Friday, November 21, 2008

Annabelle and Ozzi
Once again time has flown by. We have been busy with vendor shows, farm days and even one halter show. All of the Alpacas are doing great. Gonzo and Remus are happy for the cooler weather but they miss the Alpacas being out in the pasture daily. Gonzo is doing wonderful on his medicine and is back to his normal playful self. It really is great to see him running around again.
As I mentioned, we had one halter show in Loveland, CO the first weekend of Nov. We took Zoey, Marquez and Misty. Zoey and Marquez both took second place in their respective classes, which is great considering they were both big classes. Misty didn't place but we still feel good about the show. Here are some pictures of Zoey and Marquez - I told the guy I didn't want to be in the picture, you can see he listened!! Marquez is in the first picture, hopefully he will be ready to start his breeding career this summer. He really is a handsome boy.
This one is of Zoey, she is still my favorite. Every time I go out to feed she loves to give me kisses.Last weekend I had a vendor booth at the Denver Botanical Gardens Holiday Sale. We sold LOTS of Alpaca socks, there should be some warm feet in Colorado this year. We sold other Alpaca stuff too, but the socks are always the biggest hit. We also participated in the National Farm day with Alpacas on the Rocks then we had our own farm day later in Oct. These were all great events - we plan on having an Open Barn Day here, every Spring and Fall.
Now about the Alpacas, this is a picture of Legend. He is about 3 months old now. Jack and Macey are weaned, but Legend, Ozzi and Ninah are still with their moms and they continue to keep me laughing. I noticed a while back that Ninah would go to the place where one of the big girls had been eating her pellets and clean up what had fallen to the ground. I started putting small handfuls there and all of the sudden she was following me around until I would put her pellets down. We did that for a couple of weeks but now all three cria are eating out of the pellet bowls, and they LOVE their pellets. Of course I have to separate them from the big girls or they wouldn't get any. Ozzi seems to always have a dirty face, which is strange, but true. If I catch him he is very boisterous.

This is Ninah, I am very excited about her. Her fleece is extremely crimpy, which is a good thing.

It is time for me to start knitting again, I will try to at least make a post monthly, so please check back.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A Legend is born

I can hardly believe that fall is here - I hadn't realized it had been so long since I made a post! Since the last post we have had one more baby.... Dreamcatcher Peruvian Legend. I was out of town for the weekend and was on my way home so my husband Charlie delivered him. Thankfully the birth was an easy on and there were no problems.

Legend quickly made friends with the other cria and loves to run and pronk with them. Jack being the oldest and biggest still wants to play with the little ones and Legend will spit at him if he thinks Jack is being a bullly. Legend and Ozzi love to play together they are always neck wrestling.
I have video taped them, I just need to figure out how to get it on the blog so everyone can enjoy it and get a good laugh.

We had the vet up here last week to do ultrasounds on Nadine, Daisy and Tessa. They have all been re-bred and after 30 days we do an ultrasound to make sure they are pregnant. Nadine is confirmed, Tessa could be carrying twins (not a good thing) and Daisy didn't hold the pregnancy. I was concerned for Daisy because I kept feeding her extra and she wasn't gaining any weight, so we did a blood draw on her to check the levels and the vet now has me feeding her Soybean meal for some added protein. After a week she seems to have gained.... our scale broke a couple of days after Legend was born so I haven't been able to weight her, but we also do body scores. You feel the backbone right behind the front shoulders and it should be V shaped, a U would be heavy and concave V is thin. Anyway, Jack will be 4 mths old next week and I will be weaning him. I usually like to wait until they are about 6 mths but for Daisy's health we are doing it early. He should be fine, he is eating lots of hay and loves the pellets!

We also managed to get Gonzo down to the vet last week. I was dreading it because they hate leaving the pasture and they hate car rides, but he did wonderful!! We thought that they would do a skin biopsy but the dog vet took one look at him and thinks he has a autoimmune problem. He is now on Prednisone twice a day and is doing better already. He isn't 100% but it is great that he doesn't spend all day in the barn now. And he isn't scratching as much. The vet said it could take 6 mths to be totally gone.
This is a picture of Ninah - she is still the cutest, with her grey ears.
I will work on getting the video to upload, hopefully by next time I post I will figure it out.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

butterflies, more crias (babies)

As the summer is flying by we have busy here. Annabelle gave birth to Ozzi on Monday. It was day 342 for her. Lady is the last one due and today is day 354. Lady is the white one you see in the picture. Of course all of the alpacas are interested in the new kid, they try to get theirs noses under the fence or through the wires. Annabelle is a great mom, lots of clucking and humming going on. There was only one issue with Lady, while Ozzi was still drying off and getting his bearing, Lady decided that she liked him....??? He was still in the corner of the barn where he was born and Annabelle was cushed (laying down) with her head out the door, Lady came over to smell him and decided she was going to lay next to him. I had to physically push and shove Lady to one of the other stalls, she is not an animal that likes to be touched, so I found this kind of odd. It makes me wonder if because she is so close to having hers if she was going to take possession of him. I kept her with the other girls and their babies until Annabelle and Ozzi had time to bond, about 3 hours. All is well now. Lady doesn't really want Ozzi anyplace close to her.

The picuture above on the left is Ninah. She will be 3 weeks old tomorrow. I think she is our cutest baby this year, I love her gray ears and her short nose. The one on the right is Ozzi - I guess brown is my color. I put in this picture of the butterfly because I liked it and just wanted to share.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Meet Ninah

We have been watching Jenis for about 2 months - she looked like she swallowed a football, which they normally do for a couple of days, then the baby repositions and it doesn't look that way anymore. But she has been huge!! I haven't left the house for more than an hour. I have been in need of a haircut for a while now so I decided to make an appointment for Friday afternoon. Wouldn't you know it when I got back home.... there she was!

Thank goodness it was a normal birth!! The placenta was out too, but only half of it. I called the vet to find out what to do, and as luck would have it she was in the area. When she got here she was cleaning under the tail preparing to manually get the rest of it out... yikes, that doesn't sound very good, but the rest came out on its own, WHEW, that was a relief.

Jenis is an excellent first time mom. She just stood still and let Ninah figure out where the milk bar was. They are so unsteady on their feet, they are all over the place, but Jenis was very patient. As you can see in this picture her front legs look a little bit like they are bending the wrong way, so thats something we will be keeping a close eye on.

We have two births left to go - Lady and Annabelle. I don't think either one of them will have it in the next couple of weeks, but you never know.

Below is an updated picture of Macey Grae. She has grown and is beautiful. There isn't much crimp to her fleece, yet, but we have high hopes that it what grows will have some crimp to it.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The bear is still around

Ok this might not look like much but its about as close as I would like to be to the bear who has decided that our neighborhood is home for him. This picture was taken at about 8:30pm last week and this is about the third time we have actually seen him, so I know he has been around more than that. He likes our neighbors bird feeder. So far he hasn't given ours a try but I think its because Gonzo and Remus raise quite a ruckus when he is around. We also have four hot wires on the outside of our pasture fences and keep the driveway gate closed at night.

As you can see, Just Jack is growing big. Last time I
weighed him he was about 42 pounds. I am feeding Daisy extra pellets to try and keep her weight up. We have rebred her to Mousse for a 2009 cria and she is making lots of milk for Jack, so she needs the extra nourishment. The only problem is now everytime I go to the barn, which is often since I am on baby watch again, she thinks I am coming to feed her more alphafa pellets. I have to pay attention to what she is doing, otherwise she will pinch whatever she can get ahold of in her teeth. I have discovered that she likes to have her chin scratched though, we'll see how long that lasts, once the pg hormones really kick in that will be a thing of the past. Jack and Macey are making a race track out of the paddock. I can't let them out in the pasture daily anymore, since we don't have the rain, so every evening they make the loop. I hope we get some moisture soon so they can go back out more often.
You can see from this picture that the grass is scarce. Nadine is such a great mom. We are trying to get her rebred to a grey male, but he is only 22 months and not quite ready. We will try again this weekend.
I am also on baby watch for Jenis, Lady and Annabelle. Jenis has looked like she swallowed a football for a couple of months and I was concerned that the baby wasn't positioning right but yesterday she started pooching under the tail - YEAH!! Annabelle is already pooching and she isn't due til the very end of the month. Lady hasn't pooched but she holds her tail up constantly, so I think she is good. All of them are super grouchy. And thats being nice about it. I just came in from checking on them and Jenis was by the barn door and Lady comes up and all the sudden its a spit fight. Jenis is usually the low girl in the pecking order and she has been spitting at anyone who walks by. Tomorrow will be day 341 for her it should be a good day for a baby. I will keep you posted.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

It has been a busy couple of weeks. Macey and Jack are great friends now and love to run and play. Macey is still taller than Jack but Jack weights more. Jack is about 40 lbs and Macey is about 27 lbs. We haven't been putting them in the pasture everyday because we haven't gotten any rain. I put them out today and they got to stretch their legs. Last week when I brought them all in, I had a good laugh at myself. The greenest grass is down in a far corner and when I called them in Misty was the last one to come through the gate and as she ran past me, she kicked and got me right in the butt. It was funny, like she planned it.
We have a bear hanging out in our area. I know that there has been a Momma and her babies, but we usual don't see them, and this one is by himself. He was snacking on our neighbors bird feeder last Saturday evening and we saw him again yesterday morning.
We also have a bunch of birds at our bird feeders. This is a picture of Crossbill - we had some come through last year, but they only stayed around for a few days. We have seen as many as four at the bird feeder at the same time and it has been about a week that they have been here.

It takes a while for Macey and Jack to slow down, but eventually they slow down and enjoy being in the pasture.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Meet Macey Grae

Today started out like any other, first thing I do is check on Nadine. She was acting normal, she ate her pellets and hay, and was grouchy with Just Jack, nothing unusual about that. I usually put them in the pasture around 10am and they are always ready and waiting for me to open the gate. So I let them out and I am cleaning water buckets and keeping my eye on them. At around 10:45 I noticed that Nadine was laying under a pine tree, not eating, that is unusual so I told my husband Charlie that we needed to get the girls in. In the barn I separate Nadine from the other girls, for their safety more than hers (not really, but she is SUPER B.......y) I can tell she is in labor because her breathing is faster than normal, plus she keeps going to the poop pile and nothing is happening. She lays on her side and I can see something white up in there. Everytime it looks like a nose might pop out, she gets up and everything disappears. She does this about 4-5 times then all of the sudden there is a white nose, I can tell its a nose because it is trying to get some air. The nose is white but the nostril slits and the mouth look like black lines, so I am telling myself and Charlie, thats ok greys usually have white faces. What seems like forever, but is really a few minutes I can see the eyes and there is a dark color, could it be????? I only have to wait a few minutes more and the front legs pop out and sure enough, they are GREY this is what we were hoping for when we bred her to Monroe, a grey. This is the only kinda icky picture, but I like to share, it is a miracle after all. Notice the other girls are very interested in what is going on. If they get to close Nadine will spit at them, that is why they are on the other side of the fence.
Now, is it a girl or a boy, this takes a little longer. But it is a girl and she is GREY... BONUS!!!!!

It took quite awhile for her to stand up. Below is one of the attempts, but she wasn't successful until about 2 hrs after she was born.

Here she is finally up and she has really long legs. Her balance isn't the greatest yet, but before long she is up and looking for food. Nadine is a great mom, she is really patient and just stands still waiting for her baby to latch on, which she does eventually.

The vet will be up here on Monday to draw blood so that we can make sure she is BVD negative and also to find out if she got enough colostrum in the first 24hrs of life. All the other alpacas are looking around and trying to get a sniff of the baby. For the next couple of days we will keep them separated, unless I put them in the pasture, but at night and for regular feedings, Nadine will have no one to spit at.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

My Birthday Yarn Give Away!!

My hope is that once you visit this blog and see the beautiful alpacas and their guardians (Gonzo and Remus) you will visit often to find out what is what is going on with them. I am currently on baby watch for Nadine… anyday now, and I have three more due in July.

Back to the yarn give away. My birthday is July 25th and my goal is to have at least 150 people signed up for the give away by then, if I don’t have at least that many, I will extend the deadline to Sept. 2nd, my son’s birthday. So please spread the word. How to enter… leave me a comment on this blog and tell me about your first handmade craft project you can remember. Here is mine, I have two sisters (I’m the middle) and my mom was always making something by hand, of course we wanted in on it so we each were given a set of pillow cases to embroidery. I had to be in about the 4th grade, I don’t think I ever finished that project, I took up knitting (4H) instead. Please be sure to leave your name in the comment, check back on July 25th and I will announce the winner and we can iron out the details of where to send the yarn. The yarn will be my choice but will definitely come from one of my alpacas, check out my yarn on ETSY. Be sure to check back often as I will be keeping you up to date on the number of entries. Thanks for playing!
Mousse and Yuban enjoying the pasture
Just Jack and Daisy

If you have a problem leaving a comment, please convo me on ETSY and I will get your name added.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Kickin' it up a notch!

I have been trying to come up with a way for my ETSY site to start selling more.... I think I have a plan, but you will have to check back in a day or so, I am still working on the details.

Today is a cloudy day but it is still pretty warm out, today would be a good day to have a baby....Nadine. I was just putting them out in the pasture and decide to get some new pictures, so here is Nadine. Happy as a clam and holding on to that baby.

Her belly doesn't even look that big any more, from this angle, that baby is low and should be popping out soon. Look at the pictures below and she does look bigger. I also got some pictures of Gonzo and Remus doing their job. A lady was walking up the road with her german shepard and they really don't like that. Gonzo was over in the other pasture and heard Remus barking, he is still stiff, I had to give him his doggy asprin this morning. If he thinks there is a threat around he doesn't give any signs that he isn't 110%.

Of course, not to be left out, Brutus our little rescue llasa has to get in on the barking. He heads down the driveway so I call him back and all the girls run to the fence to see what he is, and is he a threat?

I totally forgot to take a picture of my red and white yarn - dangit! I will get that posted next time. Be sure and check back for the "My Birthday Yarn Give Away" and tell your friends about it too.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Enjoying the sun!!

This is Marquez our new herdsire. Although he won't be ready to breed until next year (I hope). He took a third place at GWAS in May, it was a tough class so we were happy he got what he did. He arrived at our farm the end of March. He had been on the transport trailer for 5 days and was quite happy to get off, until he saw Gonzo and Remus. But he likes them now. He is a noisy guy, but very sweet. Once you get him cornered he stands still, but makes squealy noises. He also likes to put his head through the fence to get the grass on the other side, he has been stuck a few times. I will be glad when he grows enough that his head won't fit through the fence.

It finally feels like summer could happen! I have been putting the alpacas in the pasture for about 2 hours everyday and they are loving it. Just Jack is growing and is in need of a playmate. I need to figure out how to post videos on this blog so I can share his antics when I let them out each day. He runs as fast as he can across the pasture and back again, and he seems to like antagonizing the girls. Of course their heads are down eating and he runs by as close as he can, sometimes he jumps over their heads then turns around and chest butts them. None of them like it, they are all grouchy and can't stand each other, let alone a little guy who wants to play.

Nadine is on day 345 so any day now is good. I have a feeling that I will have to separate Nadine and her cria from Daisy and Jack, until the new one is strong enough to stand up to Jack, he really is a handful.

This picture was sent to me by the farm we were shearing at on the 24th. I am the one in the dark blue shirt. This is a better picture than in the previous post because you can see more of the process.

You can see the ropes that are on the front feet and the back feet are on ropes too. The guy standing up is the head guy (not the one in charge) , usually he has a hold of the alpaca by the ears, but in this picture he is moving the fleece away from the body of the animal and its head is between his legs. Then there is the shearer and then the fleece people (that's me) we are putting this fleece on a sheet so the owner can show it in competitions. This was the day we did 72 alpacas!

I have finished my white and red yarn, I have washed it and it is drying. I will have a picture of it very soon. And it will be for sell on ESTY - which by the way I sold my first skein yesterday YAHOO!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Memorial Day weekend... a day of rest?

Once again the weekend finds us helping friends with shearing. We possibly have one more day in June and then we are done! We left the house Saturday before 7am and went to two different farms for shearing. My job this weekend was to get the fleece and place it on a sheet for skirting later. Although this doesn't sound difficult by the time 72 animals are shorn I was ready to stop!! That was my primary job, but there is always lots of other little things to do, like placing the rope on the legs and sweeping.... lots of sweeping. I have knee pads that I wear but I still have bruises on my knees. Shearing is always fun, but I am always glad that it's over. I was exhausted on Sunday. The picture above is from last years shearing, thats me in the purple. The alpaca is First Lady. They are stretched out and it really doesn't cause them any pain. It is usually over in about 5-6 min.

Now back to my herd. Just Jack is growing fast, he has gained about 1 lb per day and is up to 25 lbs. He has lots of energy and runs circles around Daisy, literally. He tries to get her to neck wrestle too, which is really cute, he doesn't budge her. When they were in the pasture on Sunday he tried to get Jenis to neck wrestle too, without success. But he was giving it his all!

Nadine is on day 338 today. See has made a small bag, but I don't expect her to deliver until sometime next week. This will be her fourth cria and the other three have gone to around day 345, so we still have a few days. Besides it is a little chilly and rainy here, it should start to warm up tomorrow. She has been bred to a grey male in hopes that we will get a grey (girl) out of her. Both of her grandparents on her dams side are grey, so it is possible.

Update on Gonzo. I heard back on the blood results and he doesn't have lyme disease or heart worms. He still is very stiff in the front legs so I picked up some doggy pain killers at the vets on Friday. Its hard to say if they help. He does move around some but he is still stiff, I don't know if I didn't give him any if he would just lay in the same place all day. He will run to chase a rabbit and his appetite has never been bad.

I did have enough energy this weekend to continue my spinning project. I am spinning Lady's fleece and plying it with some red Kid mohair that I purchased. It came out pretty good.

You can check my etsy site this week. I will have picture of it and it will be for sale as soon as I get it off my bobbin and washed.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A week has already flown by!!

I can't believe that one week ago today it was snowing and we were getting ready for shearing. We have had weather all over the spectrum this week, snow, sun and rain. The alpacas are all taking it in stride. When I go out to feed in the morning usually Annabelle is shivering a little, but once she starts eating and converting the hay to energy she is good to go. Besides, the sun hits their side of the barn first, as long as it is shining.

I had the vet up here on Tuesday she checked out Gonzo's legs and drew some blood. She was thinking he might have lyme disease, but the test came back neg. so we still aren't sure why sometimes his legs hurt him. But he is up and running around for now. The vet also trimmed Brunos front teeth, and checked Yubans. Yuban's baby teeth didn't fall out, so now he has two rows of teeth. He still has one that hasn't surfaced that is kindof in the bottom of his mouth, so we will wait for it to come through then pull them all at once. Don't worry, he will be asleep for the process.

This picture is of Mousse our herdsire and Misty who is about 12 months old. I took it on Saturday when I put them out in the pasture. Misty may be young but she is always the one at the fence flirting with Mousse. Misty is the one with the fuzzy ears.

This is Jenis, I took the picture just as she was getting up from her dirt bath. She was our first cria born on our farm and now she is going to have one of her own in July. She is bred to a black herdsire, so we will see what color we end up with. Before she was bred, she was very friendly and liked to have her neck scratched, but not anymore.

This weekend is more shearing at other farms, I will let you know how that goes.

Monday, May 19, 2008

And baby makes 16!

What a busy weekend!!! On my last post it was Tuesday and it snowed about 8 inches, it also snowed all day Thursday.... about 8 inches more. Our shearing day was Friday and despite my best efforts (I put fans up in the barn after it stopped snowing on Thursday) all the fleece was still pretty wet. But, we have had our shearing day scheduled since Feb. so there was no putting it off. Paul the shearer and his helper Darcy got here about 6:45 on Friday morning. I wasn't even done with the chores yet, but I would rather they be early than late. By the time we got the mats and the ropes set out and the last load of animals from another farm got here, plus all the help arrived it was about 8:15 when we started and it was about 25 deg. outside... a little chilly. I was able to take some pictures on Wed. between the snow storms so here are some before and after pictures.
Misty and Tessa (taken Wed before shearing)

Lady, Annabelle, Nadine, Jenis (taken Saturday after shearing)

They all look funny without all that fiber. Boy am I glad that it is done for the year. My garage has fiber spread out everywhere, drying out. Daisy was one of the last to be shorn, but she seemed to take it all in stride and no signs of baby.... yet.

We finished shearing at our farm about 11:30 so we had lunch and and most of the group headed to another farm to help with their shearing. I had kid duty so I picked up my kids and took them where they needed to go, then headed back home to check on Daisy. It was about 2:30 in the afternoon and everything seemed fine with her so I went to the other farm to help out. We finished up at around 5pm. When I pulled in the driveway I could see Daisy cushed (laying down) in her paddock with little ears sticking out on top of her back. I headed to the barn and there he was, a beautiful boy!! He got up and started nursing so I knew he had been on the ground for a few hours. I had to check the placenta to make sure it was all there and it was cold, more evidence that he arrived a few hours before, here is a picture of Just Jack! The picture at the begining is with his mom.

Just Jack - catchn' some rays
I think his color will be the same as Daisy's, which is great, it is my most popular yarn. The next one due is Nadine and I have a few weeks to wait for her.