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Friday, July 13, 2012

The great pretender and a few visitors

Ok, Time to come clean. I feel a bit of a plonker. Fannys not pregnant. She's been pretending all along. Probably our best female, and one cria we were really looking forward to, now isn't going to happen I'm sure. She spat off half a dozen times after mating last year and I can't explain what the bulging was some six weeks ago but I've given up hope now and she's back in the teenagers field in disgrace.
No more 'mum to be' extra rations for her.
Jonah is putting on weight too slowly. He's only gained 200grms on his initial birth weight in a week. Although he seems fine it's not enough gain so he's now getting a supplementary bottle and Mums had a few jabs of Oxytocine over the last three days to see if we can bring more milk on.
It's been a full on week one way or another. With an outbreak of mites to deal with and a sick suri needing round the clock monitoring we also had close on 40 visitors from the AIKB organisation visit us on Tuesday and then on Wednesday 11 students with a few teachers from a Loudeac College studying textiles spending the day here.

AIKB visitors arriving

overflow carparking
coffee break

Loudeac Students

Discovering spinning


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Jonah and the worry

He are a few more pictures of our first cria of the year. Now named Jonah.
He should be called Toast as he's mostly dark brown but a bit burnt round the edges.

His fleece has changed alot in three days. From the long straight mop in the new born picture,it has shrunk into nice tight short bundles.

Fanny is still a cause for concern. Today is exactly one year from her last mating date and now I'm starting to think she may have lost it along the way. One month ago she had the tell tale sign of bulging ladybits as often happens a couple of weeks before a birth. But now she isn't acting pregnant at all.
We had a little heart to heart in the field this evening and had plenty of opportunity for a good feel around but could feel nothing. The fact she was so  relaxed suggests to me she is either open or sick.
It's a bit of a mystery. More investigation tomorrow.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present.....

The first arrival of the year greeted us this morning at 8.30 in the middle of a downpour.
 It was Tia's. Sitting and still coated in the birth membrane,so not many minutes old.
By the time we had got a towel, iodine and cria coat to the scene and checked mums milk was turned on the rain had stopped and we were able to dry it off and put a coat on before the next shower.
Not quite the cracking black girl we were hoping for but a dark brown boy will do nicely.
He's 8 kilos and full of beans but as yet unamed.

Will post some better pictures when he's dried off properly.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Where's our babies?

Everybody seems to be having cria at the moment, except us. I can't bear the waiting any longer.
Tia is currently at 354 days and Fanny is 361 days ! and not looking at all pregnant.
For weeks I have been keeping an hourly lookout in the field only to find things all hunky dory.
Quite a few mornings I could have happily laid in for a extra hour or so. But no.You have to get up and check.
Traipsing out in your dressing gown whilst the kettle boils only to find you should have stayed in bed.
It's all getting a bit annoying now. Some of the older girls due in August are definately pregnant carrying quite visable packages around with them and Bali's belly is amazing to watch with the cria turning cartwheels and trying to punch it's way out all the time.
 But Fanny keeps us guessing. Perhaps she is waiting for a change in the weather. It's actually been raining for days now so maybe it's just as well.
We did have a timely break in the weather on Saturday where we attended the local village agricultural comice at Malguenac. As well as a display of some pretty awesome machinery, including a tree eating monster that reduced whole trees,three or four at a time into tons of chippings in a matter of minutes, there was the usual cattle and Breton horse competitions.

 The alpacas drew a crowd as always and we sold a bit of our yarn. As it was only five minutes away from home we were able to nip back to keep up the cria birth checks. At the end of the day we had time to take the animals home and get back for the repas which included some fantastic hams that had been slowly cooking behind our stall all afternoon.