Saturday 8 January 2022

End of 2021 report

The mums and cria taken from a drone.

 Well this is a bit late, but here we are into the New Year, and I'm only just producing the finale to last year.

Apple Vale Nova

At the beginning of August, two weeks after the birth of Norman, Apple Vale Katy, a maiden, gave birth to Nova at 354 days, an 8.73 kg light fawn boy, sired by  Hemicoyo Matrix of Urcuchillay. The birh was normal, and he started to feed in good time, but his weight dropped more than usual after 24 hours, and then only slowly gained after that at around 100g per day - we tried goat's milk, and gold-top cows milk, but he would only take small amounts (20-100ml). Katy always appeared to allow him plenty of time to nurse, her teats were in good condition, and after 30 days he had gained 3.5kg - it was frustrating, as we had been used to cria gaining between 200 and 400grams per day - we could find no reasons for the slow rate of gain, and were at least satisfied that he wasn't losing weight at any time, so accepted it, but have kept a regular check on his weight, and he's still progressing slowly but surely.

Apple Vale Ozark Gold (Ozzie)

 Three days later, Blossom (Redingvale Valentina) delivered a strapping boy at 10kg, another light fawn, Ozark Gold, or Ozzie to his friends. Sired by Apple Vale Jupiter, he has a fabulous fleece, and he has developed well.

Four weeks after giving birth to Norman, Alice, at the age of 2years and 2 months, surprised me one morning, when she joined in at the feed troughs, and started eating mineral supplement, which she had never done since birth, and has done so every day since!

In early September, we joined in with the BAS Open Alpaca Farm days, and welcomed visitors from our village.

Visitors enjoy the company of alpacas during the Open Day.

 We entered two fleeces in the South West Alpaca Group Show, and were pleased with Libby (Apple Vale Liberty) gaining 2nd place Light in a class of 10, and Gus (Popham Augustus) our stud male being awarded Reserve Champion Light, judged by Mary-Jo Smith.

It was a generally mild and dry autumn, the paddocks held up well until significant rain came at Christmas, and the home paddock became a quagmire. I spotted a case of fly-strike at an early stage on our whether one evening, which just proved the value of checking your animals twice a day.

Mums and cria relax in the shade, on a warm September day.

 We had the pregnant females scanned in October, with 100% positive, and so we look forward to this year's births and shows, with weaning, halter-training and getting through these dark months, distributing 'tons' of hay to keep up their condition with little nutritional grass, and trying to manage the paddocks to avoid any paddock becoming beyond recovery - paddock cleaning is really difficult: the ground is too wet for the machine, and the poo is too wet for the vacuum hose.

Apple Vale Emily under the Willow.