Monday 28 June 2010

The Update Arrives

Here is the new updated blog from the earlier one posted today. It has been a fantastic start to the week here at WillowBank Alpacas, this morning saw the arrival of our first Cria for 2010 at 16 days early. Lisa was on hand and stepped in to clear the airways and a quick examination of the Cria revealed that we have been given a very dark brown little boy.

We have decided to call him WillowBank Coco he was soon up on his feet after a little stumble and mum was on stand by with the first feed.

WillowBank Coco feeding from Mum

Its hard to describe what it feels like to finally have are own Cria born on our farm, this whole business started so long ago and to now finally have are Alpacas on our farm with are own Cria's being born feels like we have climbed a massive hurdle to get to this stage in our lives.

Our daughter Lily is so at home here and has become a completely different person since we moved onto the farm, she has come out of her shell in leaps and bounds and insists on taking visitors to the farm on a full guided tour, stopping to give her favourite Alpaca a kiss.....

Lily and Gieves
We hope this new arrival is the start of good things to come for us and our journey into the Alpaca world has begun......
That's all for tonight, as I have been for my MRI scan this evening and its had strange effects on me, its left me aching and a little unwell.
Back soon with more photo's and updates on Coco progress.

Our First Cria Of 2010

Hi Folks

Just a very quick blog to say WillowBank Alpacas have seen the birth of our first Cria born this morning. A lovely little boy who was soon up on his feet feeding from mum.

I will update later this evening with pics and more information, so watch this space for the updated blog.

Saturday 12 June 2010

Halter Training

Hi Folks,

Well the sun is shining and I have a weekend off from work, although that was spoilt at about 04.30 this morning as I was woken with severe chest pains, well I say chest it feels like someone is giving you the biggest bear hug in the world and your ribs are about to implode, I have been getting this for about 2 months now but only when I sleep, as soon as I'm awake and up and about it goes away. However this morning was different the pain was taking my breathe away, Lisa was straight on the phone to NHS Direct who then advised we call 999 for an ambulance, after a chat with a doctor over the phone they decided that what I was describing was not life threatening enough for an ambulance but would require me to see my doctor Monday as this is obviously not normal and sounds like intramuscular problems. Anyway that's enough of my problems.

We decided today to start our halter training of our male "Gieves" he is such a lovely boy and seems really nice natured and relaxed, we waited until Lily went for her afternoon nap as we were unsure what might happen. Lily was upset when we had the alpacas shorn because some of them screamed a little and I think she just didn't understand. Well we slid the halter onto Gieves head and would you believe it he stood there like a true gentleman, as if it was all second nature to him.....well done Gieves you did us proud.

Lisa & Gieves 30secs after being put on the halter.
I'm sure this is just beginners look, he did play a little stubborn and not want to walk at one stage, but with a little push on his bum he was away again, I'm sure tomorrow will be a different story!

3 of our pregnant girls in our birthing paddock relaxing in the sun.

Well that's all for know, back with more photo's soon.

Thursday 10 June 2010

Hidden In The Wall

Hi Folks,

Well the weather has certainly took a turn, we had an absolute torrential down poor here Wednesday which lasted for about 20 minutes, resulting in Lisa having to get our pump out to try and help control the torrents of water that came down our yard and overloading our drains, within minutes Lisa was in up to her ankles in water. Lisa called me at work trying to explain what she was faced with and the noise in the background coming from the rain was unbelievable, anyway all was well, the rain stopped, the pump was turned off and normality was resumed.....thankfully.

Needless to say the alpacas came in that night to help them dry off and to get them off a now very sodden paddock, I must say,they all looked very content in the barn when I arrived home from work.

For a while now we have had a bird taking bits of food into the hollows in the block work of our barn, feeding her young, I have been desperate to try and get a photo but I have been very conscious not to disturb them, however I manged to climb my ladder armed with a camera and grab a quick shot of the new chicks, they cant be far away from leaving the nest so it looks like I may have timed it just right.

I'm sure it must only be days before these have flown the nest, to be honest I thought it was a little late for them to be still in the nest.

All the alpacas are doing just great, we are really starting to get to know them now, I need to get some more picture of them soon. Our chickens are laying well with approximately 7 eggs a day at the moment but this should increase soon as the other chickens mature.

Well that's all for tonight, back soon with an update on the chicks.

Sunday 6 June 2010

New Best Friends

Hi Folks,
Well again its been awhile since my last blog. We are still fencing when we get chance to and things are really taking shape now. We have had to separate our male from the ladies as he is starting to get a little fruity with them, so until his new paddock was ready we put him in with the pony and her new foal, this was done under a controlled manner to ensure no harm came to any animal if they didn't agree with each other, well believe it or not hence the title we have two new best friends......
Gieves and his new best friend Flicker the foul.
These two are right characters, its so nice to see two totally different breed of animals getting on so well with each other.
Yesterday we visited Rob & Les at Wellground Alpaca stud to top up our knowledge on husbandry skills, we left Lisa's dad to look after things on the farm, he is just as keen on the alpacas as we are so we knew they would be in safe hands. Rob & Les greeted us with coffee on the decking overlooking the alpacas and a quick look at our fleeces we took down. fantastic sandwiches which I could just not stop eating, then it was down to taking notes and lessons from Rob & Les, thanks guys.
We have had all the alpacas shorn now which with the weather being so warm its must be such a relief for them, we have now moved all our pregnant girls into our birth paddock next to the caravan with our first to give birth at the beginning of July but knowing alpacas you can never tell when it will be.
Well that's all for now, take care all.