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Monday, January 15, 2018

Snow and extreme cold

It has been, and continues to be, one of the coldest winters I can recall. I love snow, as do my alpacas, but this extreme in temperatures, has me doing things I have not had to do in a long time. I, unfortunately, left the heated water hose attached to the faucet in the barn, so there was no water to add to the tanks. As a result, I had to schlepp(a German word meaning to carry) water buckets with heated water from my kitchen to the barn, which is not an easy feat. As there was a bit of ice on the ground, I purchased one of those plastic sleds and used it to pull three five gallon buckets to the barn twice a day. Fortunately, my farm sitter had put up the tarps across the open parts of the barn, while I was dealing with a severe cold right before Christmas, so at least the wind was kept out of the barn. She also came one day when it was freezing cold, and discovered a three inch ice cover on the girls' tank, and chopped through it, so there was a little hole for them from which to drink. I realized that the heater had been disconnected from the outlet, and also decided that the heater that was in there, was not able to deal with that much cold, so got a bigger one and it is now working beautifully. I also use my sled, now that we have snow on the ground(Did I tell you that I love snow?) to move the hay bales from the back storage area to the hay bins in the three barn areas.
I learned a number of years ago, that deep bedding is the way to go to keep the barn warmer in cold weather, so that is what I have been doing. I have a thermometer in the back of the barn, and I checked it yesterday, when the outdoor temperature(during bright sunshine) was a "warm" ten degrees, and it read a tad over twenty. My Suris were not shivering, so it must be ok for them in there as well as for the huacayas and my Anatolian. Even my hens like it in there, and prefer it to the small coop I have for them. I just don't know where they are laying their eggs right now. A few days ago, I found a slight mound of hay as I was retrieving some bales to feed the alpacas, and to my surprise, found about 20 eggs neatly laid under that mound. I scooped them up and boiled them, then fed one to each of my eight dogs. They were gobbled up, so I know they were still good, although they were frozen when I found them. Well, that is life on the farm during the winter. I am getting bundled up to check up on everyone, as there is snow coming.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

injection site cyst

I have not had one of these in nearly 14 years, but last week I discovered a hard lump on the side of one of my alpaca females. I suspected it was an injections site cyst, and waited for it to erupt, then cleaned it out with warm soapy water. Got the nasty stuff out and then flushed it. It has healed nicely. and yesterday I discovered one on one of my black girls. Am waiting for it to erupt, and since tomorrow is herd health day, will deal with it then. It never fails, if it is raining, it is pouring in more than one sense. At least this is something with which I can deal without going to the vet. Good thing I have Betadine on hand with which to flush it out this time. Checked on the cheek, and it is healing nicely.


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Clinton County Farmer's Market

We will be a vendor again at the Clinton County Farmer's Market every Saturday from 8:30 to Noon beginning June 3, 2017. Come and check us out. We have fiber from our alpacas, raw, as well as washed, carded and spun, the ever popular dryer balls, cat toys(tested and approved by my own housecats) and perhaps a handwoven rug(if time permits) also made with yarn from our animals.

There are a variety of vendors there, so you can also shop for produce, organic meats, jewelry, baked goods, oils, herbs and other plants, as well as pet treats. It is a well organized market, and the site is in front of the General Denver Hotel, right in the middle of Wilmigton, Ohio. Each week, they also have special activities planned for the kids that accompany their parents to the market. It is a very friendly place, so stop by and make some new friends.

Friday, May 19, 2017

visitors from Germany

Yesterday I had visitors from Germany. They were long time friends of my cousins and touring with my brother who had taken them from Boston, to New York, Washington, DC and then to my farm before heading to Chicago and then Iowa. It turns out that they had visited Peru in the past, and had also taken in an alpaca farm while there. When I let them touch the fiber of one of my males(they were shorn three weeks ago, they could not believe how soft it was. The lady had purchased an alpaca shawl while on that farm, and she said it did not feel anywhere near as soft as the fiber I had shown her. Guess I am doing something right here. Now if the weather would stay nice for a couple of days, I will get started with skirting, washing and drying outside.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Shearing Day is a success.

Well, in spite of the dire predictions of the weathermen for storms on the days scheduled for shearing, we had a great two days of nice cool weather without a drop of rain. As a matter of fact, it was so cool that I had to coat one of the crias and my two Suris. My shearers and helpers were great and we got all of the girls finished one day, then went on to finish off the boys the next. Now to process all that fiber when the weather turns warm.

Monday, March 27, 2017

New cria

On the 21st of this month we had a huge surprise in our barn, a totally black little cria male, already up and running around. As I had only bred one female last year, I was not expecting this one, so will have to do some real background searching via DNA to find out who daddy is He has gained weight each day and has made his way into the herd, leaping around and causing general havoc. Mom, also a true black, and Evander daughter, has plenty of milk and is super protective of her little guy. My grand nephew has named him Lamborghini, as he loves nice cars and spotted one of those a few days before the cria was born. Of course, he had to make his appearance on one of those days when it went from 60 degrees to below freezing, so he was coated after we dried him off and sprayed his umbilical cord. He is now almost two months old, and feisty as they come. His fiber is stunning, with lovely, tight curls all over his body and a shiny black.


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Getting ready for spring and shearing

Sunshine is here today, which makes me very happy, and I know the pacas are enjoying every ray as well. It has been one historic winter, going from freezing to the upper sixties from one day to the next. I am not looking forward to the insects this summer. As soon as I can wade through the mud, I will clean out the winter mess from the barns. Had the tractor and mower serviced during the winter, so everything should be in good working order. Need to get a new seed/fertilizer spreader as the old one is simply shot. Since I had my right knee replaced for the third time(the 3rd should be the charm) I did not get to clip nails this winter and they need to be done desperately for a couple of the animals whose nails grow more quickly. Fortunately, my 14 year old grand nephew was with me to take care of the pacas and dogs for the past several weeks since I got out of the rehab place. My farm sitter took excellent care of them before that, so with the help of Luke, we got the pacas their monthly shots in Feb. The next time they are due, I should be a little more stable on my feet. Looking forward to going to the farmer's market the third Saturday in March.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Clinton County Farmer's Market, puppies, etc.

Be sure to visit us at the Clinton County Farmer's market where we will be set up on the first and third Saturdays of the month for the winter and spring. We will have lots of stocking stuffers for that special person on your list Dec. 3rd and 17th, so be sure to stop by between 9 and 12 and check out what products we have available for you.

Our current litter of AKC German Shepherds is down to one male , so check back with us if you want to be placed on our puppy list. Our puppies have gone to great homes all over the country(California, Texas, Arizona as well as states in the East), and we have families that have had several generations of our dogs. We guarantee their health because we love our dogs, and our alpacas. A non-refundable deposit is required to insure that a dog goes to a good home and is not just one of those sudden, impulse purchases, and will go to a forever home.

Who has the better

Who has the better "Do"?

A spoiled rotten puppy.

A spoiled rotten puppy.


Sunday, October 2, 2016

Latest cria

We had a surprise on Friday, September 16th. It was late in the afternoon when I went to let the female herd back into the barn. I saw a heap of something light in the back of the pasture, and when I went to check, found that Tea Rose had given birth, a few weeks early, to a tiny, nine pound, light fawn male. He was so small that he had trouble reaching the milk bar, was already dry and able to stand and walk, although a bit wobbly. Got mom and baby into the barn and weighed him. His slight weight caused some concern, but he appeared ok in every other way and soon was able to nurse after I stripped mom's teats. Since that day, he has steadily gained and yesterday was up to 16 lbs. He is one very tough little guy and annoys all the females by jumping on them. His fiber is beautiful and I am hoping that he will turn out to have mom's great micron.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Our new LSG

Liberty, the Great Pyr we added as a helper to Kander, our Anatolian, is working out nicely now. She has finally decided that Tanglewood Farm is her new home, and even during our Farm Open House days the last week-end in September, she stayed put and walked down to the driveway gate only to welcome visitors and escort them up to the barns. She is very sweet and spends her nap times mostly in the garage where my GSDs have their kennels. At other times she has even been seen in the pasture with the Alpacas, so I guess she is finally no longer afraid of the long legged and long necked critters.