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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I Can't Believe August is Almost Over!

Buck is becoming a true Gentle Giant
Yes, I can hardly believe how fast summer has gone. Our weather has become almost perfect, warm sunny days and cool nights which necessitate a blanket on the bed.  The lighting has changed in the woods as the sun moves to the south and the plants are turning yellow along the trails.  I have to admit l love the change of seasons, whichever it is. Even winter brings welcome changes for a while.  It has a habit of overstaying its welcome eventually however!

I had a surprise on Monday.  I returned from helping a friend take her sick goat to the vet and found our first cria of the season!  I have to admit, I have been a little behind in checking my records or I would have realized this girl was far enough along to deliver.  She was at 329 days, which is just shy of the 11 month mark.  Average gestation is about 11. 5 months and I have found over 12 years of birthing that fall deliveries seem to average a good 2 weeks shorter than spring deliveries.  So 329 days is not early and baby was up and nursing when I found her and good size at just over 16 pounds.  Oh, I did mention it was a SHE right?  

Here she is with mama on birth-day and at the top of this post is Buck on day 2 checking her out.  Hard to believe he is just 9 months old!  This cria is the second from our female Kadienne and the second female she has produced.  Kadi, as we call her, has the worst temperament on our farm, in my humble opinion, and does not spare the nasty green spit if you irritate her.  So, working with her cria is interesting!  This cria's sire is a male born here on our farm who is owned by a friend of mine.  His dam died birthing him and I did not want to bottle feed, so I offered him to my friend and she took him.  He has matured to a very nice male and this is his first cria.  She has the potential to be a very nice alpaca.
The sire's name is Glacier and I think I will call this cria Glacienne, Laci for short.

So I now have 3 more crias due in the next month.  I have my very first alpaca, Chiquita, who is at day 305 today.  She is bred to the new male we acquired last fall, Lightning.  This will be his first cria.  Elli is also at day 305 and is bred to Eclipse and we have Brooklynn, a black female at day 299 and she is bred to our black male Oscuro.  I would guess all 3 of these crias should be here by the end of September.  Stay tuned for announcements!

  This photo is Margarita (Chiquita's daughter) and her cria from June, who I have yet to name!  His sire is named Mr BoJangles and I think this cria is very nice and am looking forward to seeing him mature.  I just haven't come up with a name yet.  Sometimes they come to me right away, but other times it's a struggle.  

We got in the last of our hay.  We have over 600 bales in the barn now, which is a good 4 month supply in heavy usage times.  Dec, Jan, & Feb I can count on using 5 bales a day , but the alpacas will graze even in winter if there is no snow.    Here is the last little field we did raked into windrows awaiting the baler.  Rowdy always manages to get into the post somewhere, doesn't he?

This weekend, Labor Day weekend, is always a big weekend on our farm.  The first year we lived here, all my family came to check the new place out.  I think they were all wondering how bad it really was!  The house was in need of some work, but quite liveable.  Anyway, it kind of started a tradition and now we generally have 2 housefuls of family and friends  and dogs all weekend and a party on Saturday where we invite just about anyone we know to stop by and have a burger and a beer.  It's just a lot of fun and I'm exhausted when Monday comes and the last car leaves and the quiet settles on me.  And it is so quiet with them all gone.  So know if you are reading this, you are invited!

 This photo is of the weeds that are totally covering several sections of fencing around the boys' pasture.  I think it is beautiful.  The photo cannot do it justice.    It is covered with yellow and orange flowers.  I suppose I should find out what it is calledUntil then, it is just that pretty weed on the fence.

The chickens are doing great.  They are producing anywhere from 12 to 14 eggs a day now.  They seem to be happy chickens and make themselves at home, even on my porch railing.  

They did totally devastate the impatien bed I plant every year along the front of the porch.  I think there are about 4 plants left of the flat and a half I put in back in early June.  But, I like the chickens better than the flowers anyway.  I have to say I am looking forward to letting my niece and nephews collect their own eggs. 

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