Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Mid-Winter Report

Nothing terribly exciting going on around here (that's good, right?) but I thought I'd give a little report anyway.

My hay supply is holding out well. I was starting to wonder, because we've had such a cold winter up until this week. I feed more when it is cold, so I saw the hay going down quickly. I still have several bales of the "really good stuff", that I add in when it is bitterly cold. It pleases me to no end that I've (we've, the neighbors do most of the work) been able to harvest enough hay to feed my animals through the winter, without having to buy any.

The llamas and alpacas are all doing good, keeping up condition. I have a couple of special needs animals that I worry about in the bitter temps, but they've been able to snuggle down in the deep bedding I provide and made it through fine. Since the animals have so much fiber, I have to actually touch them to tell their body condition. Let me tell you, it is such a hardship to sink my hands into their soft, warm fiber. I can hardly wait for shearing time to come in a couple of months.

Last summer's chicks, one boy, one girl, are reaching maturity. I heard the boy learning to crow this morning. I swear there is nothing funnier than the sound of a rooster crowing his first crow. Instead of the loud, proud "roo, er, roo!" crow of Big Daddy, it is more of a "er, er, er, errr?". It makes me laugh.

The warm weather we've had this week has caused most of the snow to melt. There are still three foot drifts here and there, especially by the fences. The dogs have figured out that they can climb the drift and jump the fence now, so I have to watch them carefully. The husky (I assume they are part husky) in them loves to run. Luckily the hours of dog obedience classes we went through as pups, and I put them through their paces periodically to refresh, has made them good dogs that usually come when called.

The angora rabbit is doing great. I still haven't named her though. I've been saving the combings from grooming her, and am currently blending them with some 50% natural black alpaca, 25% dyed black wool and 25% dyed black silk. I'll put some pictures up when they're done.

Mom is doing good too. She is still sleeping a lot, but we've had none of the drama of last year around this time. No seizures, no coin swallowing, just coloring, making music on the xylophone borrowed from her great granddaughter, and keeping me awake (but usually laughing) until all hours of the night. She is her own sweet self, and for that I am eternally grateful.


Cindy said...

You sound good. I'm glad Mom is doing well. That makes a huge difference. And, the animals are wintering well. I think I recall that that is always a concern. I cannot wait to see the angora blend. And, name that rabbit, will ya?

cornbread hell said...

a xylophone! what a cool thing for your mom to have. the thought of her playing makes me smile.

Annie said...

Cindy, there wasn't much of the angora, so don't get too excited!

Rick, it can be played two ways. There is a um, stick with a small ball on one side, a larger ball on the other, (is there an official term for this? baton?) tied to the xylophone which can be used to strike the little plates (keys, official term?) or it has buttons which can be pressed to strike the plate. She spends a fair amount of time trying to untie the stick from the xylophone, and uses the buttons quite often. She uses the stick to strike the plates too though, and it really is music to my ears. I highly recommend it.

cornbread hell said...

your description of how she uses it brought yet another smile.

several, in fact.

Mama Pea said...

Annie, how many llamas and alpacas do you keep? Do you breed them? Keep a . . . a . . . a male llama and a male alpaca? Don't know what they are called. Bucks? You can see I'm quite ignorant regarding these animals but would like to know more about yours.

Annie said...

I have 4 llamas, and 6 alpacas. All of the alpacas are gelded males, 2 female llamas, and two gelded llamas. I don't do any breeding. So no herdsires.