Sunday, June 20, 2010

Summer Routine

Even though it is only one week into the kids' summer vacation, I feel like I'm already in a typical summer routine. Not much going on with our farm right now. Our spring furry of alpaca shows is over (with going to four this spring, we were busier than we've ever been), and all the new construction is completed (new hay shelter, new girl's shelter, new fenced in area etc.). We are into cria season, but with only one of the four due this year on the ground, and him being a month old now, we've hit a lull.

Typical days include morning feeding, afternoon hose spray down to cool them off, and evening feeding. I clean up the girl's poop everyday to minimize parasites and keep the pastures clean for new cria. The boys area I clean up every three days. (It's supposed to be ideal to clean at least every three days for parasite control. It has to do with the life cycle of the most common parasites, the eggs won't hatch within three days. While cleaning up poop everyday is certainly more ideal, every 3 days is almost as good. I also find that 3 days worth of the boys' poop is one wheel barrow full. If I wait more days, then I have to make more than 1 trip, and with it being 1/3 of a mile round trip to the boys' barn and back to our poop pile, 2 trips in one cleaning session isn't my ideal). I also clean out the barns every three days. The alpacas pass over the stalky hay and leave it as scrap on the ground (alpacas are picky eaters and won't eat the stalky stuff).

And there is cria watch. J is worse than I am, sitting outside just watching and waiting. Here is our pregnancy updates:

Sancha had Copper a month ago. He is growing very well and seems to be a happy healthy cria. He would like a friend to play with. He tries to rough house with the pregnant girls, but they won't play along. Here he is running into Victoria:

Sancha tends to be ornery when pregnant, and very protective when she has a newborn. Right now is the time when she's the most friendly. Her cria is growing and doing well. As long as we leave him alone, she's fine. She was re-bred but it's so early on she's not acting pregnant yet. Here she is happy and friendly (it also helps that J just fed her carrots and she thinks I'm coming out with more carrots for her):

Maddie is 373 days pregnant. This is our longest pregnancy on record. J said all he wanted for Father's Day was for Maddie to have her baby. I pleaded with her, and Zack wished upon crossed fingers. But no baby:

Kateri is on day 331. Last year she delivered on day 338, so she could have this one within the week! I'm not counting on that, but since we are watching Maddie with an eagle eye, no harm watching Kateri too. For all we know, Kateri could deliver before Maddie. Kateri sure is getting big:

Victoria is on day 317. In the past she has delivered near day 350 every time (either a few days before or after). But, we have a feeling she may go early this year. She's showing more than she ever has before (which is how Kateri was last year when she delivered earlier than usual). She is starting to have funny breathing (fast). In fact the other night we thought she might already be in labor. We were quite worried about a premature cria. J felt her ligaments and said she seems more loose than Kateri or Maddie. She has wax on her nipples, which often indicates birthing within 2 to 4 weeks. Four weeks would be just before day 350, but 2 weeks would be before 335 days, which would be considered premature. I'm not so picky which day they deliver on, I just pray for healthy full term cria.

We do have a surprise coming to our farm on Monday. But, I'll wait until Monday to post about that.

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