• Ups and downs

    Well it's been a week of ups and downs. We sadly lost our first cria of the year last Tuesday 4th June. It was Kattia's first cria and she was badly positioned so after a long labour she was stillborn. It was very sad but our friend Liz Barlow came to help as did our vet Ricky. It was hard for Amy, our oldest daughter, as she hasn't seen anything like that before and the cria was perfectly formed. After waiting 11 and a half months for this baby it seemed such a waste and even sadder that it was a girl. Amy named her Bella. But thankfully Kattia has either accepted what happened (as we left her with her cria for some time) or hasn't a clue! as she seems quite happy and content. As is often the way with a difficult birth the third stage was complicated and we had to call Ricky back the next day to deal with a retained placenta. After three days of antibiotics she seems just fine and is happily moving with the herd and eating.

    Then two days later Jasmine gave birth to a little boy, Barney who is just the cutest thing! We all adore him. His birth was a little scary but I'm sure that was because we were all anxious after Kattia's experience. He weighed a healthy 8kgs and was up on his feet within 10 minutes and feeding within 45. His mum is fiercely protective of him which is fascinating to watch. The other fascinating thing is how Lucinda, a maiden, is completely intrigued by the whole birthing process. She was right by the fence when Kattia was giving birth to Bella whilst the others were away grazing, and again whey Jasmine had Barney she was right there all the time. Jasmine even told her off a few times for being in her space! When Barney was born she was nudging him and sniffing him. When he was up on his feet she even showed him where to feed. She did the same last year with Eclipse when Alice was born and needed a little assistance. We will be mating Lucinda this year so she'll hopefully have a little one of her own next year.

    And then today was our second open afternoon, only 2 weeks after the last. We didn't plan to have another so soon but had discovered "Open Farm Sunday" which is a national event that occurs every year in June. It is organised by a charity called LEAF and is to encourage farms to open to the public, just for a day. We signed up and as a result met some lovely people today. It was great to see so many new faces on the farm and all seemed utterly intrigued by the alpacas and the children enjoyed grooming the ponies, holding the rabbits and guinea pigs and making their own alpaca to take home with them! The cake went down well and it was great to have the help of my best friend Becky and my brother Mark and girlfiend Jenny. I was so proud of Jessica and Rosie who helped out. Unfortunately Amy was working today and she's sad to have missed out. I thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon but am exhausted now!

    Our ducklings are due to hatch sometime next week although we only have two eggs remaining from the six we originally had. I'm really hoping these two are viable and make it to Wednesday, when they'll be 28 days as it would be lovely to have a couple of ducklings!

    I am still awaiting news on the piglets but have been given a fantastic opportunity to trial a pig ark for a friend of ours which will do us a huge favour and them, if we can give feedback as it is a prototype. Feel in two minds about the pigs - the plan is that we fatten them up and then send them off to be turned into pork chops. Rosie is determined to never eat pork again if we do that! Not sure we'll be able to go thru with it. We've been told not to name them so as not to get attached but wondered if we called the crispy bacon, pork chop and sausage it might make it easier!!???

    Work on the farm continues with lots of grass to cut and weeds to dig! We are half way through seeding our lawns and could do with some rain! James and Amy have successfully sheared 27 of our alpacas and they have all had a good MOT with toenails trimmed, teeth filed, injections and a good check over. We have Kattia and Jasmine to do yet but will give them a couple of weeks to recover from their births. James and Amy are off to shear for someone else next week which is great!

    Then it's the fleece to skirt and sort ready for sending off to be turned into yarn. I would like to have some alpaca socks made first as they are the best socks ever! Might even have a go at knitting a little myself if I ever get any spare time!

    Hoping for a quieter couple fo weeks - but unlikely to get them!!

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