Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Chet made me a sorting/drying rack. It's PVC with plastic netting; which I think is really some kind of fencing. Dirt and loose vegetable matter fall through as the fleece is layed out. On the table is 2 washed batches of second cuts from an alpaca. Second cuts are from the legs and neck of the animal.
I put a blanket underneath to catch the debris, but my plan didn't work out so well when the dogs decided it would be a great place to camp.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Gregg and his friend, Jay, are here from Ohio for a few days and Chet's putting them to work doing some fixin' up around the place.
The chickens are thinking about climbing to new heights while the alpacas just enjoy the grass.
Friday, November 13, 2009
She's got a beautiful reddish coat and she leaves it behind wherever she goes.
Since I don't have carpeting here in the new house, Husky-fur dust bunnies blow around everywhere. I guess in the old house, the carpeting caught it all.
I've been itching to spin something directly off of an animal and my alpacas won't be sheared until springtime. So, I'm spinning dog hair.
This box from one brushing session that lasted about 10 minutes. That's all she would put up with. The fur is about 6 inches deep in the box.
Before it can be spun, it has to be hand carded to get the fibers to go all the same way.
Once I got some rolags ready, I couldn't wait to start spinning.
Monday, October 26, 2009
So, we decide to buy some more hens - 14 to be exact. We make a 45 minute drive to south of Ft Worth on a rainy, dark and gloomy Sunday night to get these "good layers". Well, they must be homesick, cause they haven't been laying any eggs here. Now we have 25 hens, eating 50 pounds of chicken feed every couple weeks and I have no eggs to sell.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
The back pasture is divided in half. The llama is on the right hand side and the photo of the chickens below is the left side. The property behind us is a horse farm where someone is always riding. I wished I would have had the camera the first time the alpacas and the horses saw each other. Everyone was very curious, but no one freaked out.
The chickens are molting right now, so not laying many eggs, which is a good thing because I haven't found a market for them yet. In Marana, there was a great Farmer's Market every Monday in Gladden Farms. They took my eggs and sold them for me on consignment. If I can't find a way to sell them soon, we're going to be eating lots of omelettes and souffles.
Then I did something I never in the million years thought I would do. We took his body to a taxidermist and we are having his pelt preserved. There aren't an awful lot of options when livestock becomes deadstock. You can't reallly bury them as it's against the law in most places. Some people will leave them for the predators to finish off, but we didn't want to have that happen around here. There are rendering plants, I guess, but I didn't really want to consider that. The other option was take him to a landfill, which I thought is the worst of all the possibilities.
Besides the sadness of losing an animal, we're feeling pretty badly that the little deaf boy, Frankie, has lost his hearing ear guide. The breeder has generously offered to replace him with another animal that looks just like him so that Frankie will have another Suri to hang out with.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Frankie is about 9 months old and he has blue eyes. The breeder believed he was deaf, but we're pretty sure he has some hearing as his ears will move in the direction of noises. He is as cute as can be.
Just to show the size difference, here are Frankie and Bravo standing next to Zoltan, the llama - who isn't full grown yet. In case you're wondering about the llama's name, we're big fans of the very stupid movie "Dude, Where's My Car?". In the movie, the main characters, Jesse and Chester, get trapped and attacked by a bunch of ostriches. Jesse thinks they are llamas. The character Zoltan in the movie is the "wise and powerful" leader of a bunch of geeks in bubble wrap space suits.
And last, but not least, the boy in very bad need of dental work is Mulligan James. As funny looking as he is, his fleece has won blue ribbons.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
We had quite an learning experience introducing him to Chip and Choco. In his past life, Cosmo was involved in a lot of male fighting with his herd-mates. He tried to bully our two boys, so we had to separate them for a few days. We put them all together again last night and he's doing much better with them.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
So it went against everything I preached to bring home these two pups from the same litter. However, these guys aren't going to be pets in the house. They are livestock guardian dogs and will live with the alpacas, llama and chickens.
This is such a new experience for me. I've never had a dog this young. (They are 8 weeks old). I've never had a dog that lived outside. We step up a stall for them in the barn and puppy proofed it. When the barn door is opened they have access to a play yard all to themselves where they can see the other animals, but not interact directly yet. Friday night when we brought them home, I walked out to the barn at least 6 times to be sure they were OK - (they were).
Their calmness amazes me. Yes, they play like puppies, but even when they play there is a seriousness about them that I've never seen in another breed. They are curious about the alpacas, but not too afraid. No barking or darting around like I would expect from a pup. I walked them around the chicken coop and they did well. There's no instinct to chase even when the chickens run. That's a HUGE difference from Border Collies and Greyhounds!
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
My hubby had his heart set on a llama and I couldn't say no. He is a very striking animal and his fleece is a pretty light brown - another color to spin!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Here's a short video: http://tinyurl.com/lhf2fr