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Em Moves In

It’s been a busy couple of weeks.  Last week, I visited my mom in New Orleans where she moved after living most of her 83 years in Cleveland, Ohio.  Living independently became an increasing challenge for this bright, strong-willed, active woman who was born during the Great Depression.  We decided as a family that the safest and best next step was for Emilie – we call her Em – to move in with me and Jim Bob.  So we bought her a ticket and Em is now part of the Webb Acres herd.

It’s not the easiest transition for her but the dogs and chickens at least are thrilled to 20170715_155359382_iOShave her here.  The alpacas are wary creatures but at least they don’t let out warning cries when they see my mom like they do when they see cows in the next pasture or the neighbors’ dog coming into our yard.

Zeus is the most adventurous when he eventually accepted some hay.  Yes,  our Zeus is growing up so fast. He’s now eating hay like a big boy.

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On a more somber note, Mommacita is struggling a bit with the  heat.  She is weak but readily accepts hay and water, especially loving the water with electrolytes and other goodies.  She seems to be getting a bit stronger but this heat is so brutal for all of the creatures large and small. We have large fans that all of the alpacas enjoy in the shade.  And Jim Bob is wetting the dirt under their canopy to help keep their belly cooler.  Alpacas – and humans – aren’t meant to live in 100 degree heat.

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Also, cria Bambina,  has developed mange.  We bought medication for her and the rest of the herd but it’s so hot right now we don’t want to stress them out by giving them shots as well.  Hopefully, it will be cool enough tonight or tomorrow morning so we can get that going.

The chicks look almost big enough to start laying but they heat may delay their production.  Our 3 big girls are only giving us one egg  a day right now.

Life is busy for me right now and am so grateful that the Moringa tree is now a part of my daily diet.  Moringa is one of he most nutritious plants in the world and a dear friend turned me onto a product that gives me more energy, focus, and motivation than I ever imagined.  My fibromyalgia and CFIDS symptoms are mostly gone and I really feel great. 20170414_120442033_iOS Without SuperMix and the other products I take daily there is no possible way I could experience this full, hectic, and wonderful life.  Let me know you have an interest in learning more about these products.

Playing with Fiber

This morning, I finally used the skirting table Jim Bob made for me to clean and pick the debris from the sheared alpaca fiber.   Building the frame with pvc, he found a wire shelf and covered it in chicken wire.

It works great. It’s tall, sturdy and the holes are small enough for dirt to go through and hair stays on the surface as I agitate and pick the soft hair.   It’s a good thing Jim Bob made it sturdy as it’s going to be put to a lot of use as I work through the bags of fiber.

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The outer hair in some of the critters is well covered in stickers so I snipped the most matted areas.

 

 

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The hair is silky soft.  It’s fun agitating and picking out the junk.  While this color may not be the most sought after, I like the white with bits of tan.

I look forward to seeing how the color will look as yarn when I start using  my new spinning wheel.

A couple of months ago, I spent the day learning how to spin at Homestead Heritage, a community near Waco, Texas that offers a variety of sustainable classes from cheese making to pottery.  In a day, I learned the basics of using a wheel to spin yarn.  I was hooked in no time.  By the end of the day, I wasn’t good but started getting the hang of it.

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I selected this one as it’s portable yet has the height and size of other wheels.  It also was one of the lower priced styles.  The clincher was our teacher said her favorite wheel is this Side Kick.

Sometimes I feel impatient with all that needs to be done on Webb Acres.  I wish I could spend the day playing in our jungle garden, playing with fiber, and doing animal chores. Working full time on Webb Acres is just not feasible.  I need to keep reminding myself that the joy is in the journey and not worry about the end game.

In other news, Moose is feeling healthy and back to her feisty self.  Jim Bob just told me that she chased the barn cats across the field and into the woods scolding them as she ran.  Then she pranced away proud of her accomplishment.

Zeus continues to grow and thrive.  He’s funny, curious, and so very handsome as proven in today’s photo.

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This is Entertainment!

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Zeus gets up close and curious

Busy lives has made writing a blog post difficult lately.  I decided to take this afternoon off from work and do a few things for me, including writing an update on Webb Acres for all interested.

Yesterday, Jim Bob vaccinated Zeus with CDT, to keep the cria safe from Clostidium perfringens types C & D, common livestock illnesses, and tetanus. Initially, the stinker played ring a round the round pen with me while the other alpacas

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Texas stand off

ate.  Then, he and Jim Bob had a stand off.   Eventually, we were able to catch him and, just like any baby, he tried to squirm and whine until I released him from his torture.  He is one silly baby.

The baby chicks are growing up fast too.  They love their swing and perches so much that Jim Bob is trying to figure out how to add the equipment in the hen house he’s building.20170611_030828948_iOS20170608_012428462_iOS

They need to hurry up and start laying as it appears one of our hens is done with egg production.

Speaking of hens, we had a couple of stale rolls and one of our girls flew up and snatched pieces from my hand.  I know, stupid livestock tricks but they had fun too.20170620_221244011_iOS

The labs are happy, happy, happy.  In fact, they’ve been having so much fun, our dirty dogs will all be getting baths this weekend.

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More soon!

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Babies Grow Up So Fast

At 3 1/2 weeks, Zeus is a curious little guy as well as more skittish  He has not figured out the chickens and it’s too funny to see him look at one, begin to walk towards her then run away when she moves.  He is also trying to figure out his humans.  Zeus sniffs my breath, hair and clothes.  He knows I smell different from his herd yet I’m familiar.

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Wait until we give you your next vaccine in a couple weeks, Zeus.  You’ll run away from us like Moose did after we took her to the vet then came home and tried to give her medication.

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Moose is doing great.  Giving her and the rest of the herd some alfalfa each morning did the trick.  She stubbornly refused to let us near her to give her the medication prescribed.  We could have fought her and won but there was no point. Moose recovered to her old self with the addition of alfalfa to her diet.

The little chicks are growing as well.  It’s hard to believe I brought them home only a month ago.  The pullets outgrew their space quickly and their permanent residence isn’t ready yet.  Today we moved them into a makeshift rental property in a livestock trailer.   The nuts didn’t know what to do with all the space.

Life is blossoming on Webb Acres.