Sunday 15 May 2016

North Somerset Show and more.

The Show was held on May2nd. A band of rain was forecast to arrive around 11.00 and to leave around 3.00. We all arrived in dry weather, but a few spots of rain had us urgently erecting gazebos, only for it to fizzle out. The show started, with judge Liz Barlow assisted by apprentice Viv Darcy. Rain arrived 'on time', during the blacks and browns, making judging very difficult. We gained a third place for Apple Vale Florina, sired by Van Diemen Qjori of Patou.Intermediate Brown Female.
The rain passed and the sun came out around 3.00 as forecast, and after being chilled by the seeping rain, we slowly warmed up. Then we had Apple Vale Gala (sire: CCNF Talon of Classical MileEnd) in the Junior White Female class, and were delighted to gain second place in a class of six.
Finally, Apple Vale Fortune (sire: CCNF Talon of CME) was awarded a "well deserved" (judges quote) first in the Intermediate White Male class. The ground dried up, and all was pleasant for packing up. A lovely show, always.

Meanwhile back at the farm I have begun constructing a shelter for our farthest paddock - it will be a simple, two-sided open shelter in the corner, but I wanted to create something individual, sculpted to the land which has a gentle slope, but is exposed to a long open fetch of levels, so I designed it to have low sloping eaves to minimise the wind resistance, with a hipped roof for some 'elegance', and a cantilevered canopy for extra cover. That's my theory - so it's not an off-the-shelf rectangular box, but something I am crafting and enjoying, saving in cost, but spending a lot of time building in fine weather with the alpacas observing.
The wall stud frames laid out.
Walls erected and temporary hip prop in place.
Hip rafter and verge rafters in place.
Truss assembled.
Jack rafters and purlins in place.
 We are just about to enter our birthing window with the first due, Caton Freedom, and she is rather susceptable to mites, so noticing some patches on her legs we gave her Eprinex in pig oil down the back line, (she is also prone to abscess at injection sites) and Udder Salve on the legs - I tried to check the condition of her teats, and she is quite a placid girl, but being pregnant she's a little guarded, and while on my hands and knees peering under her belly, she gave me a kick on the nose! Luckily, it must have been at the end of her range, because although it smarted a bit, and I thought it could be broken, there was no damage.

This week we also replaced our plasma supply - the vet came and took a donation of blood from Apple Vale Autumn Gold, who was very calm about it, and we took it to Classical MileEnd to be spun down.

The warm weather this week has brought our shade/shelters into use,
as the herd have been feeling the heat:

And finally, completing the news round-up, we gave Apple Vale Fortune his first 'session' with a lady - both he, and Pelachuta, an experienced dam, were keen, and we hope this will show he is ready to start his stud career - more as this develops.

Well, it's the Devon County Show this week, so fingers crossed for good weather, good competition, and good be continued.

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