Friday, 7 March 2008

Long Time, No Blog

Gosh it’s been four days since I last posted; this week has rather raced by but sadly not much has been done. By Tuesday morning I was just exhausted and all I wanted to do was sleep, lethargy and lack of motivation ruled the day. I thought that I was heading for another bout of depression, but I was wrong and thankfully it was only a head cold.

Still a couple of days on ‘animals only’ duty saw me able to partake of my usual Thursday morning work in Regis’s orchard. It’s not fair! As fast as Ann and I clear up the wood, Regis is pruning more. That will have to stop soon as the trees now starting to flower. So we’ve still to start on cutting our oak for next year’s fires.

Back here I’ve taken advantage of the dry day today to finish chain sawing the branches I’ve cut from the trees. They need serping tomorrow and then stacking to dry.

I’ve also started clearing out the alpaca paddock. Over the winter, I’ve been throwing the hay they didn’t want to eat onto the ground to counteract the mud when it rained. Now that hay layer is stopping any grass from growing so it has to go. I’ve managed to fork out two large heaps of it and burnt them today as not only was it dry but there was no wind either. This was taken when I was about half way through burning the first heap and half way through collecting together the second heap. I love fires but do try to keep them small – the old adage is true, Fire is a good slave, but a bad master.

All in all, I spent most of the afternoon with the alpacas. Beside their usual day-to-day care, feeding, checking water and refilling the hay byre, it was medication time. I’m still concerned about Silver, the black female since she is still underweight. A plus bit about not being well was that I spent a good deal of time on the computer looking up what I’d been given for them against the coccidiosis. Some of the stuff seems to be only available in France or Eastern Europe so it was difficult to know if it would work. It wasn’t helped by many of the French websites belonging to the multinationals just not working. The UK or USA parts did, but the French parts didn’t. I could go off on a rant about French web sites here but wont, suffice to say it didn’t surprise me.

The ‘Imena L’ I’d been given to kill the worms and as I also believed the coccidiosis is just a simple wormer and probably does the same as the ‘Dectomec’ they have as part of their health regime (plus cider vinegar in the drinking water). The ‘Trisulmix’, which I though was just an antibiotic to get them over any infection from when they were in a weakened state, turns out to be the thing against the coccidiosis. This does highlight one of the disadvantages of not being able to fully understand the language. I only understand some of it and I get told a simplified version to help me understand. If I hadn’t spent some time searching, I wouldn’t have known that coccidia isn’t a worm but a single celled parasite. Hopefully after this second treatment the alpacas auto-immune systems will be able to deal with it. I then need to do a lot more reading about prevention that doesn’t involve long-term antibiotic use. I’ve found one product, Corid V, but have yet to find out what its chemical make up is.

So today was day one of a five day treatment. They were really good standing still after I’d caught them. The CamalidDynamics course I did has shown real results, but getting them to drink the solution….. even though I was using a syringe I ended up wearing quite a bit of it myself.

There has been some rain over the last week and apparently a snowstorm. I say apparently as I slept through it in Tuesday afternoon. When I went out to collect the eggs I could see lumps of ice in the grass and thought we’d had a hailstorm, but I’ve since been told it had snowed. The rain has been just what the wheat wanted and it has put on quite a spurt. The picture is a bit dark as it was taken after sunset – thank goodness for photo manipulation.


Rob Windstrel Watson said...

Fascinating, sorry to be so dense, and I'm sure the answer is elsewhere on your blog, but what do these Alpacas give you, after you have finished slaving over their health and feeding them?

Sorry to be so ignorant ... But I am interested :-)

dND said...

Hi Rob,

I was going to reply on your blog but couldn't decide which one :-D

I have the alpacas for wool. I'm teaching myself to spin and will then use the yarn. Well that's the plan. So far this year I managed one evening spinning, there has just been so much else to do.

On the whole they are easy creatures to have but mine seem to get things that " alpacas don't get". All part of the learning curve.

Living the Dream said...

Pleased to have you back again and even more pleased to know you are feeling better. Good job it was just a cold and not a bout of depression.

dND said...

Thank you so much Hazel. I'm pretty chuffed too, I hate it when I just can't do anything. My mind is raring to go but my body just won't follow even though it's stuff I really want to do. Very frustrating.

I'm back up now, and while not actually running I'm getting up to a good trot!