Sunday, 30 March 2014

2 years in Tassie...toenails, tounge lashings and tears!

Sunrise over MT Arthur - Happy Birthday to us!
On the 16th March, we celebrated our second year in Tassie :)  We had finally caught up on THOSE jobs that always seem to be waiting...for us it was the gate to the chook garden.  Finally we sunk a proper post, completed the fence and remounted the gate...much better!  We re-did the mini-pens inside our main pen (yes, the one Athena put me through), using four boards instead of three and two extra posts per side!

The 're-done' pen, with higher boards ('pacas kept putting their legs over the bottom board) and KJ already complaining with Chance wondering what is going on.
So, we finally had some rain and that meant we could get onto trimming some toenails (much easier to trim when they have been wet).  All of the girls except Harmony were in the pen (Harmony is very elusive now, and will not come near us since she is is so funny how different the girls can be.  Harmony ducked under the rope as we drew the herd to the pen and shot off down the paddock) We then had to get Harmony!  We did all 24 alpacas, including the cria (who didn't really need any trim but was more for the practise), without incident.
'Elusive' Harmony looking over at Daughter as she strokes Melony
I penned Athena alone, and we had similar behaviour (rearing), but we were really firm with her and cut her nails as quickly as possible.  She continued to prance around after every cut, which resulted in Hubby cutting one of her nails to short and causing it to bleed. Well, he was mortified, and quickly grabbed the idodine and doused it.  I wasn't as sympathetic, it wasn't that bad and only bled for a couple of seconds, had she just kept still...!!!!!! Funnily, after she was released, she kept returning to us as if to apologise, even to the point of us having to move her out of the way.  This was similar behaviour that we had had when she reared and put me through the fence last time.  I would like to think it was apologies (she really is a lovely girl) and not 'you want another piece of me??' LOL!

Athena - all apologies or full of attitude?
I did say without incident in the girls' paddock, but forgot to mention that I was spat at in the face by Maddie! Did she get a telling off!  I was handling Chai, her cria, and she was carrying on like a pork I told her it was OK (Chai was fine) and as I looked up she just unleashed a mouthful of green right at me! I ducked, my head getting most of it on my beanie (how lucky!!) but yes, in the eyes, mouth and across the face it went.  I was very cross, but was marching Chai to one of the smaller pens, so had to content myself with telling her off once I was across the pen.  By that time she seemed to have thought it was no longer a problem and had gone back to her bucket! Maddie isn't even pregnant, I am beginning to think she is just neurotic!
Chester - just filthy!
So, covered in 'Alpaca Parfum'...we went to visit the two boys Eclipse and Chinook.  Chinook was very wary as Hubby had removed a grass seed from his eye last week, and he had had a few eye washes since - not a happy boy.  We managed to complete his toe nails without much fuss.  Then there was Eclipse...the big man...the manly stud...who ALWAYS screams like a girl when having his nails done.  This was no exception! Honestly, anyone would have thought we were slowly prising his toenails off whilst simultaneously roasting him alive on a spit! I mean...I feel embarrassed for him!
Snowflake in the background
Then there was a problem with the two new chooks that Hubby had purchased.  I didn't want anymore, five was enough, but Hubby decided we needed two more (and I was still upset about losing Gorgeous to a snake).  So along came Snowflake and Speckles.  Apparently 3y old had chosen these two ladies.  Now after a few weeks of sorting out the fights with the other girls, sorting out sleeping arrangements and having hardly any eggs because everyone was just so upset...I heard a suspicious but discrete 'cockadoodledoo' the other morning!!  I thought Speckles had thick legs!!!! Hubby denied that Speckles could be male, and made a convincing argument...but then we heard it again (I can imagine Speckles hiding his/her head under her/his wing and quietly cockadoodling so no-one would realise the truth).  Again, Hubby was confronted, and by now Speckles was a lot bigger than the other chickens...there was no denying it...Speckles is a rooster.   Arghhhhh!! So now Speckles has a lovely box in the hay shed, his own food and water and gets to roam around the entire paddock whilst eyeing the lovely ladies through the fence!
Speckles marching past the girls
Lastly, I sold my first Alpacas!!! I thought I would be sad (I thought I might actually need medication to get through it) but I only shed a few tears and I guess it is because I am so very happy with the new home and owners! Poppy and Hamish were delivered just 6km down the road to a beautiful 10acre farm, with two doting new owners who had built all new shelters, pre-ordered all their food, have halters and an avid interest in alpacas!  They are just so very devoted, and as they are so close I can pretend that Hamish and Poppy are just in another paddock!
Very proud of MCQ Poppy and Hamish, behaving beautifully on halters and off to a loving home :)


  1. Lovely Speckles story - made me laugh!

  2. The first sale is the hardest, then you realise that actually you don't lose alpacas, you gain new friends!

  3. It's great to get a long-outstanding job done, and I bet you'll keep your mouth shut in the handling pen in future!

  4. I know what you mean about regret and apology ... But I think there's is a Fair bit of transference going on when we think that. Keep your head down !

  5. Loved the Speckles story because we had a similar situation. And aren't you doing well on the toe cutting - well done! Congratulations on an action packed two years! Shirley & Robbie