Must Try Harder…

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I’ve failed again. To be honest I really didn’t try hard enough, so it wasn’t unexpected. I have been doing this for six years now (seems longer)and it just doesn’t get any easier. I like to think I am pragmatic, determined, hard working (I have kept myself busy all weekend even washing curtains ready for Christmas) but when it comes to weaning cria…I am hopeless!

Our excuse this weekend…the weather (yes OUR excuse…Paul blames me but he was the one who checked the weather forecast). It has been heavy rain for so much of the weekend and the paddocks are already sodden. The thought of poor little wet cria pacing a fence line ankle deep in mud, just wasn’t appealing. So next weekend for definite. We always seem to wean our first group on the 27th December. Paul thinks I have this psychological barrier that stops me doing it before Christmas…well, everyone should be with their family at this happy time. That’s my thought any way.

We have tried different ways of weaning: moving cria out of sight; moving cria but leaving within sight; moving dams out of sight…I still don’t know which is for the best. Part of me (the none pragmatic bit) thinks that it helps the dams by leaving the cria in sight for a couple of weeks, at least they know they are okay. I just know we are going to have some mothers who aren’t going to cope well. Magic Charm was frantically dashing about the paddock in a panic this morning because Match Point had wandered out of the barn before her and she couldn’t immediately find him.

One thing we will not have to worry about is their weights. Applause is now 48 kgs, so it really must be done. It is hard to believe that the grass is still growing in December. I cannot remember a winter when we have not fed sugar beet to nursing females. Some of the maidens, who are only on Camelibra, are really heavier than they should be. We plan to have a Weight Watchers group but the ground is too wet at the moment to have them in one of the small paddocks. Our stocking rates are approximately 3 per acre (95 ours and 41 on agistment) however we do rotate paddocks and make our own hay. We do not want to have high stocking levels as we have a good record of very low internal parasite egg counts, but keeping the girls fit for the catwalk is nearly impossible!

On Saturday night we caught up with friends who are over from Australia to spend Christmas with their family. Taking about nursing in Australia made quite a change from taking about Australian alpacas! It really was like old times with a group of us getting together. I have made some amazing friends through nursing and we look back at our days working in Intensive Care with great fondness (and much laughter – about our social life). But nursing has changed, somethings are for the better – the opportunities within nursing increase year on year – however so does the blood, sweat and tears required to keep an overstretched NHS functioning at its best. Whilst I do miss nursing (not the politics) I do appreciate how lucky I am to work full time on the farm with the alpacas…I was going to say and to have no one telling me what to do…but since I started this blog, Velvet has already had me let her out, let her in, fill her food bowl…

Whilst it has been raining for the last week, I have busied myself with indoor tasks. Something that has been on the list for months is the updating of the website. Our web designers changed our site over to WordPress in the summer and I haven’t found the time to keep it properly up to date. The first task was to update the show results. All done. Then it was putting the information on the ‘Meet The Herd’ section. This necessitated looking through files and files and files of photos. Of course hours went by as I got carried away with looking at how our herd had grown. I think it’s going to be a long time before it gets finished.

As wet alpacas don’t make for good subjects for photographs, I will share some of the photos that have made it into the ‘Favourite Cria photos 2015’ file…

Beck Brow Slinkee Minx (sire Waradene St Patrick)

Beck Brow Slinkee Minx (sire Waradene St Patrick)

The cria racing includes On The Money at the front. Such a shame that since he got injured he sticks closely to his mum and doesn’t play. He is continuing with his treatment with the McTimoney Chiropractor and there is improvement.

Beck Brow Cria racing

Beck Brow Cria racing

Beck Brow Game On has Applause by the ear

Beck Brow Game On has Applause by the ear

Beck Brow Match Point

Beck Brow Match Point

Beck Brow Chocks Away

Beck Brow Chocks Away

Beck Brow cria looking for the brush and shovel

Beck Brow cria looking for the brush and shovel

Beck Brow The Strategist

Beck Brow The Strategist

Beck Brow Tutu

Beck Brow Tutu

Velvet  with Sunset and The Strategist (Bolero behind)

Velvet with Sunset and The Strategist (Bolero behind)

Beck Brow Bedazzle

Beck Brow Bedazzle

Categories: Blog

2 comments

  1. Judi says:

    Great photos…as always “pristine” alpacas! Slinky Minx is a real stunner…love her!
    Have a great Christmas with, maybe a bit less rain than you seem to have been having recently!

  2. Shirley & Robbie Thomson says:

    Hope you are enjoying your Christmas and are not too badly affected by all the rain. All the best to you and Paul for 2016. Shirley & Robbie

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