I can't believe it's only been a week since the last 'blog post! ... It goes to show how much 'blog-worthy stuff can happen in one week!
So, the first major farm event was Shearing #1: Sheep and Pregnant Alpacas. (This is actually not all that accurate a title, as not all of the pregnant alpacas actually got shorn -- just those that are close to their due date -- and not all of the alpacas shorn were pregnant -- but it sounds better than Sheep and Group 1 Alpacas, since no one else knows what "Group 1" is.) This shearing's obligatory "before and after" photos are brought to you by sheep, because it was the sheep that made the most dramatic transformations this round.
The most dramatic sheep of all was Licorice, the totally wool-blind ewe lamb from this post. However, Licorice didn't feel like cooperating for her "after" shot, so instead, we bring you the second most dramatic, from the boy in the same post, Ike. As a refresher, here is what Ike looked like before:
... And here he is after:
... Holy spots, Batman!
On this farm, getting shorn and revealing a whole bunch of spots is a really, really GOOD thing. (This is not necessarily the case on all farms.)
Cheever, Jiggles and Puddin -- three of our other sheep -- also made pretty dramatic color changes; Jiggles and Puddin also revealed a good amount of spotting.
Then, on shearing day, we had our second cria of the season, as expected. Why was it expected? Well, you see, our new shearer, Malcolm Cooper, had been to our farm three times last year: once to shear our sheep, and twice more to tip shear the crias. Each time, a cria was born on the same day. Thus, it was inevitable, and I was honestly not surprised when a female -- Dani Rose -- went into labor. (It helped that she was due right around then, of course.)
I was seriously hoping for a grey female out of this one (granted, this is usually what I am hoping for), and he missed the memo both ways and managed to come out a brown male. That's okay, though -- he is strong, healthy, robust and looking good, and that's what really matters. Logically, he had to be named Malcolm.
Last but definitely not least, our last ewe lambed Tuesday, giving us a tidy lambing season of one week. All told, we had five black ewe lambs, one black ram lamb and one white ram lamb, all healthy, robust and gorgeous, with no dystocias. Now THAT is an awesome lambing season!
Now that lambing season is complete (with the possible exception of a straggler who needed some time to start cycling), we now get to play the long waiting game for crias. Every alpaca breeder wishes that alpacas were as easy to time as sheep, but alas, with a gestation length of 330 - 360 days, they are not.
Next up: Last-minute full-fleece and fiber photos before Shearing #2: The Big One!
K writes this stuff, for some reason that has yet to become apparent.