Saturday, May 31, 2008

elyse's 21st

I cannot believe it is almost 21 years.

Elyse her bothers sisters and friends are going to a nightclub to celebrate her 21st.

everyone is so excited, her birthday is Monday, and all is being planned for her party next saturday.

Daniel her brother is installing a kitchen sink in her flatette.

all excited with her birthday. Rob also worked hard, trying to help dfaniel as we installed a water tank.

every one is so excited. The photo is of ELyse left and her sister Lauren.
It is so great as parents to see all the kids socialising with each other.

Friday, May 30, 2008

quarantine is going well

There is only now 7 days before the alpacas are due to be loaded to drive to the airport.
This group of alpacas are a lovely bunch, and have all got on so well.
We are slowly getting the results now from the screening which is required for the entry to UK.
It is a very hard screening trest, physical and fibre, as well as health.
This time, it did not take long for the screening results to come in, so that is less stressful.
A baby girl was born this week, one sired by Mariah Hill Jeremiah,
Rob and Elyse finished a huge landscaping job, and start laying turf tomorrow, after preparing everything today.
The next group of alpacas are being delivered and the next group start on the 10th June, 2008, and there will be roughly 25 numbers are still being confirmed.
10 Suris were delivered today.
Elyse picked up some from SA last weekend.
She is helping her dad tomorrow, with the turf, and on Tuesday it will be ELyse's 21st.
we will hold a party for her the weekend after.
She was given a present today for her 21st, from her best friend Charlz, and she has such an exciting smile on her face when she came into the office to show it to me.
I as asked to apply for the New Exporters grant by AUstrade, it has taken me all week to complete all the questions, etc, i hope i do get one, as i would then use the money for the nex Worald ALpaca Convention apparantly next year it will be in the USA.
It would be good to view some of the ranchs in the USA, and also do some networking for the quarantine and sales of alpacas.
We are currently trying to open the market place up for canada, and there is a bit of work to do with the protocol.
I am lucky to have good contacts, that will do their best, and have been so healpful for me.
This time next week, we will be loading the alpacas up on our land transport to the airport.
A big week ahead, it always is such a hectic week the last week of the quarantine.
Yes all have passed all their tests.
I always feel an acheivement when we load the alpacas into their crates and deliver them to the airport.
But the alpacas, by this stage has also bonded with us, they see so much of us, that you can see that they know they are going somewhere new, but sad to leave behind.
They are spolit in quarantine, and given as much feed as they can eat.
It has been fairly good weather whilst they are here.
I hope it last a little nit longer.
Anyway i must now spoil my husband i have bought an apple cake and ice cream for his supper.
He has worked so hard he deserves it.
Best wishes, and i speak to you soon.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

12 Micron fleece

We are just so happy, with our latest fleece results.

Vallon's Quest, sired by Vallon De Oro' histogram has come back at 12.7 micron.

we have checked on the internet, and asked a well known US breeder who has asked on his website to find the finest alpaca in the worlf (tested0<>

Last year, we were glad when we had bred 2 alpacas at 14 micron, then this year we have 8 at 14 micron, then 1 at 13 micron and now 1 in 12 microns.

We have only tested 40 out of 400, so far this year, and i think we have a couple more coming close to the 12-13 micron.

Our aim has always been to breed some of the "Finest" alpacas in Australia, and the world, and we just cannot believe how through a strict breeding program, we are acheing our aims so quickly.

Vallon De Oro' has been a huge asset to our breeding program, producing an extremely dense fleece, super bright, i call it Sparkling lustre, as it is the brighest lustre i have seen (right, this is a crias fleece sired by Vallon).

Rose came up today to see her crias she bought her mum and two sons.

Stefano, (19.5 yrs old), our main stud male, for the past decade.

He has been such a great male, his progeny are still winning championships in AUst, NZ and UK, is feeling the cold.

He usually has his own paddock, but he was looking depressed, so we have bought him up close to the house, and given him heaps of feed.

I know that we cannot have him forever, but he is my best friend, and i would hate to think he is close to the end of his life.

I had the vet do a blood test just to make sure, that he is not lacking in anything, i would like to keep him as long as we can.

Quarantine going well

What a busy week. Up at 5.30am, to check my emails, answer the important ones, down at quarantine between 6.30am and 7am, down cleaning quarantine, checking each alpaca, feeding. This can tke approx 3 hours ecery morning, and then the same in the late afternoon.
We did three procedures this week to meet the NZ protocol.
This is a lovely group of alpacas, foming from 8 farms cross Australia.
All the alpacas are getting on well.
We also completed some ultrasounds in our own herd, with Zena, who is 8 years old, due to giver first cria any day.
We were told by a vet when she was about 218 mths old, that it would be impossible for her to get pregnant. Being a full Accoyo female, this was disheartening at the time.
ELyse loves her so we gave her to ELyse.
She became the carer for the weanlings, with huge mothering capabilities, she really looked after many weanlings, over the past years. She also looked for matings so often we would let the new boy on the block to try and learn from her patience.
One new boy approx 12 months ago, his first mating, acheived a pregnancy with her on his first mate.
Spurprise, Spurprise, so we contacted the original vet who said she could not get pregnant, and reconfirmed an ultrasound through him.
He has since told us, that she obviously can get pregnant, (obviously), but we would have to be careful when she delivers.
Elyse is very anxious of her impending birth.
While Tim the vet was up, we re scanned her to confirm the pregnanct date, as if delivery proves to be difficult it is already arranged, with Tim, for a caesar to take place.
So we patiently wait and observe.
We had lots of rain last night.
All alpacas in quarantine was placed in the shedding area for protection from all weather eliments.
Looks like rain to day.
Speak soon

Friday, May 9, 2008

What a day or Two

The last two days have been so hectic.
Rob and ELyse is still completing this landscaping job. It has been huge, we had two days notice, about 8 days ago, and since then it has rained and rained.
The machine we use cn get bogged very easy on the clay around the building site.
Yesterday we were then told the house was having an open day this Saturday, and the concreters were coming in yesterday and today, which meant we had to have the machine out of the way for the concreters.
THat comes in handy because yesterday the owner decided also that he wants turf and not grass seeds, yesterday, and wants that completed by tonight.
Lucky we were able to purchase enough turf.
In between time, i am running the farm by myself, and the quarantine, which is full on.
WIth over 100 babies born this year, i am constantly making sure each baby is with it's right mother, and that all babies are feeding properly.
Yesterday afternoon, i noticed one baby, running around like a greyhound and playing with the other babies, but did not notice her once with her mum.
Then i noticed although she was running around all over the place, she seemed to be slightly carrying the right back leg, and at times, completely lifting it off the ground whilst she was running.
I decided to observe until i had some help to catch her, as i did not want her to run in a fence or anything, so when ROb and ELyse came home, We all carefully caught her, it was now dark, as it is dark at the moment by 1/4 to 6pm.
I knew this one was approx 2 weeks old, because she had not yet been tagged, and although i still could not see the dam, I needed to know what sex the cria was, and then i knew which dam belongs to her, but it was too dark to go into the paddock and catch the dam.
I ran our Vet, Tim, he is fabulous, and although it was knock off time, he said i could being her down.
ELyse checked it, and carefully felt her joints and bone, and compared it to the good leg, and she said i can not find a reason why she is holding the leg up.
SHe is usually pretty spot on, so i knew it was a job for the vet, we quickly hopped into the car and drove down there, it just seemed to take longer than usual to get to the vets.
Tim met us at the door.
He checked it exactly the same as ELyse did, and he said word for word what ELyse said, so he said to be on the safe side we better X-ray it.
I do not muck around with little crias, i know they can get infections in utero, and it can take a couple of weeks for symptoms to appear.
Luckily there was no real serious problems, but she did have a Greenstick spiral fracture, but the actual membrane of the bone had not broken, and so the fracture was not displaced, Lucky because she is so actuve like a cat on a hot tin roof, she would have definately broken or shattered her leg if left by the morning.
So we had to make up a splint out of Fibreglass bandaging, and splint the leg up.

Quarantine this morning, all alpacas are doing just fine, they are enjoying the lucerne placed out for them all, and just getting on fabulous.
ELyse and ROb back to the job, and when i called in this afternoon, the owner came around, and you could not believe the job they have done out the front, the turf came up beautiful, but the back, well that is another story, although all the garden beds are in place, and looks lovely and the owner loved the plants, but the preparations they had done for the lawn out the back, was mucked up by the concreters, and Rob was told, he could not pass his machine in for 2 weeks, ROb had to say this to the owne, and He kind of understood, Rob said there was nothing he could do, otherwise he would break the concrete.
All went well.
I checked out some of the alpacas this morning, going into winter some of the babies are big enough to come off, but i do not want to wean them just on winter, so have have given most of the mums that needed it, some extra Vit D, WOrm and protexin.
Babies are coming on beautiful.
Last night Elyse gave me my Mothers Day Present, a night at a luxury apartment in the crown towers, in Melbourne, how wonderful, we just have to get there, we have a lady coming up for a bale of hay, around 5pm, another bringin up a weanling that cut herself.
I have not even packed yet and it is now 4.37pm.
I still have to do the quarantine, tonight, feed and clean, and check all babies and mums to make sure they are all ok, as well as the late pregnants, although i checked an hour ago, that does not mean there is not one going to be born.
Although it is getting late, one was born last week at 5pm.
99% of the time they deliver during the day, but although rare, the odd one can be born late evening or furing the night.
So i had beeter be gone, speak to you tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Robs Landscaping Job

What a day today is, Rob and Elyse are doing a very large Landscaping job, and although most of the country is praying for rain, we must be grateful, but it is raining, and raining, slowly they are getting this building site looking like a display home.
QUarantine is going well.
All alpacas seem to have settled in well, and are enjoying their feed.
I have been flat out trying to catch up on bookwork, which never seems to end.
Tomorrow more rain, and Rob has more mowing jobs tomorrow.
Been a full on day to day for all.
Speak to you soon.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Alpacas enter quarantine

Hi all, we entered the alpacas into quarantine tpday, Most are going to New Zealand, but 1 is going to the Uk.
The alpacas had to be shorn, so we were shearing until 10 pm, last night and up again at 5.30am.
The vet arrived at 9am, and it took about 2.5 hours to enter them.
The vet has to do a health check to make sure all the alpacas, are fit and healthy.
Then we have some procedures to complete for entry.
It started raining today as well. so we are lucky we have a hige shed, they all feel very comfortable in the shed.
30 days of quarantine, and a couple of says spare, before they depart for NZ.
Catch up tomorrow

Monday, May 5, 2008

Stefano loves his Paddock

This morning we woke up, and glanced through our bedroom window, where we can see over some of the paddocks, the main paddocks that are used by the Alpacas.
Stefano, now 19.5 yrs old, has his own paddock, he loves his paddock.
Although he is very verile for his age, and can stand up for himself from the young machos coming through, we do not want to test him, and so he has his own paddock, it has his own personal shed, and is still King of the farm.
He has been a great asset to our Breeding Program, and improves every alpaca that he has gone over, most have been good enough to take to the show, but we can only take so many.
Progeny from Stefano is used as Donor alpacas for some very inflencial ET Programs in AUstralai.
Progeny of his, are still winning championships in the Uk, as well as NZ and Australia.
We are very proud of Stefano, my friend, he loves a cuddle, and loves going for rides in the car.
ALthough these days he does not do mobile matings, but he still does drive through matings.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Latest Histogram Results

Hi, again, just thought i would like to add to my last posting.
We have just received word that we have finally now bred our First 12 micron fleece.
We are aiming to bred quality Super fine Fleeces, highly lustrous.
Last year i was pleased when we produced 2x 14 micron fleeces, out of what was tested
this year we hav acheived 8x 14 micron, and our first 13 micron fleece, i thought that was an acheivement, but still aiming of a 12 micron.
And although not even 2/3rds of the progeny have been tested as yet, we have now acheived at least 1x 12 micron fleece.
WOW, and we have more to test.
Vallon De Oro', has produced some very fine offspring, and is acheiving our aims that we purchased him to do.
This is my First Posting, i thought that some people that are looking to buy Alpacas, would like to know the runnings of alpaca Farm.
When we first bought our first 3 Alpacas, we thought, that one day we may have about 30+ alpacas.
Being slow breeding alpacas, we did not believe how fast a herd can grow.
They are just delightful animals, and even though we do have now a large herd, we still are excited as ever every time a baby is born,
We love alpacas, and just belive they are the most perfect animlas to farm.

Yesterday we received some more alpacas that are going into quarantine tomorrow.
Jeanette and Keith Hollingworth dropped some alpacas off that will go to NZ.
They lovely alpacas, that were sold at a recent auction in NSW.
We have made many friends through alpacas, and it is wonderful to see these people other than at shows, so you can catch up and pseak to them on a more personal level.
Recently i was audited again from AQIS, and passed again with Flying colours.
Comment was, i wish all exporters were as thorough and organised as yourself.
I take pride in my work, and do like exporting, it is very chellenging.
It does take all my time, especially the bookwork.
Recently Elyse and I went to the UK, France and Switzerland, Belguim, and call in and visit some of the people we have been working with for the past 4.5 years through exporting.
We have a good team that i work with, in Uk and here, and so consider ourselves succesful exporter.
My husband has had to change his career through the company he was working for was bought out, and changed all their policies.
He has taken up a lawn franchise with VIP Home Services.
As we are experiencing a drought in Australia, the work has been chellenging for him.
Lauren my 2nd born and first daughter left last night to go to Bali with a few of her friends and their families.
She was looking forward to that, whilst Elyse is helping her father this afternoon.
I will be back on the farm, checking late pregnants.
We have had 100 babies this season but many more to go.
I will try and write most days, so keep tuned.