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Nero Black Alpaca Blog

4 days ago

Alpaca Breeder Blog

Fortunate to discover this “foreign body” in the gullet of a 10 day cria just now. Having put on 1.5kg in 7 days he lost over half of that in the last 2!
I tried topping him up with a bottle this evening but he was evidently uncomfortable.
I put my little finger deep into his mouth to check his palate and got “spiked”.
With Hannah Shrimpton ably holding him I managed to remove it.
He instantly suckled from the bottle but I then took him to mum and he took lots more.
Vindication for us that we weigh cria daily for at least 2 weeks - but just hugely relieved
He’s had a small dose of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory and we’re hopeful he’ll go back to his previous progression straight away.
Always learning :)
... See moreSee less

Fortunate to discover this “foreign body” in the gullet of a 10 day cria just now. Having put on 1.5kg in 7 days he lost over half of that in the last 2!
I tried topping him up with a bottle this evening but he was evidently uncomfortable.
I put my little finger deep into his mouth to check his palate and got “spiked”.
With Hannah Shrimpton ably holding him I managed to remove it.
He instantly suckled from the bottle but I then took him to mum and he took lots more.
Vindication for us that we weigh cria daily for at least 2 weeks - but just hugely relieved 
He’s had a small dose of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory and we’re hopeful he’ll go back to his previous progression straight away.
Always learning :)

 

Comment on Facebook

Great save and as you say weigh, weigh and weigh! 👏🎉❤️

Wow well done on finding that and dealing with so quickly 👏🏻xx

Goodness! Well done for getting to the bottom of the problem and to you and your very able assistant for successfully removing it! ❤

Yikes !

Well done Paul and yet another string to Hannah’s bow what a team 💕

Oh crumbs, very well done in astute management and sorting that out!

Aww poor lil thing. What a relief that you found it! 🙂

Wow lucky find, hope hes ok from now on😊

Well done for recognising and sorting quickly lesson for us all x

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1 month ago

Alpaca Breeder Blog

So yesterday, when I started writing this, it should have been Northumberland County Show including our favourite alpaca event of the year. Instead I’ve been on cria watch whilst Kathryn has been busy planting. The weather has been fab – last year it was horribly wet – the law of the sod!!

Amongst so many other things we are missing all our friends in the alpaca community and the show would have been a great chance to catch up with many. That said the 2 local alpaca groups have both put on great webinars recently, to inform us of course, but it’s been great to see everyone on Zoom and see all the hairstyles??

In recognition of some of our friends I wanted to focus this blog on the joy we get hearing about births around the country, particularly when our studs have been involved. I appreciate some are still awaiting their first cria and will likely be envious – sorry! In my last blog I referred a lot to Tumby our first – well we had to wait more than a month for our next but we’ve had 5 in the last 7 days – cria heaven.

The first “outside” births we heard of were both at Capital Alpacas. The mating date was 29th May 2019, very close to Congleton - a week before our family all returned there for Jack and Becky’s wedding! The brown male was pretty early but none the worse as you can see. He is surprisingly dark with his mum Mini and dad was Mountbatten, our fawn. A black female followed a week later and is typically Cosmic blue black, out of Poppet, also black. Kim and Stuart at Capital Alpacas are now the proud owners of Cosmic.

Despite the boys visit to Bushblades in County Durham having been 2 weeks earlier than Congleton the first birth there was much later. However, it was the first grey we’ve been involved with, the supremely handsome Emperor. Mum, Charisma, is grey and sire was Shadow. And then it was nearly another two weeks later that Ann Muizelaar had her first female born. Empress was sired by Mountbatten over Cleopatra.

Next is a much darker, but similarly handsome male, again by Mountbatten over Twilight (black), the first actual birth at Dargan Alpacas owned by Debra Steward. You might see Raisin needed plasma but is going from strength to strength now. Debra has also bought an assortment of colours from Patou and Reddingvale and is looking forward to more births very soon

Helen and Alan at Merryoaks Alpacas, in the Borders, welcomed the first male to their herd within the last week. They have selected a number of black females from different herds and last year had 3/3 females. This fella weighed in at over 10kg and was out of Rio (brown), sired by Cosmic.

Then finally, for now, Debbie Harris at Woodborough Alpacas (Notts) announced the arrival of another black cosmic male, to her brown Coco. Poor Coco has since been poorly but is now up and feeding the wee man well.

It’s great to see the “rainbow” of colours and see the joy these births bring to, mainly, very new owners. There are many more cria still in the oven too, in Cheshire, Yorkshire, Cumbria and Scotland.

Here we have 3 girls already pregnant for 2021 and another 3 in the “spit off” process. Later this week we are starting our 2020 mobile services, with Shadow and Mountbatten still in the van and this year they are joined by our new black herd sire Houghton Savoy. He is already enjoying “working” with 2 confirmed pregnancies.

For those not involved with Alpacas we leave the maidens until their 2nd Spring to mate them. Mum’s who have unpacked (birthed) normally, are happy to see the stud 2 weeks later. With gestation being 11-12 months typically, this means the mums birth around the same time every year. Of course, for the first 6 months or so of their new pregnancy they are feeding a cria too!

A brief update re here – Tumby is now 6 weeks old and has doubled her birth weight. She has 3 new brothers and a sister plus another wee male born to a female on agistment. All births were natural but Truffle did take a while over delivering Kygo – an 11.2kg whopper. Shearing was completed 3 weeks ago and in a weeks’ time 2 pet boys from last year are off to their new forever home.

Family are all great. Jack and Becky’s new sofa finally arrived nearly 2 months late, Hannah is loving her garden, filled with plants she and Kathryn are starting here in the greenhouse. Will is loving life with Murphy, and all at the Military Working Dog Section at Coningsby. It’s Kathryn’s dads 88th birthday next week and my mums 80th in a month. Sadly the Shrimptons were all off to Centre Parcs to celebrate the latter but it is cancelled of course – challenge now is how to celebrate in other ways??

Hope you enjoy all the cria pics – stay safe and sane all x
... See moreSee less

So yesterday, when I started writing this, it should have been Northumberland County Show including our favourite alpaca event of the year. Instead I’ve been on cria watch whilst Kathryn has been busy planting. The weather has been fab – last year it was horribly wet – the law of the sod!!

Amongst so many other things we are missing all our friends in the alpaca community and the show would have been a great chance to catch up with many. That said the 2 local alpaca groups have both put on great webinars recently, to inform us of course, but it’s been great to see everyone on Zoom and see all the hairstyles??

In recognition of some of our friends I wanted to focus this blog on the joy we get hearing about births around the country, particularly when our studs have been involved. I appreciate some are still awaiting their first cria and will likely be envious – sorry! In my last blog I referred a lot to Tumby our first – well we had to wait more than a month for our next but we’ve had 5 in the last 7 days – cria heaven.

The first “outside” births we heard of were both at Capital Alpacas. The mating date was 29th May 2019, very close to Congleton - a week before our family all returned there for Jack and Becky’s wedding! The brown male was pretty early but none the worse as you can see. He is surprisingly dark with his mum Mini and dad was Mountbatten, our fawn. A black female followed a week later and is typically Cosmic blue black, out of Poppet, also black. Kim and Stuart at Capital Alpacas are now the proud owners of Cosmic.

Despite the boys visit to Bushblades in County Durham having been 2 weeks earlier than Congleton the first birth there was much later. However, it was the first grey we’ve been involved with, the supremely handsome Emperor. Mum, Charisma, is grey and sire was Shadow. And then it was nearly another two weeks later that Ann Muizelaar had her first female born. Empress was sired by Mountbatten over Cleopatra.

Next is a much darker, but similarly handsome male, again by Mountbatten over Twilight (black), the first actual birth at Dargan Alpacas owned by Debra Steward. You might see Raisin needed plasma but is going from strength to strength now. Debra has also bought an assortment of colours from Patou and Reddingvale and is looking forward to more births very soon

Helen and Alan at Merryoaks Alpacas, in the Borders, welcomed the first male to their herd within the last week. They have selected a number of black females from different herds and last year had 3/3 females. This fella weighed in at over 10kg and was out of Rio (brown), sired by Cosmic.

Then finally, for now, Debbie Harris at Woodborough Alpacas (Notts) announced the arrival of another black cosmic male, to her brown Coco. Poor Coco has since been poorly but is now up and feeding the wee man well.

It’s great to see the “rainbow” of colours and see the joy these births bring to, mainly, very new owners. There are many more cria still in the oven too, in Cheshire, Yorkshire, Cumbria and Scotland.

Here we have 3 girls already pregnant for 2021 and another 3 in the “spit off” process. Later this week we are starting our 2020 mobile services, with Shadow and Mountbatten still in the van and this year they are joined by our new black herd sire Houghton Savoy. He is already enjoying “working” with 2 confirmed pregnancies. 

For those not involved with Alpacas we leave the maidens until their 2nd Spring to mate them. Mum’s who have unpacked (birthed) normally, are happy to see the stud 2 weeks later. With gestation being 11-12 months typically, this means the mums birth around the same time every year. Of course, for the first 6 months or so of their new pregnancy they are feeding a cria too!

A brief update re here – Tumby is now 6 weeks old and has doubled her birth weight. She has 3 new brothers and a sister plus another wee male born to a female on agistment. All births were natural but Truffle did take a while over delivering Kygo – an 11.2kg whopper. Shearing was completed 3 weeks ago and in a weeks’ time 2 pet boys from last year are off to their new forever home.

Family are all great. Jack and Becky’s new sofa finally arrived nearly 2 months late, Hannah is loving her garden, filled with plants she and Kathryn are starting here in the greenhouse. Will is loving life with Murphy, and all at the Military Working Dog Section at Coningsby. It’s Kathryn’s dads 88th birthday next week and my mums 80th in a month. Sadly the Shrimptons were all off to Centre Parcs to celebrate the latter but it is cancelled of course – challenge now is how to celebrate in other ways??

Hope you enjoy all the cria pics – stay safe and sane all x

 

Comment on Facebook

Lovely to see and hear your cria news and our girls look forward to your van arriving on our drive 😊😂

Great writing ✍️ Congratulations on the beautiful cria🤩 xx

Great blog Paul and pictures x

2 months ago

Alpaca Breeder Blog

Well life in the alpaca world is no respecter of lockdown and this past week has been manic!

A week ago I proudly posted about our first cria arrival – a bonny black female. Mum was a maiden and laid down throughout her labour. The cria was delivered with minimal intervention and all seemed fine. Maternal instinct was as amazing as ever but cria didn’t latch on well. We supplemented as best we could with a good proportion of mums milk, plus cows colostrum from the freezer.

We were fairly happy and thru Saturday saw the cria feeding sporadically but supplemented too. Unfortunately on Sunday morning we became increasingly concerned and ultimately called the vet. Nick, the Equine specialist, was on call and arrived within 30 minutes. He left us in no doubt how poorly she was with a racing heart rate and likely infection. We transfused plasma (that had only arrived a week or so before). IV antibiotics and anti inflammatory drugs were also administered.

Nero Black Tumby, named after the RAF base where Wills’ dog section is sited, has recovered slowly throughout the week. She has been helped by ongoing anti biotics, a few nights in the barn, lots of tlc, double cria coats often and an amazingly patient yet attentive mum. Tumby really turned the corner yesterday, with the odd shuttle run, and today looks pretty normal.

Of course our massive thanks go to the whole team at Intake Vets. While not officially on call David was available with advice and Nick was incredibly thorough, informative and of course effective!

With 2 more cria imminent and another 14 due over the next 3 months we can only hope for things to be more simple.

Aside from caring for Tumby, and mum Rumour, we’ve been busy with regular husbandry and routine vaccinations. Add to that paddock cleaning, feeding, fence repairs etc the alpacas keep us busy.

And then I nearly forgot! Yesterday was a landmark day when Houghton Savoy – our new 2 year old Herdsire completed his first mating – a 20 minute “engagement” with Sheriff Arizona, a youngster we bought a year ago. He was “inspired” by Nero Black Shadow who was simultaneously covering Patou Kambuzi – another young addition bringing Toft Timogen genetics to our evolving herd.

Of course it will be good news when Savoy can join Shadow, Mountbatten (and me) on our stud tours this summer – when restrictions ease!!

Aside from working with our herd, I’ve had another project on the bubble too. Understandably all Spring Alpaca Shows have been cancelled and our treasured Alpaca Section at the popular Northumberland County Show in May is also a casualty. With the help of Kathryn and, most notably, Paul and Debbie Rippon at Barnacre Alpacas (we run the North East and Borders Alpaca Group together) we have created a new Alpaca Show to be staged at Hexham Mart on 31st October.

There will be a huge amount of work still to be done and we we need things to normalise, somewhat, in the wider community of course. The team at the Mart have been so supportive, as have the British Alpaca Society and our Judge Tim Hey.

Everyone involved is hoping that this initiative will give lots of alpaca breeders, and all enthusiastic lovers of alpacas, something new to look forward to.

In other news, daughter Hannah continues to work lots of hours answering 999 calls – fortunately whilst staffing is under pressure the number of calls up here are sensible. Jack and Becky are loving their new home but desperate to equip it fully and show it off to family and friends. Will has returned to his RAF base, after extended leave, when he should have been in Portugal with Lois and her family.

I’ve been in touch with my family down south and all seems fine. Kathryns mum and dad are doing well in difficult circumstances and today celebrate their 66th wedding anniversary - exactly double the celebration Kathryn and I enjoyed 2 weeks ago.

Well I’m off to cook our first barbecue of the year – have a great weekend everyone.
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Comment on Facebook

Wow you have been exceptionally busy. Glad Turnby has turned the corner xx

Just another day at the farm then So pleased the outcome was a success Stay safe

Gosh a bit of a roller coaster ride for you and Kathryn Shrimpton - so pleased things are looking up now - fingers crossed for the next new arrivals🤞Enjoy your BBQ🌭🍔🍡🍻

Great news about Tumby! 💜

Pff just another week out of the life of an alpacabreeder! Never a dull moment! Great that the cria is doing much better🖤😘

Sounds like you've been keeping really busy. If you need a hand with anything give me a shout xxxx

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3 months ago

Alpaca Breeder Blog

Here’s mum Nero Black Rumour and daughter 2 hours old. Sire is Houghton Cosmic now at Capital Alpacas. ... See moreSee less

Here’s mum Nero Black Rumour and daughter 2 hours old. Sire is Houghton Cosmic now at Capital Alpacas.

 

Comment on Facebook

She looks cosy in her rug!! Hope all is going well for them both, and you and Kathryn Shrimpton have thawed out x

Holds her head well already! Congrats x

oh that’s lovely a black girl so pleased Rumour has grown up well xx

Congratulations to you all ... what a beauty 💕

A great start to your season! 🖤

Ah brilliant! Congrats to all 😀. Xxx

Ticks all the boxes 🖤 👧 well done Rumour x

Good news for a change ,hello little one x

Thanks - everyone. Yes it is cold Jenny - for the spectators too 🙂

Congratulations, lovely 🖤

Congratulations!

How gorgeous xx

Congratulations 🖤

Another cutie pie

Lovely looking cria

Well done Rumour !

Beautiful❤❤❤

Gorgeous ❤️

Aw too cute 🥰

Cold day for the wee sweetie XX

So pretty 💕

Nice start!

Ah well not a grey. Good job though Rumour!

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3 months ago

Alpaca Breeder Blog

Exciting day here, with a maiden female Nero Black Rumour in labour. Watch this space ... See moreSee less

 

Comment on Facebook

Congratulations hope mum and cria are both well

Congratulations and some lovely pictures. Hope Mum and baby will do really well and all Mums and babies to follow will do likewise 🖤🖤

Congratulations, first one of the year😘 x

Omg bless her so excited x

Nature at its very best, 🤗

🤞🏼🍀🖤

🤞🤞❤❤

Lying down on the job

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