Sunday 23 January 2011

The Chicks Are Here....

Hi Folks,

Well the chicks have arrived. One arrived at about 11pm last night and the second arrived at around 5am this morning followed by the third with a little help at around 9am this morning.

I was trying to put a video on the blog of the 1st chick hatching out, but it seemed to take for ever to try and upload it so I canceled that thought, if I can work out how to shorten the video with some software I will have another go at posting it on the blog. In the meantime here is a picture of two of the chicks. I think Lisa wants to call them "Chip & Pin"

Naomi our work experience girl came again today as she will do every Sunday for as long as she wants to. We had lots planned as it was also that time again to Lambivac, toe nail trim and Vitamin inject the alpacas, so we had plenty to be getting on with. I can finally announce that Naomi has had her first true welcoming from the alpacas as she was introduced to a full blown head covering of spit.....although I don't think it was anything personnel as we all seemed to get spat at today....I blame it on the hormones.

So with all the alpacas completed Lisa and Naomi set about mucking out the barn while I sorted out my workshop, as it seems to have turned into a dumping ground, It has been one of those jobs that has been put off every weekend but finally today It has been sorted out.

Well with another weekend over it's back to work tomorrow and Lisa is left to take care of the farm by herself, she's a good wife really.

On a final note, I have just been reading Rob's blog from "Wellground" and it seems all system go with the GWR 2011 Show, set to take place on the 1st October. Hope to see many of you there.

Take care folks.

Saturday 22 January 2011

A Cracking Start...

Hi Folks,

Well another week ends and what a busy week it has been. Unfortunately we can't reveal why it has been so busy for us at this moment in time, as it's a little bit of a secret at the moment but all will be revealed soon, lets just say it brings a new light to alpacas.....

We woke this morning to find that one of the chicken eggs that we are incubating has signs of hatching. We have 3 eggs that are in the incubator that we are sure have live chicks inside, I took a picture this morning of the first cracking.

We had been outside doing the daily jobs and came in for a cuppa at around 11 and noticed that the second egg had also started cracking, it's getting all very exciting waiting for these chicks to arrive. Lily is convinced that these are going to be duck's that hatch, as we put a duck egg under a chicken a few month's ago which hatched. Nothing like confusing a child.......

Well this evening we are pleased to say that the third egg has also started and the first and second eggs are really starting to progress. We are hoping that when Lily wakes in the morning that we might have a chick out of it's shell.

You can clearly see the heads on these two and Lily is really excited that she can now see what's inside the eggs, you can hear them chirping and Lily keeps a very watchful eye on them.
Naomi, are work experience student is here again tomorrow to help us out around the farm, I'm sure she will be just as excited about the chicks hatching, just as we are.
Well that's all for now, I have more secret projects to sort out!!

Sunday 16 January 2011

A Visit From Down South....

Hi Folks,

Well what a hectic day we have had, after recovering from being a wee bit poorly over the last few days it was time to throw ourselves back into it. Well we certainly did that to day, we were both up before it was light this morning, Lisa was mucking out and I was moving stone down into the race.

Before we knew it Naomi our work experience had arrived and was not shy about getting stuck in with the jobs that need doing around the farm, Naomi is very keen to help regardless of what jobs need doing, good or bad.

Our next visitor arrived well ahead of schedule, Rob from Wellground Alpacas arrived in Les's Merc. We had to get the Fire Extinguishers out to put the flames out from the brake discs they were glowing bright orange, If I was you Les, I would give Rob "Kuby One" back and you keep your Merc safe and sound. Only joking Les the brakes are fine, its just the scratch on the door you need to look at.....joking again Les.

Anyway back to the reason why Rob was here, we had invited him to come and have a day out with us and have a look over our 2010 cria, I think I can say Rob was impressed with some of our cria's which is always nice to hear from someone who continuously produces excellent alpacas themselves.

I had asked Rob if he didn't mind bringing his scanning equipment with him, which he did and all is looking good for our females this year, we are very pleased with the results and are really looking forwards to this years births, which start arriving next months fingers-crossed.

A picture of one of the scan's, not the best picture in the world.

We took a wonder down to see Relentless our stud male who we brought from Wellground, he really is turning out to be stunning stud. Rob was keen to try and buy him back from us as I think he is a little sorry he sold him, unfortunately Rob he is not for sale, however he will be coming up for matings this year, so to the right breeders subject to bio-security investigation he will be available. So if you would like me to put your name down Rob just let me know!!

After all the cria and stud chat it was time to head indoors for coffee and something to eat, this also gave me the opportunity to show Rob something different we are looking at doing here at WillowBank, I think Rob could see the bigger plan that we are trying to achieve and with a bit of assistance from Rob with some knowledge this new project could be one to watch, more on this project later, remember Rob, mum's the know what Jayne's like at Zanzibah Alpacas she will hate the secrecy!!

Well that all for now folks but keep watching this space for the new project announcement.

Sunday 9 January 2011

A Mixed Day.

Hi All,

Another busy day soon passes by and it's back to work in the morning. It started with a trip with the trailer to go and fetch some straw from a local farm, we buy the big rectangle bales as it's easier to split rather than the big round bales. So with four big bales in the trailer it was back to the farm to see how Lisa was getting on mucking out.

Lily had got a birthday party today, so no sooner as I was back with the straw, it was time to head off with Lily and Lisa to her friends birthday party. Lisa's mum farm sat for us which was nice as it allowed both of us to see Lily at the party.

The party was being held at a place called Oak Tree Farm, this place is going to be amazing, I say going to be, as they are in the early stages of setting this place up. Lily had a brilliant time playing in the indoor climbing centre and was reluctant to want to come out. once the party was over we decided to have a look around the animals as Lily was given a bag of food to feed them with, which was right up Lily's street. Now I must say that making all the kids wash there hands with anti-bacterial soap was I nice thing to see, these guys are conscious of health and safety and making the kids wash there hands was all done with fun. Well done Oak Tree Farm 10/10 already.

Well its was soon time to get back to our own farm and with a change of foot wear it was back to work. All the alpacas paddocks have been poo picked, it's such a nice feeling knowing that's done and that they will have clean paddocks, well for a short while anyway.

The new blades that I had from America work a treat, the only problem is, that my eyes don't.....well not when trying to use the blade that is the thickness of a pin, it gets a wee bit fiddly. I will show you what I have been doing soon.

Well that's all for now, back soon.

Saturday 8 January 2011

Back To The Grind Stone.

Hi Folks,

Well that's the first week back at work out the way.....although it was only a four day week, I'm glad the weekend is here. We have so much to do around the farm and with the snow over the Christmas period the job list just grew and grew.

We have started moving more stone down the race as it has now turned completely into a mud swamp, which was one of the reasons for Lisa's accident. We always intended on putting stone down, but time always got the better of us, mind you, after about ten barrow loads moved, it was eating to much over Christmas that was getting the better of me!

All the alpacas have been wormed again this week and we are due to give our vitamin injections to the cria, so that's another job for this weekend.

Today we have had a visit from a young lady who is studying to become a vet. Naomi called us at the beginning of the week to see if she would be able to come and have some work experience on the farm around the alpacas. Well today Naomi called in with her mum to have a look around and to discuss her work experience with us here, we couldn't resist in not bringing our stud male Relentless in for a hands on experience for Naomi, Relentless was a true gentleman and stood perfectly while we examined his fleece, Naomi's mum could not believe how bright his fleece was when we opened it. We have arranged with Naomi to come on Sundays to help out on the farm and allow her to gain experience around these fascinating animals, We are sure you will not be disappointed Naomi.

Here is Relentless checking out his ladies in another paddock, I cant wait until the grass is that green feel so long ago.

Well that's all for now as I have some new saw blades arrived from America and I'm desperate to go and try them out on my scroll saw that I had for's a man thing!