Monday, November 30, 2009

End of Blog

I do believe that it's time to end my blogging phase. I haven't wanted to write for a few months now, and it looms in the back of my mind - thinking that I should. This has been an incredibly theraputic outlet for me, especially last year after Smitty died.

But....I'm putting some closure on that part of my life and leaving a few of my favorite pictures behind.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Cold Rainy October

Poor Ivan! When I went to the barn this a.m., his door had blown shut, and he was stuck out in the rain for I don't know how long.
The barn was pretty messy. The boy alpacas didn't want to go out into the rain, so left their pooh all over my new cement floor. I need to figure out some type of box to encourage them to to put it in one place. They do want to be tidy. I just need to help. I've been trying to figure something out because during the winter, they do sometimes get shut in.
Today is definitely a stay in by the fireplace and spin day - with my trusty girl, Cassie, of course.

I just finished this skein of slubby yarn and put into my Etsy store. I really like it and wouldn't mind if it didn't sell because I am imagining a skinny, lacey scarf. The fiber is a blend of three of my brown alpacas - Sonata, Orion, and JR. That's Sonata over there →

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fall Harvest in midMichigan

The soy beans that were in this field to the west of my farm were harvested yesterday. Today Matt is plowing the field. I'm always amazed at the way the sea gulls find and follow the plow looking for food. How do they know? And where do they come from? We don't even have big lakes here in the middle of the mitt.

I like this picture of my big ole Ivan taken from my deck yesterday. Horses don't lay down a lot because they can lock their legs and stand up to sleep.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

'Paca Porno

Yep, here you can see a breeding between light fawn Oppie (Gold In Opportunity) and silver gray Mr. T (Tribute to Money). Oppie is a maiden and this was her first breeding. T was a gentleman and did a suitable amount of courting. There is a very good chance of a gray cria with this breeding because Oppie's black dad had a gray dad and her medium fawn mom had a gray grandpa.
Beth and I also did a behaviour test (spit test) between black Chinella and T. She ran and kicked at him which we hope indicates that she is pregnant. EEEHAW! Lots of gray and black between these two also. Wouldn't it be too incredible to have a black or gray girl cria?
After the breeding event we gave Dectomax injections (for the Menegeal Worm) and trimmed toes on the seven boys. Another day in the barn.....
Oh, and Belita ↓ is eating and doing well.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Lady Belita is Sick and Down

Last night when I went out to do my evening feed, Belita was laying out flat on her side. Usually when the alpacas rest, they cush like the picture on the right. She didn't get up to eat her grain which is usually a little bit of a fiasco with everyone joyfully hurrying to get her share. I finished feeding and watched her. She would get up if I got real close, but then would lay right back down. I called for a vet. I was happy that Russ was on call and he was here within half an hour. We watched, listened, tempted, and decided she was colicky (tummy ache) because she had very little stomach sounds. Russ drew some blood and took a stool sample.
We gave her a shot of Banamine, tubed her (run oil through a tube down her throat to her first stomach), and called it a night. Russ was going to be in the area and said that he would check in in the a.m.
So this morning, the dear girl was cushed again throughout feeding. She wasn't stretched out but obviously, didn't feel up to parr and didn't want to eat. About the time that I finished feeding and picking up poop, Russ drove in. We gave her another shot of Banamine, she did have some stomach sounds, which is good. We debated about tubing her again but I really, really hate to stress alpacas, and my gutts said to just take her for a walk.
Her walk helped because when I left to come into the house, she was nibbling grass. Hopefully, she's going to be ok.....

This is Lady Belita with our first born girl on the farm, Celeste. See how Belita's ears are back. That's the way she always looks, which makes her look mean. She's not mean, but would rather be left alone.

Monday, October 5, 2009

My Horse, the Clown

You know how when something happens once, it seems coincidental, but then when it happens again, you know it's not? Ivan, my big ole gray Percheron/Thoroughbred, thinks he's the funniest guy on earth. Twice now when I've been picking up poop in his paddock, I turn my back on him and he dumps the wheelbarrow. I can't catch him in the act because he knows when I'm watching out of the corner of my eye. Then, to top it off, he goes trotting off to his pasture - laughing all the way.
(BTW We were repairing his pasture fence in this picture)

This is Ivan and 30 year old Abbie, my oldest daughter's 4-H horse.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Golden Opportunity's Blue Ribbon

EEEHAW! Oppie's fleece sample got a blue in the Spin Off last weekend at the MIAF. A SpinOff contest is when the breeder submits 2 ounces of fiber, the alpaca's registration, and usually a picture to the Show. A judge evaluates the fleece, evaluates how it spins, and then evaluates the yarn. I believe this is the true test of an alpaca's fiber.
Frankly, I'm not fond of spinning the really crimpy fleece that the judges so like, and I don't enjoy spinning fiber over 4 inches long. The finer, the better, for me though.

Now a little about "dear" Oppie. She is not a sweet alpaca. She's obstinate, has a mind of her own, and is probably the smartest alpaca in the barn. When Beth was training her to halter lead, she was a horrid alpaca. At first she would just cush down and not move - even if we dragged her. Beth rigged up a towel sling so that everytime Oppie would try to cush, Beth would lift her up. After giving in to actually standing, moving forward was the challenge. Oppie would get so mad that she would leap forward and bang into Beth. It took about 2 months to get her to actually lead, and Beth did take her through the show ring at the spring show (she took a second). Cudos to Beth and her incredible patience.
You can go here if you want to see what I said about her a year ago.