals - if you have observed your herd when a perceived threat such as a cat or dog is seen, the youngest members of the group will be surrounded by the older ones forming a protective ring. In the first aerial picture above, with the exception of the white cria, whose mother has a different agenda, and keeps her close by, the fawn at the centre is a yearling, and the others kept her at the centre while they weighed up whether this was a threat. (and for the avoidance of doubt, of course we didn't fly close enough to spook them seriously, and we have no more pregnant ones).

Monday 13 July 2015

Introducing, Apple Vale Gala

No, we are not holding a fete (gala) - last wednesday, 'Apples' gave birth to a lovely female, Gala,
sired by CCNF Talon of CME. At 12 o'clock Joy had seen her and there was no odd behaviour, then when she did a head count at 3 o'clock we had one more! She had clearly been born an hour or so before, as she was sitting up, though she was damp and covered in mud, having been 'deposited' in the rolling pit! It has taken until today, for the mud to wash out with the rain (fortunately!), as it had quickly become baked-in by the sun!
For the first time in breeding, we did not witness the placenta being discharged, which I always dispose of, nor could we find it either. It must have been punctured and quickly taken by crows or a buzzard - I eventually found the remains in the boys paddock four days later! Gala was 8.95 kg, and she is tall, just like her parents, and full siblings, Empress and Fortune. Being born takes it out of you, as the next sequence shows:

 She has put on 1.3kg in five days, which is excellent progress, and her fleece is bright and full of promise.
Meanwhile, matings have commenced, and we have a couple more arranged for next week, so the plans for next year are being put firmly in place - exciting times! We have had a steady flow of guests for B & B, who all ask to meet the alpacas, and they all comment on how calm our herd are, and want to take one with them!