Sunday 3 July 2016

Hawkeye and The Hip-ster.

Apple Vale Hawkeye Delicious, with Pixie, our grand-daughter.
Last saturday began sadly, with the discovery of a still-born cria, with mum sat beside him. We had been watching the dam for some time, as she was three weeks past the 11-month date - she had a still-birth two years ago, a few weeks premature, so we rested her a year and tried again. There were no obvious problems, the membranes were clear of the face, but still covered the body and feet, and there had clearly been no movement. We assume that the dam (who has always been more susceptible to mites, and abcess at injection sites) is compromised in some way, but strange that she can carry to full term, so we won't try again.
Elstar makes birth an occasion for all to share in.
Things picked up at lunchtime the same day, when Apple Vale Elstar (Sire: Qjori of Patou - Dam: A.V Bramley) had a short labour and text-book birth, and has followed with being an ideal mother.  She didn't go off on her own like some do, but stayed with the group, who all had a close look at the proceedings.
Perfect presentation, looks a bit white...
The cria, a male, named Hawkeye Delicious (an apple variety), is active, and growing well - we had 'planned' a grey, but he is brilliant white with a grey spot. There are theories about this outcome, which I will go into in a later post.
It's the Milky Bar kid!

I've checked this afternoon, and the alpaca on the right does actually have a neck and head!
Another female's due date is tomorrow, so we've been studying her for a couple of weeks, and more-so recently.
Meanwhile, I finished the new field shelter - it's called The Hip-ster, because it is a hip-roofed shelter, and the connotation with a trendy, neatly bearded city gent makes me chuckle...
The walled sides back to the south and west, against the rain-bearing prevailing winds, and provide shade to the mid-day and afternoon sun - the height is minimal to reduce wind load, and the walls are open at the top and base to reduce wind load, and provide sight for the alpacas, to encourage the to use it. currently, they are in other paddocks.
Two weeks ago, the herd were expertly and efficiently shorn by Colin Ottery, all in a morning, as I am busy with other stuff this summer.
Finally, this afternoon, we had the grass cut for hay in two of the paddocks.