Sunday 25 July 2010

There's A Ram In The Kitchen What Am I Going To Do...

Hi Folks,

We have been busy all weekend with one thing and another. Saturday we had a farm sitter while we popped to see Mark and Linda Wealthall who own Oak Tree Farm in Normanton-on-Trent, Newark. Mark and Linda breed Saddle Back pigs, Middle White pigs and Ryeland Sheep. It was the Ryeland sheep that we had gone to look at. Mark had a hand reared ram that was four months old and obviously easy to handle.....ideal we think.......

Some Of Mark's Saddle Backs
Mark gave us a fantastic tour of his farm and he was a very knowledgeable guy with lots contagious enthusiasm, all his animals looked so healthy, they did you proud Mark.

This is Bertie the Ram.

Bertie was exactly what Mark had explained to us and Lily our daughter was taken straight away. We loaded Bertie into the trailer and set off back to the farm, Bertie was soon finding his feet he and Lily are inseparable. We got on with some of our jobs when we noticed that Bertie and Lily had disappeared........I wonder what they are up to.......found them.

A cheeky smile from Lily seems to make everything alright.......Bertie was then shown the door and went of to eat grass.......the idea of a really tame Ram could turn out to be a problem with Lily as she will get them both into mischief......never mind at least they are happy.

Well that's all for tonight, back soon

Thursday 22 July 2010

Visitors at WillowBank

Hi Folks,

Well it has been a bit hit and miss with the weather today which was a shame as we had a couple of visitors come to the farm, Pat and Rachel called in to see the alpacas. Rachel lives in our village and her mum Pat is a very keen photographer and wanted to take some photos of the alpacas. Lots of tea and chatter took place and some photos taken of the alpacas in between the rain. The alpacas found it very strange to see a stranger with a tripod in the paddocks. Pat is hopefully going to send us some of the pictures taken so that we can put them on the blog for judging from alpaca breeders pressure Pat......only joking.

Our new cria's are growing up fast and have bonded with each other and constantly run around the paddock chasing each other. The eggs we are incubating are due to start hatching a week tomorrow, so the camera will be out sitting next to the incubator, ready to catch the first signs of the new chicks arriving into the world. We are in competition with Jayne from Zanzibah Alpacas...where the future is Fine 'n' Fancy as Jayne also has eggs incubating and due to hatch around the same time as the race is on Jayne.

Well that's all for now, back soon with some pics hopefully.

Sunday 11 July 2010

Catch Up Time

Hi Folks,

Lisa's dad farm sat for us this morning whilst we went and had a look at some sheep we might be buying, we are thinking of getting some Ryeland, Lily was enjoying herself leading one of the rams around on a head collar. It was only a short visit as we wanted to get back and catch up on some jobs around the farm.
We had to make a few alterations to our chicken shed today so that it made it a bit easier to see the eggs in the nest boxes. We have also started incubating our own eggs and have started the count down to hatching day....... 20 days to go.......

We will keep you updated on the progress of hatching when its closer the time and you can see things happening. I have also had some time today to make a start on a new woodworking project, Lisa managed to get a sneaky as Rolf Harris would say "can you guess what it is yet"

All the alpacas and the new cria's are all doing well, enjoying the sunshine while it lasts, its forecast rain possibly over night and into the early hours of the morning....although we could do with some rain to help the grass along.

My furry land shark is growing and become a big girl, she is almost 4 months old now and has really settled in to her new surroundings. her training is coming on well and she is getting used to hanging off my arm......just in case you are wondering I'm training her in the discipline of Schutzhund.

Well that's all for tonight, back soon.

Saturday 10 July 2010

Third New Arrival....

Hi Guys,

Well again we have another cria born here at WillowBank, still no rest for Lisa as straight away Lisa noticed a problem with the birthing........ you can't really see from the picture but we have the head and one leg but the other leg is tucked back, I would like to add that Lisa's mum took the photos and Lisa was just out of shot scrubbing up to start lending a hand at no point was any animal under any unnecessary stress.....anyway Lisa decided that with the cria being presented this way it was time to give a helping hand and ease the other leg into position.

Soon after it was a again quite apparent that this maiden was not going to deliver her cria on her own, Lisa was soon back with a little helping hand and the little boy came out. A bit of a rub down to stimulate him and a check of the airways.
It was easy to see why this boy was not coming out so easy, he is a right little bruiser although he is still 9 days early. He was up running and feeding within the hour and is a real strong chap.
He was so desperate to get up off the ground, that it was quite a challenge dipping the navel with iodine hence it went everywhere and we now have our own multi coloured alpaca, mum was keen to get in on the iodine trick and ended up with it down her foot.......

This fine fellows sire is another Wellground Killawasi's Keepsake baby with his grand sire from his mothers side being Cambridge Ice Cool Lad so it will be interesting to see what traits have been passed on.

Mum and son having an intimate moment with the iodine patches quite noticeable......

Well that all for tonight as I'm trying to finish our website.

Tuesday 6 July 2010

Another Early Cria......

Hi Guys,

Its been a fascinating few days since I last blogged with one thing and another happening. I have been and fetched our new livestock trailer today from Lancaster, well it turned out to be nearer to Kendal by the time I found the place, it was a welcome stop when I got there as it took me 5 hours to get there with the traffic hold ups and that was without the trailer.....

On the way home I received a call from Lisa who was back on the farm looking after things informing me that another one of our girls was giving birth, this time one of our maiden girls.......after a short while out popped a Solid White little boy, Lisa again had to get involved and help out with the clearing of the airways and all the routine checks.

Our little fella who we don't have a name for yet, decided to join the world 15 days early. He is fathered by Wellground Killawasi's Keepsake his grand sire is Cambridge Cajamarca of Blenhiem and his great grand sire bloodlines come from NWA Ltd Ruffo. So we are quite interested to see what this little fella starts to grow in to.

We have decided to bring the little fella in tonight as its been trying to rain, he is not quite as strong as Coco our first cria and giving that we have the facilities to bring him in we thought why not.

Well that's all for tonight. Back soon.