Monday 26 June 2017

Sunday 25 June 2017


After much deliberation, Loki has left to begin a new life with an active couple and a young child. We will miss him and wish him and his new owners a great new chapter. Here's a video of all six of the dogs on their last walk together, made during the last of the recent hot weather.

Breeders inevitably tend to end up with a lot of dogs, since the objective is to keep dogs you have bred to move the breeding programme forward. Some people choose to keep many dogs either in different rooms in the house or in outbuildings, and there's nothing wrong with that as long as the dogs' welfare needs are all being met, and for some breeds such as hounds who are bred to be gregarious and happy in the company of many this is ideal. As poodles are a very owner-oriented breed, I want each of the dogs I own to be able to spend quality one-to-one time with me, and as numbers increase this gets more difficult, so I feel if a dog not for breeding will adapt well to a new home, and a suitable home comes along, it's best to make use of it and to keep on top of numbers before it becomes an issue. Loki loves the mental stimulation of training, and we completed all the KCGC awards together and did some working trials, although it became clear that Loki wasn't going to have the aptitude to get to competition level. Loki will have lots of one-on-one time with his new owners and be able to pursue sports casually.

Friday 23 June 2017

Bess's Friday Fosse Way Fling

Bess has been on a road trip to visit a boy alpaca. We went the Fosse Way to see Roger and Mary Mount (Snowshill) in Gloucestershire. Because Patience is too small to be left at home, she came too, in a partition at the front of the trailer so she and Bess could see each other. Patience's quilt was kindly donated from someone else's chuckaways. Alpacas are very clean and will never poo or wee in a confined space if they can possibly avoid it.

Bess seemed happy with the boy I chose for her. Roger also kindly trimmed Bess's teeth for her, as this was one thing I couldn't do when I was shearing them. Otto came for the ride too and shouted at some Pugs.

And here they are, happy to be home after their adventure.

Thursday 22 June 2017

Alpaca Shearing

Trident & Trebuchet: before and after


What the hell happened to you?

I don't want to talk about it

Big Mutha...

The alpacas have been shorn. To cut a long story short, we ended up doing them ourselves. The professional shearer who was supposed to come and shear them didn't come and didn't reply to my messages, and they were so dreadfully hot and uncomfortable in the recent heat. The same thing happened last year with a different shearer, and that time we managed to find a boy who was trained in sheep shearing and wanted to practice, which was good for him as well as being reasonably cheap, but he left too much on their tails and on Poppy's back, and it had become matted. It was a gruelling learning curve, but at least they are done now until next year.

The 2-acre 'salad bowl' has also been shorn by a neighbour who has been able to make hay from it, as it was getting very overgrown, so now we and the neighbour have some hay for the winter, and the two lads were able to move straight back down there to give their mothers some peace as they should hopefully be giving birth again soon. This paddock has a cool stream shaded by trees where they can chill out together, or whatever it is that young persons do.

Sunday 18 June 2017

Curry pups' first birthday

Happy birthday to Hobsey's 'curry' litter, born one year ago today! Milly, Finzi, Ragnar, Rufus, Bentley, & Basil.

Monday 12 June 2017

A Little Less Little...

Patience the cria is beautiful and doing great. She was over 15 pounds before I gave up trying to weigh her as she's too big and wriggly.

Saffi is 4 months old and at the most weird and unattractive stage of a poodle's growth. She has a horrible puppy coat like a hairy coconut, and I did an awful thing that I am always telling people not to do, and left a collar on her (and a flat collar at that) and it has chafed her neck hair. Both these factors led to her getting a rather more mature clip today. And not with the lawnmower.

Thursday 8 June 2017

Patience the Paca

Bess and her cria are getting out and about, during breaks in the bad weather.

Patience should be a black cria; the rusty colour on her body is apparently because the amniotic fluid bleaches the fleece. Bess however is a black with a horrible fleece full of white hairs, although it might have been better when she was younger, as she's 9 now. She's sound with a nice nature and seems to feed her cria well, which is just as important if not more so.

While researching pedigrees recently, it appears Bess might be the last of her bloodline. According to the database she was her father's only female issue, and none of his sons have been used for breeding, and of what her mother produced, there was only one other female, who is listed as having produced one girl recorded as dead and three boys. Bess did have a daughter and a son before she came here, but the son as with most males has not been bred, and the daughter will be 7 now and has no offspring listed, so I'm assuming she's someone's pet. Her closest living relatives are probably descendants of half-uncles and half-aunts. It's always nice to think that a birth brings a new hope in this sort of respect.

Wednesday 7 June 2017

Bess's cria

Like a lot of animals, Bess hasn't read her instruction manual. Alpacas are supposed to give birth in the morning. Bess spent all morning and most of the afternoon bleating and fidgeting, and went into active labour at 4 pm, which progressed very rapidly.

After two failed matings, a lost pregnancy during winter, and a 376-day gestation, Bess has given birth to a daughter, called Patience, weighing 13 1/2 pounds. Congratulations to her father, 'Jessamine Redlands'.

The rest of the day was spent making sure the cria had worked out how to suck properly, and barricading mother and daughter into the field shelter as it is expected to rain tonight. The field is full of clover at the moment and I managed to kneel on a bee while checking on Bess. This became more painful as the day went on and it is now difficult to straighten my leg. I don't have footage of the cria being born unfortunately, as the placenta started coming at the same time and one leg was out more than the other, so I had to help the cria to come out.