Sunday, 21 July 2019

Harvesting all summer long

Early June brought 9 days of rain, including a thunderstorm during our village Open Gardens, for which we were invited to participate, with the added attraction of our alpacas. For a sculpture trail, we made Woodie, an alpaca out of branches:
With persistent rain due the day before our shearer was booked, I had to erect a tarpaulin to extend the field shelter where shearing could take place, and we put all 8 females into our gazebo 24 hours earlier, and shut the males into their field shelters, and we waited anxiously to see whether they would be dry enought to shear, and whether the shearer had enough space in the dry to operate. All was well, and shearing went ahead, we had harvested our fleece.
Rain continued for another 9 days, so we then had to take measures to keep them warm enough, to avoid hypothermic shock, by penning with hay bales for draught-proofing.
As the weather finally improved, our neighbour gave us notice that he would cut one of our paddocks for hay. The temperature rose to 28 degrees over five days, and, assisted by friends and grand-children, we got the bales in, filling our small barn. We had harvested our hay.
With our birthing period not due to start until mid-July, and having used our previous supplies of blood plasma, we now had time to invite our vet to take blood from a donor alpaca, who has been on farm all of her six years, and wasn't pregnant. This went very smoothly, and we set off to have it spun down to extract the plasma, at Classical Milend Alpacas. We had harvested some plasma, incase of difficulties nursing after birthing.

Finally, as we wait to 'harvest' this year's cria, some pictures of the boys: Fortune, Jupoter, and Kit:

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