Blueridge Farm Autumn Newsletter
Blueridge Farm Alpacas
Autumn Newsletter 2018
It seems like the summer has just flown by and the unpredictable weather has made it a very unusual season. What with the highest recorded temperatures in NZ history and
the various storms and tropical cyclones that passed through it has impacted on us all!
We have had a lot of high humidity and started to feed out zinc nuts to prevent facial eczema at the beginning of February as the FE spore count began to rise. This will continue through until the start of May unless there is a real change in the weather. The zinc nuts can only be fed for 90 days as after that the period the zinc can have a detrimental effect on the animals copper levels.
We were able to get a very early pre Christmas cut of silage plus a very good second cut of hay in February which was snapped up when we listed it for sale. Farmers say hay in the barn is like money in the bank and means if grass becomes tight you don’t have to buy more expensive feed to keep the animals going. It might be advantageous for you to seek out some hay in your area now when it is cheaper and stash it away somewhere dry for the winter.
We have seen quite a few alpaca going to new owners over the summer and welcome
the Bryant family from Ohaupo, Virginia Pax from Tamahere
and Jo Goddard and her daughters from Upper Hutt to our network.
In the births department Marlene and Racquel Sentence have had their first cria a dark fawn male they have called Ramarta Desert Storm. A very handsome boy sired by Phenomonen.
Rachel Pope from Hampton Downs has also had her first arrival, a cute little black male cria with white facial markings sired by Revolution.
Waverney Parker up at Te Miro has two new cria…. I hope Ginger Crunch is enjoying the youthful company. All exciting stuff! We look forward to getting some more updates on their progress.
We have also had exciting news from Rebecca & Jamie Toon to say their first cria has arrived. A black girl sired by Blueridge Farm Nighthawk. Rebecca & Jamie are now on watch for cria number two.
Our first cria of the year are due in late March and we are, fingers crossed, hopeful that we have some lovely new cria to come.
The two girls born in October & December are thick as thieves and the elder one, Tosca will be in our show team at the Colourbration Show.
The North Island Colourbration Show is held annually and is the last show of the summer show season. It is being held at Claudelands on the 7th April, 2018 in conjunction with the Waikato Winter Show. If you have the time, take the opportunity to visit and see the large number of alpacas attending on the Saturday. Make sure you stop in at our pens and say “hi”.
Above is a photo of the Bryant Family’s new mum & cria… Jemyma & Jamaica
Jo Goddard’s new girls making the most of the lovely grass after their trip down from Cambridge to the Hutt Valley
Bill & Ben, Cathy & Chris Eastwood’s boys from Taupo with their new paddock mate.
A lovely photo of Zahraa and her surprise gift… O’Rafferty. Thank you Khaled for letting us share in the secret……What woman wouldn’t be delighted if her husband surprised her with a new alpaca!
Stud Male News
With an eye to the future we are also delighted to have been able to purchase a new stud male from judge, Paul Garland’s South Island herd, ”Waratah Flats”.
Waratah Flats Rising Star has been producing some beautiful progeny so we are
looking forward to seeing what he can do for us here in the Waikato.
He is a really lovely male and we already have one of his progeny, Liberty Bell, pictured above right, getting ready to have her first cria. Star is quite a compact male with a beautiful temperament and a very fine dense fleece. His first three fleeces were under 17 micron!
Along with Rising Star we also have Revolution (Black) and Armedaous (Medium Fawn) available.
The next job on the Alpaca annual calendar is the pre-winter vaccinations.
We do this in May. All our alpacas are given their vaccination boosters and Vitamin A, D & E injections. Due to the denseness of their fleeces over winter the animals do not absorb sufficient sunlight on the skin to provide enough Vitamin D. This is particularly important for young growing animals to prevent them getting rickets.
We use 1 ml of “Ultravac 5 in 1” per animal injected under the skin(SQ) in the lower neck just in front of the shoulder bade.
“Hideject A, D & E” is injected into the muscle just above the elbow of the front leg. Adults are given 0.3 ml, weanlings 0.2ml and cria 0.1ml. NB These are small amounts all parts of a ml.
We use 1 ml syringes with a 23 gauge needle for the A, D & E and 3 ml syringes with 23 gauge needles for the Ultravac 5 n 1. These are very fine needles that only make a small incision so aren’t too nasty for the animals. For thicker substances like drench you will need a larger needle like a short 18-20 gauge one.
Most vets will draw you up small amounts of Ultravac 5 in 1 and Hideject so that you are only paying for what you need rather than buying the larger expensive bulk amounts that they sell.
If you are unfamiliar with giving animals injections this is a very good YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bArZQbMC4Rc&sns=fb
Giving injections is a two person job. You will need to bring your animals into a small yard and while one person holds the animal with one hand around the neck and the other on the withers (the top of the back where the neck joins the body) the other person can do the injections. Often you will find that the animals may make a fuss about initially being caught but once held they relax.
Just a handy hint to catch your animals in a larger paddock try using a rope between two people or one person and the rope tied to a fence or gate as the animals generally will move away from the rope as if it was a solid barrier and you can then circle around them moving them in the direction you want. If they are greedy types of course some alpaca nuts work well.
New cria – New cria require a vaccination (Ultravac 5 in 1) between 4-6 weeks of age and a booster a month later. This prevents them getting pulpy kidney, tetanus, blackleg, black disease and malignant oedema. After the booster they can be put on the same schedule as the adults.
Cria and weanlings need more Vitamin D while they are growing. In the first year Hideject should be given every six weeks, especially over the winter. Then from 12months onwards twice a year with the adults.
Pregnant Girls – They should be given a vaccination and AD & E injection a month to 6 weeks before they are due to give birth. This will ensure that the new cria has some protection when it is born.
We hope that you and your alpacas enjoy the Autumn Season.
Blueridge Farm Alpacas Ph O27 697 6640 573 Bruntwood Road, Cambridge www.blueridgefarmalpacas.com