I was called by the lovely wife the morning following the bull escape. I had made it to work and was playing catch up. She called to tell me that the alpaca were out in the lower barley field. Now the field is actually growing wheat but the “Lower Barley Field” is its name as it was a field her dad developed to prove to his father that he could, hence the name. Now how on earth could the alpaca get into that field? Well, when I went into the field to chase the bull I left the gate open just in case the bull would not turn around, he could go out into the house area of the farm then we could run him into the correct field.
The problem with this is after we put the Bull back in I proceeded to walk the fence line down toward the school house to make sure there were no holes. Unfortunately, on the way back to the house we walked on the road so my shoes and clothes would not get muddier and wetter. I also forgot about the open gate. I recognize this violates the cardinal rule of gate operation where livestock are present. The animals always figure out when a gate has been left in the incorrect location.
Annmarie used the dogs to move the alpaca. This is not the best technique as the alpaca will band together and run at the dogs. Luckily there are two dogs and they are sneaky. The alpaca get tired of one or the other sneaking behind them and biting them on the ankle. There was a large stare down contest going on as I pulled up to help. Annmarie had them all out of the field before I could get out of the car to assist.
In my defense, I came right away and did not complain or offer excuses for not shutting the gate.
Friday morning I went out to feed the animals. Normally, Annmarie does this but I was going into work late so I said I would. I bundled all up as it is getting cold again and was down to 18 F. I went out to feed the horses and the barn kitties. The sheep had spent the night in the barn but I had not locked them in. I went out and found a lamb curled up in the corner. I thought it was asleep at first then I thought it was dead. I touched it and it moved ever so slightly so it was still alive. I took it inside for Annmarie to warm up and feed and Tisha to come pick up. It was one of our #1 ewe’s twins. She is getting old and forgot to make sure it followed her out of the barn. Its 48 hours old so it should have been fine. We have now decided that all babies and moms need to be separated for a few days from the main herd. I asked Annmarie to talk with Tisha about a buy back program for all the bummers this year. No go she is going to use them to diversify her herd! It was worth a try.
Zeke has been doing the escape thing from the yard again. He thinks he is a cat and cannot be corralled. I tried stuffing some panel pieces alongside the creek to stop him from digging out on Thursday, by Friday he was out of the yard again. He had dug a new hole over by the bridge. So this time I blocked it off with yet another panel piece then rolled a 200# rock down next to the fence. He will not be moving it any time this century. I may have to get another rock for the other side once he tries that section of fence. He is so painful to keep in the yard.