Rick and Terry Simpson
HC 79 Box 52-E
Romney, WV 26757
(304) 822-3494

November 2, 2001

We did herd health again on October 28. Forrester is up to 80 lbs, Kimball is up to 91 lbs, and Kirk weighs in at 110.5 lbs. Considering that these three have only three weeks between the first born of them and the last born of them, the weight difference is astonishing!

Forrester does seem to be a bit more willing to go after his food and try to keep Kirk away from it. We were giving him antibiotics, ulcer medications and an iron supplement for awhile there, and perhaps that helped a little. It's hard to say.

We weren't able to get a good look at their nails, though. The guys are really distressed when we pick up their feet. They're distressed when we try to work with them! We have to shove them around a lot to get them on the scale, although they take their dectomax injections without much fuss. Forrester is a kicker. He'll position himself exactly right and then kick out as hard as he can. He misjudged it once and ended up kicking the manger a good hard one, and thought twice about it the next time he was tempted. Even so, I'm still rapping him on the back legs with the wand when he kicks me. Someday, maybe he'll learn that HE doesn't like the results when he kicks!

Rick divided the upper field into two pastures so we can try to grow grass on at least one side of it while the guys graze in the other side. Not that there's much there to graze on - they've taken everything but the trees down to the bare ground.

Rick also fenced off a bit of the side yard so that there is a safe passageway between the garage (barn) and the back yard, where we normally keep the dogs. The 'pacas have grazed both the side yard and the back yard down to the bare ground, too. I was under the impression that these guys weren't supposed to be hard on the fields... I guess that's only true when there's enough grass to fill them up.

We found a third way in which hay can go bad (the first two ways are: stemmy and moldy). The third way is filled with what I can only call "hay heads" - they look like little fuzzy fans at the top of each stem of hay... seed heads, maybe? In any event, the guys won't eat them any more than they'll eat stemmy hay or moldy hay. I wonder how many other ways there are for hay to go bad?

We're going to Alpacarama today. It's the first show of its kind, I'm told. Every alpaca at the show will be for sale.

Speaking of 'for sale,' we've backed out on our purchase contract for Sheba and Rebekah. Bob and Lee were very good about it... we suspect it's because they had only one female out of three crias this year, and if they sold us Sheba and Rebecca, that would leave them with 4 females (Camilla, Allante, Trinity, and baby Abigail) and 6 males (Katahdin, Solomon, Shiloh, Elijah, Gabriel, and the new cria whose name I don't know yet. They're taking Shiloh and Elijah to Alpacarama this weekend to see if they can sell them. They are both beautiful animals!

I received Sarai's fleece back from Amy. Raw, right-off-the-animal fleece, washed-and-picked fleece, rovings, and yarn. When we get Sobata's yarn back so that there's enough to make something of, I'll have a shawl or something made - just something to show off with, nothing to actually use.

Unless something really interesting happens, I probably won't add any more here over the winter. The next exciting event - not due 'til mid December - is getting our three guys gelded. After that, nothing until spring, when we'll breed Sarai and shear Sobata, Sarai, Kirk, Kimball, and Forrester, and then bring the girls home. By then, in April, the guys should have worked all the testosterone out of their systems.. it'll be four months since their gelding, and I'm told that's time enough.

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