Saturday 15 July 2023

Mid-season update July 2023

Well our birthing season is well underway - we have two very smart males Rockit and Rubens, but the season started sadly with a male dying during birth: 

I looked out of the window at 6 o'clock one morning to see one female with a head that had emerged, but no feet, so we rushed down, made an examination and found the legs folded back - the cria was already cold and had died, so the mum must have been like this for some time - we called the vet, who was here by 6.30, and she delivered it, and mum was given anti-biotics - a very disappointing start to the season.

Blossom delivered a healthy boy, Rockit (yes, an apple variety, but during Glastonbury Festival it was an appropriate name )weighing 10.4kg, and he has gained weight steadily, though mum has one swollen teat, which I have milked, but it refuses to reduce in size.

Next, Libby gave birth to a male just before 8 hours of continuous rain arrived - 8.75kg, and standing within 20 minutes - this gave us a predicament, because usually mum will stay away from the herd for a few hours while she bonds with the cria, but we couldn't leave him to face 8 hours of rain, so we put a coat on him, but then mum decided she would rather be in the shelter with the other 7 girls and Rockit - this became confusing, because they were too close together and Rubens didn't recognize his mum and wandered around trying to feed from all of them, and she wasn't sure who he was! So we sent most of them out in the rain exept the other mother and her cria - but Libby attacked her, presumably accusing her of stealing her cria! I still hadn't disposed of the placenta, so I got it and rubbed it along the back of the coat - mum immediately recognized him, and he went under and suckled! Joy declared me a genius, and I am still revelling in that today!

The two boys have become great pals and are always playing or sitting together. 

With the warm dry spell in June, shearing and hay-making took place smoothly, and before that we had blood taken from one of our females, and spun down to provide plasma to re-stock our supplies in case of emergency following births.

In May we attended The North Somerset Show, and were please with Apple Vale Pixie  being awarded 2nd place in her class of 7 juniors, and Reserve Champion White Female, and she came 3rd out of a class of 6 at The Devon County Show.

I've also been 'nurturing' some wildlife: I placed some small pieces of roof sheet offcuts over some nettles for the dual purpose of keeping the nettles down, and hopefully encouraging some slow worms - I hit the jackpot when I discovered two grass snakes, and three slow worms 'snuggled up' together, and much as I loathe snakes, I have an irresistable urge to check on them on warm afternoons!

We are now looking forward to more (alpaca) births in the next week or so.

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