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!!