After weeks of calm on the farm, within days of each other Alpacas and hens are back in the spotlight.
Sophie our transgender hen ( or possibly was just a rooster all along) had taken to assaulting the guards. Sharon was spotted a couple of times fending off the squawking, wing flapping angry beak of Sophie and despite counseling ( the hen not Sharon!) , the bad behavior continued. Not only was Sophie engaging in aggravated assault, she was caught trying to start a roof top protest. Luckily the other hens stayed firmly on the ground exposing Sophie for the rebel she had become. Sophie has now been moved to the Supermax facility away from the farm and is likely to be “walking the green mile” sometime soon!
In the midst of this poor Charles ( one of the new cria) began hobbling badly needing medical attention. Although my animal husbandry skills are still fairly crude,with the help and tuition from the very patient local vet plus a raft of pharmaceuticals he is back up and walking – albeit stiffly. One train of thought is poor Charles developed rickets from the lack of sunshine (in Ballarat I hear you ask?! ) yes possibly the wet winter has had an impact beyond filling the dam and flooding the countryside. All cria are now full of vitamin D and today soaking up the sunshine!
Next adventure is shearing… unfortunately we have lost access to the shearing shed next door so with a bit of kiwi ingenuity ( the same genetic makeup that brought you atom splitting, jet boating and pea freezing) a pop up shearing shed will appear!!.. stay tuned fro update and pictures!.
It seems Spring has definitely sprung here at the farm and we feeling the full wrath of the angry black and white Army (or rather Air force!). We are not talking disappointed Collingwood supporters failing to make it to the end of September but rather dive bombing testosterone fueled magpies! One has taken up residence as a sniper just outside the house pinning us down and waiting for us to leave the front door. With brooms waving in the air or coloured umbrellas held high its a mad dash to the cars. Visitors beware – they don’t discriminate All are fair game. Every morning deep in the safety of the trenches, we make battle plans and pick straws for the unlucky soldier that has to run the open space, across the drive and up to the HSU to let the chooks out to their exercise yard! No one told me this farming life would be so stressful!!.
Piper, Alex, Suzanne and Red all arrived as scheduled at the weekend along with a fifth. This extra inmate is of unknown sexual orientation so as a transgender ( at this stage anyway) it must surely be Sophia!
( ….. and a really big thank you to Rhonda and Steve for the hens.They are absolutely perfect!. Look forward to plenty of farm fresh eggs over the coming months)
Modeled closely on MCC’s Litchfeld facility the new SHU ( Special Hen Unit) is complete and ready for occupation. This minimum security facility is expecting inmates soon, the first four are due here at the weekend. Piper, Alex, Suzanne and Red will soon be taking up residency in the dorm.
Now that summer has past we look back on the last few months. Our ‘pacas finally have their toenails clipped ready for the winter – something the whole family had to take part in – and enjoy! and the single ladies have been in the fine company of Milo and Denzil! . Also not to boast but we recently got 17kg’s of honey from our very own bees. Maybe Mead is in the making?!
So with this our summer days comes to an end. It has been an adventure and a half as new alpaca farmers and will keep all our great memories such as seeing the newborns being born for the first time and the not so great memories of the noise of the breeding male’s getting it on just outside the window! We look forward to the cooler weather now and we hope you have a great Autumn from everybody at the farm.
Recently on our farm 3 more alpacas have been born. All 5 of the alpacas have been spotted forming their own support group while soaking up the glorious sunshine in Ballarat.
Seems we were a bit quick in deciding the gender. Closer inspection has revealed that Lily is now a Lincoln and Zoe is now a Zander! We grow more observant with time and can now confidently welcome new comers Penny, Duke ( he’s both thin and white!) and little Charlie.
Exciting times at Alpacacino farm recently, with the recent arrivals of three baby cria – unfortunately one of them did not make it, but the other two are doing well and we are looking forward to two more cria on the way in the next few weeks! Maybe they will be fantastic Christmas presents for us and the alpacas out here on the farm! Welcome Zoe and Lilly