Package Three young males

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Friday, April 29, 2011

Overseas Aid.

"It's the last chance we'll get to have a break"
"Can we go? can we?"
"I've checked the ferry prices,and there's one in the morning"
It was eleven o'clock on Saturday morning and the lure of the Popham open day in Cornwall was becoming too much to bare for my missus.
Like a junkie in need of a fix it had to overcome all obstacles.
"We have people just arrived in the Gite" I pointed out.
"Oh, they're ok. they have been before"
"But,Jane and Micheal are coming tomorrow"
"I can change that to this afternoon, they won't mind"
"What about Manny and Damien coming over on Monday? and they're bringing us some chickens"
"I'll ring Manny she'll understand"
I should perhaps explain at this point our chicken family had become seriously depleted and we were down to two surviving old hens, when sat outside a few days ago there was an ear piercing shriek from the hen house followed by a few thumps and old Harriot was on her back stone dead!
One solitary chicken was not much of a flock so Manny had kindly offered to get us some more in return for favours done.
Anyway, I relented. People were re-arranged and the ferry booked.
Popham Farm was bathed in sunshine when we arrived and we soon settled in to what is fast becoming our second home.
A few beers on the patio and the 'chill mode' was engaged.
Around fifty people came along on the Monday and inbetween cooking homemade sausage and burgers it was good to finally meet a few people you already felt you knew. If you see what I mean.
The highlight of the afternoon was the sale of 'Thunder' the futurity winning black male to Tim Hey and Matt Lloyd.
It all came and went too quickly and it's now back to work trying to make the grass grow!
Rainfall is about 80% down on the norm for the first quarter of the year in Brittany and it shows.
It is forecast for this weekend though, so I've been out fertilizing the fields today in anticipation.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The show season is here

First things first. French Frankie, our string eating alpaca is back to normal and grazing along with the others.He spent a couple of days mostly kushed down staring into space wondering what had hit him, but all's well now.
We're just waiting for the alpaca bean necklace to exit!
Gary Sanders from Pophams spent a few days with us last week to take in the Salbris alpaca show and try to continue their show winning run this side of the channel with a few males that stay at Quelvehin.
French alpaca shows go from strength to strength each year. The entries have grown in size (170 this time) and the quality gets better and competition harder.
Salbris was a new venue for the Concours International organised by Alpaga Developpement and only a stones throw from Vierzon where it is usually held. A fantastic stable block within the grounds of a chateau. You'll have take my word for it as I still have no photos!
We took our usual gang of three stud males plus two new boys
Judged by Matt Lloyd , Daniel and Alfonso both took first place rosettes in their respective brown classes for Gary, and Columbus was placed second in a very high quality senior white male class, losing out to the eventual show winner Jolimont Attitude owned by Alpagas Sologne.
For our part,the mighty Atlas was up in the Champions league again for the forth year running this time,taking reserve champion black huacaya.and a first place in the black fleece entry.  What a star.
Columbus and Atlas have both proved their worth in the showrings in recent years and now we shall reap some rewards with a handful of stud services already in place.We are certainly looking forward to our own C&A cria this year.

        photograghs supplied curtesy of gary sanders and ginny cobb.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ever had one of those days?

This was supposed to be an account of our weekend at Vierzon where we attended the annual alpaca show once again. But it will have to wait.
During the weekend my mobile phone was playing up and now it's dead. Went to cut the grass. Battery flat on the ride-on. Went to charge the battery. Battery charger dead. Thought I'd download the weekend photos on to the computer. Cameras knackered. So no show pics at the moment.
On top of everything else we had an emergency with one of the alpacas this evening to deal with.
We had let them onto a parcel of land around our polytunnel this afternoon with some tempory fencing as a treat because the grass was long and lush. As we did the final check around eight o'clock before they settle for the night we found one of the boys choking and coughing and in some distress.
The shelter walls were all splattered with green gunge he was spitting up.Hastily I checked in his mouth and throat for any obstruction but could see nothing.The vet was called.
All the other boys seemed fine, but while waiting for the vet to arrive I decided to check around for anything toxic we may not have noticed. What we found,in fact, was a trail of string and a tangled ball.This was the twine I use for lining up fence posts and must have been hidden in the long grass. My guess is he had swallowed a length of it. I checked again now suspecting what to look for,but nothing to see.
Anyway the vet arrived and  he's had various injections. Muscle relaxants,anti inflammatorys and what seemed like a bucket full of some oral drench which the poor mite obviously had difficulty swallowing and as a consequence a lot of it was spat or coughed over me.
It's now two in the morning and I've done the last check on him. Very drowsy, too drugged to move away so just a pathetic squeak as I stroked him goodnight. Hope he's ok in the morning.

Right, I still stink of alpaca juices and need another wash.Luckily the boilers mended and we now have hot water. Forgot to mention that one.!