Wednesday 3 May 2017

Jupiter, the bringer of, Joy the bringer of Jupiter!

Yesterday afternoon at 3.00, joy rang me at work to say she thought Apples was in labour, if I wanted to be there...of course I did! We were a bit concerned, as 3.00 is a bit late to start the birthing process. A little while later and the water sac appeared, followed by little white toes... then, with the head not appearing in a timely fashion and the feet disappearing back inside, we decided to have a feel as to what was going on...with Apples standing and me holding  her head, with a lubricated surgical glove, Joy found that the feet were still in the forward position, however the head was turned sideways and facing backwards. Gradually, she managed to turn the head forwards, and with steady assistance we delivered a good-sized male, although there was a moderate umbelical bleed - we quickly got a clip on that. Apples wasn't put off by the intervention (and clearly needed it), and she quickly set about sniffing and licking her amazing new possession - a boy.
He quickly shook his head and struggled to sit up, showing plenty of vigour, and although bloodied, he didn't seem at all slowed by his experience. Apples had chosen to deliver on the brow of our hill, it was dry but blowing a cool easterly wind, so we carried him down hill to a more sheltered spot and let them bond, as the rest of the females got to know their new pal.
Eventually, he found the milk (it's agonizing watching them search all around, wobbling and falling backwards), and we breathed a sigh of relief, as it was getting late. We weighed him ( A healthy 7.85kg), and put a coat on, satisfied that he had dried and that Mum would accept the coat, and called him Jupiter, an apple variety, but also astronomically appropriate, as his sire is Polaris of Alpha Alpacas.
This morning at day-break, he was sitting up brightly beside his Mum, a great sight to see. He's been drinking during the day and wandering about, with little gallops.
(yes, we've undone the loop at the back, as it can cause chafing under the tail)
We weighed him this evening, at 24 hours, and he's gained 360grammes!

North Somerset Show

After four weeks without rain, it arrived on sunday afternoon, light and steady, but during the night I heard heavy showers, so when we went out to collect the boys for the North Somerset show, they were soaking wet, but by the time we arrived at the showground, the rain had stopped and the sky was brightening - within an hour the sun was out, we got our fans blowing on Apple Vale Harvey, the junior brown male who would be in the ring within about an hour, and assisted by a breeze he was mainly dry when his class was called.

He was awarded a satisfying 2nd place, behind the eventual Reserve Champion.
The morning held fine and sunny, and Jo Bridge quickly settled into her first show as the judge - at briefing, she had asked us to let her know if she was racing too fast through the oral reasoning, as she had a tendancy to 'gabble' - not even she knew how necessary it was to become later that day.

A bank of black cloud began gathering to the north, and around four o'clock as Jo was summing-up a large class of 'lights' (I think) the rain arrived, and as it intensified so Jo became faster and faster with summing-up each placing, and it sounded like she was auctioning the animals!

Judging was temporarily suspended, and a spectacular thunderstorm passed right overhead, unfortunately taking one gazebo with it. The alpacas all cushed down in their gazebos, unconcerned by the crashing, flashing and deluge around them.

Blue skies returned, and judging recommenced - the white male classes began, and then Apple Vale Fortune was awarded first place in the adult class.
As the supreme championship got underway, another storm was looming:
It didn't come to much, but a lot of gazebos and other paraphernalia was loaded away wet, to be dried out back home -
An ex- alpaca showground;
We had a cria birth due, and I checked the 'phone regularly all day for the message that I hoped wouldn't come - fortunately no birth happened while we were away, especially seeing what was to come the following day...another post coming very soon!