The forecast for the Bank Holiday weekend was not all that good and with 3 major jobs to get done, fine weather was needed to ensure we got them all done.
Saturday saw the arrival of Karol & Kev complete with scythes, grim reaper style, to help us cut down the long grass in a small wooded area (1/8th of an acre no less), where you can't get in with any mechanical machinery. I know that petrol strimmers will do the job, but after an hour I find that my hands have started to go numb and despite wearing ear defenders my head aches from the noise and smell from the engine. So the traditional way is used with a scythe, and when a gang of you get going it's very relaxing and satisfying. We managed to get it all cut and were stacking up the last few piles of grass in the compost bins, when it started to rain. I don't think any of us were too disappointed to see the rain.
Sunday morning found us using a rope tied to the back of the tractor which we used to help us get down a steep incline to repair 50ft of fencing. The old fencing had been overgrown and pushed down by the willows that are growing along the stream. These had to be cut away so that we could see the extent of the damage All the posts, wire, staples and mallet had to be hand balled down the slope and left in such a way that they didn't roll into the stream, closely followed by us. Despite the rain showers we got it finished by lunch time. The afternoon saw us cleaning out the barn where the sheep had been in readiness for the arrival of Bob the alpaca shearer in Tuesday. 3 hours later it was cleared and the floor sprinkled with a disinfectant powder and all the straw and manure in two large compost bins so that it can rot down.
All three jobs done and it was still Sunday, O.K it was late on Sunday, but it was still Sunday.
Monday was a quiet day, the hurdles in place for the shearing on Tuesday, the large trailer ready for the male alpacas to go in, so they were dry, the ewes and lambs moved into the back field where there is lots of grass for them to eat. Hector the Ram and his mates moved into another paddock that they female alpacas had been in and was starting to look like a dock field. The lads ran in and started eating the docks. They love them.
But the other reason for a quiet day was that Holly had a poorly tummy she'd been sick and was off here food, which for her is totally unheard of. But a quick spray on her nose of the "magic" spray (homeopathic remedy for sheep scour) seems to have done the trick and today she is nearly back to her old self.
Finally the worm egg sample results came back. The males had no worms where as the females and lambs had a few, so on the recommendation of the vet everyone will get wormed, it's about a year since they were last done, so the results are pretty good.
That's all - will tell you about the Alpaca shearing later.
Perth Festival of Yarn, and a bit of dyeing
5 weeks ago