Sunday, December 12, 2010
One of the main chores of alpaca ownership is the never ending collection of droppings.
Whilst this is not essential, we choose to do it because on limited pasture it helps to keep the parasite and worm counts to a minimum,and that means happy,healthy alpacas.
Which has to be a good thing!
Nevertheless it can sometimes be a bit of a drag with around thirty animals to clear up after.
Imagine my joy then when I came across a poo-hoover for sale in a nearby village.My days of trudging around with the wheelbarrow were surely numbered.
I hurriedly arranged a viewing to see this machine that was to change my life.
To get the story into perspective this all happened about a month ago. At the viewing I wasn't convinced it was the godsend I had hoped for.However, the guy selling it used to be an agent for the manufacturers, and,having lost none of his sales patter assured me it was the bees knees and I couldn't live without it. Mindful of my apprehension he agreed to let me have it for a trial period.
So it was arranged. I collected the beast and unloaded it from the trailer ready to clear the paddocks in a jiffy.
Now,the first thing you notice about the beast is the word "PREDATOR" emblazened on all three sides in large print.
The "PREDATOR" (this should be said with a growl in your voice, the voice over of all the horror movie trailers you've ever watched).
The"PREDATOR" is the beast to make mincemeat of poo piles,the Arnold Schwarzenegger of poovers gobbling up everything in it's path.
As my trial period unfolded inbetween bouts of rain and other chores over the following weeks the "PREDATOR" turned out to be more Mr Bean than Arnold Schwarzenegger. A catalogue of mishaps too numerous to mention made the whole experience rather miserable.
Not that it was all entirely the "PREDATOR"s fault. It could suck.God it could suck.There wasn't much that didn't fly up the tube. But the tube was always in the wrong place.There's always lumps just out of reach.The whole thing was too cumbersome to manoeuvre without running through poo and thereby spreading it rather than collecting it.I couldn't get through gateways without knocking bits off the tractor. The pipe kept blocking up when I tried to do leaves,At one point I was so engrossed in watching that it wasn't blocking up that I drove straight through the fence!and then a trip through the woods to empty the thing resulted in me tipping it over on it's side. Gary Sanders style!
Ok,if I had a Quad instead of a tractor it would have been easier. If the paddocks were flat and the leaves had been dry it would have been easier. If I could train my alpacas to poo in allocated areas like Judi B's it would have been easier. But lifes not like that and now the old wheelbarrow is back in daily service.
The PREDATOR has been returned to it's rightful owner.