A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

May 29, 2008

Enough Already!

The last few weeks have been a catalogue of problems and apparently life is thinking that we have not had our fair share of them.


Bjorn’s cria has been making steady improvement with the lax tendons in his legs and on Sunday evening we even let him out of his pen for a few minutes.   He seemed a little depressed and Bjorn was anxious to be out with the herd.  The cria did well and enjoyed his time and even tried to run and buck a little. 


By Monday morning though I could tell something was not right, the cria was lethargic and was not nursing as frequently as before.  We weighed him only to discover he had lost weight.  Something was definitely amiss and so we took his temperature to see if that would give us any clues.  The poor little cria’s temperature was 103.8, which is too high for a cria (normal temperature being 101.5 to 102.5).  We gave the cria some banamine to help reduce his fever and started him on some MSE drench.  We also started him on a course of Tucoprim, which is an antibiotic.  We kept a close eye on the little guy during the day and by early afternoon he seemed a little brighter but still not right.  We took his temperature again and this time it was 104.8, we were not progressing in the right direction with this cria.  So in addition to the Tucoprim we started him on some Naxcel.  Naxcel is a good antibiotic but you do have to be careful when using it in crias as it can destroy their intestinal flora.  In our case the MSE drench should provide good probiotics to help keep the crias intestinal flora healthy.


Monday evening brought us another problem to deal with when we went out to do evening chores and discovered our horse Sabre had a hole in his side.  The hole was about 8”long, 4” wide and was deep; fortunately while there was a lot of damage to the skin layers the abdominal cavity was still intact.  But of course Monday was a holiday and there wasn’t any veterinary service available.


In his younger days Sabre was very accident prone (perhaps his recent injury was him reliving his youth!) and I have had various experiences with various injuries on Sabre.  His wound was not bleeding and the blood that had flowed at the time of the injury had coagulated on the wound.  Somewhere in the back of my mind I remembered that it is often better to leave something like that than to try and clean it as the blood has formed a barrier on the wound giving it some protection.  Sabre didn’t seem too bothered by his wound and so we penned him and his mother Savannah up for the night knowing that we would be off to the vets in the morning.  


Loading Sabre into the trailer the next morning was not an easy task.  He has never been fond of loading and unfortunately he loaded in the trailer, tried to turn round and get out again and banged his head on the trailer in the process.  It took forever to get him back in that trailer and we had to recruit help to make it happen, but eventually he was on his way to the vets.  Just to make things really fun, once he was at the vets Sabre refused to get out of the trailer!  He did come out eventually with some persuasion and received the veterinary care he needed.  Now we have the task of caring for his wound, but fortunately it is not too difficult and only needs to be done a couple of times a day.  It’s going to take several weeks for the wound to heal, but our vet assures us it will heal and Sabre will be fine.


Just to round things off on Tuesday afternoon we had a delivery of a semi truckload of wheat hay.  All was looking good until we realized that the hay was just a few inches too high to allow the semi truck to get through our entry way (our entry way is 13 feet high and usually is not a problem to a semi truck).  So instead of being able to park the truck close to the hay barn we had to park it out on the road, unload the hay onto a tractor and a forklift, drive each load to the hay barn and then restack the hay.  That took a while (several hours actually!) and we certainly got our exercise for the day.  If you have never had the opportunity to unload 530 bales of hay from a trailer and then restack them then you need to give it a try at least once in your lifetime.  I promise you once you have done so, the next time you see a semi load of hay going down the road you will have a much greater appreciation for how it all got stacked on the truck in the first place.


Once again Bob Dart from Llano Soleado Alpacas came to our aid, kindly loaning us his forklift and spending time helping unload the hay.  His daughter Abby also came to help in the evening and busily loaded up the loose hay from the truck into buckets for us so that it would not be wasted.  Thanks again Bob and Abby, we couldn’t have done it without you.  Thank you also goes to Alex Stewart who is helping us on the farm this summer.  It was Alex’s first day with us yesterday and boy did he learn the meaning of the word labor!  Still he helped out without complaint and has even told us he is ready to help us with the next load.  Yes, our hay fun is not over yet as semi load number two will be here Friday and we get to do the hay unloading all over again.   Ah, life on the farm – great isn’t it!



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