Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Last Crias are Here, Cats, A Trade is Made, Among Other Happenings

Rowdy is back as the blog mascot.  He hopes you didn't miss him too much.

Yes, the last 2 crias of 2010 arrived within 24 hours of each other.  First, a beautiful curly crimpy white female from Dazzle, who is owned by my brother-in-law, on Oct 1.  This is Dazzle's first cria and she has proven to be a wonderful mother. 

Then on Saturday, our Chiquita delivered her 11th cria since she's been here.  Another male, but he's a cutie.  Chiquita's record has been 8 males, 3 females.  I sure would have liked another little girl from her since she's getting up there in age, but I have kept her last female cria, Margarita, who will be having her first cria in the spring.

In my last post, I alluded to taking a truckload of cats to Wheeling West Virginia.  Well it ended up being only 1/2 a truckload (14).  As a volunteer for our Humane Society (ok I am a co-director), we got a good deal on spay/neuter cost of cats if we took in several to the "Spay Day" held by a large vet clinic in Wheeling, about an hour away.  So we arranged to have people meet me in town with their cats, boxed and labeled, and I delivered the cats to the clinic.  Another volunteer picked them up later.  All went smoothly and there will be 14 less local cats adding to the overpopulation problem here in the county.  We will be doing it again next month.  Please, please,  spay and neuter your pets.  A real statistic is that 1 pair of cats can turn into 420,000 cats in a 7 year period if left to their own devices and not spayed and neutered.  That's a LOT of cats!

I recently decided one way to improve my alpaca herd was to find a new male who was unrelated to any of my females.  I offered a trade on Alpacanation, a large marketing and social website for alpaca breeders.  I offered 2 females in trade for one excellent quality white or light fawn male who was at least a year old.  I had several offers and fell in love with the fleece from one particular male, Sancha's White Lightning, who was from Oak Haven Farm in Michigan.  Long story short, we worked out our trade and Lightning arrived late on Friday Oct 1.  He is a very nice male and we have already put him to work with some of our females.
Lightning has several show ribbons  already and once I got him I decided that since I have not shown in about 2 years, I ought to get back into the show scene a little bit, so I decided to enter the Ohio Alpaca Breeder's Assoc. Alpacafest, which is Nov 5-7.    It is being held in Springfield, Ohio, a new venue for this show which has been held in Columbus the last several years at the fairgrounds.  I will get to see lots of people I have not seen in a while and it should be a good time. 

Our weather has been up and down the last week.  We had several days of just plain cold damp weather last week and then by the weekend, we were up into the 80's with bright October sunshine.  I was glad I had not taken my fans out of the alpaca barn for the winter.  80's is quite hot especially for alpacas who have 5 months of fleece growth on them.  It would be like us wearing a wool sweater in July.  It has been so dry, our pond is down about 2 feet and the trees just haven't put on the customary brilliant colors we so hope to see every year.  Many of the leaves are already off due to the dry weather.  But we still have some colors out there.

I have still not gotten my loom all ready to warp up (warp is the threads that are strung on the loom that you weave the yarn through).  I needed to replace a piece on it called the front apron and I now have all the parts I need, I just have to get out my sewing machine and stitch it up.  Need to find the time!  I will be at our real estate office a lot this week since Sam is away (more on that later), so hopefully I can get things rolling with the loom.  I really want to start weaving!

I finished up a pair of mittens knit in handspun, hand-dyed alpaca last week and have almost finished the second sleeve on my cabled 100% alpaca sweater.  Need to take some photos!  I haven't needed the sweater yet, so it's not a problem that it isn't quite done.  I hope to finish it by the end of the weekend.  I think I have some work to do on the neck and sew on the sleeves before it is complete. 

I have more to write about, but will save it for another post later this week. 

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