It has been a pretty good week. Annmarie and I went out to get the sheep on Wednesday evening. We were headed out to the upper pasture when Annmarie spotted this alpaca with an injured eye. It was hard to look at from twelve feet away but it looked injured and had some blood on his face. I thought the eye might be encased in a scab and blinding him. Since I had just come home from work and we were only going to walk up and push the sheep back to the barn lot I had not bothered changing clothes. Knowing the best way to see if the alpaca was blind was to sneak up on his potentially blind side. This worked amazingly well, I got right next to him, but what if he smells you? The solution is to just grab him around the neck suddenly with no warning whatsoever. One would think I would have learned by now, but the rule is once you grab you don’t let go, no matter what! If you let go the there will be no touching that animal for the rest of the day. I held on despite getting tossed around and ending up on the ground. I managed to put a wrestler hold on his neck and get on top of him for the pin! Annmarie had to hold his hips while I looked at his eye, yep scabbed over, could not see the eye. We are going to just watch him. He is one of our older animals and pinning him into a pen for repeated daily treatments when he doesn’t have much life left doesn’t seem like a quality of life he would appreciate. We don’t do the vet for the alpaca, sheep, or cows. The history precluding this incident is he has been on the war path and chasing and beating up other alpaca all week before the injury. We are not sure if he got kicked or ran into something. He was literally chasing victims all over the farm earlier in the week. Annmarie found my phone and all the pens I scattered all over the ground during the takedown event.
I was finally able to get some triticale seed 400#. I could not get it locally in 50# bags and I don’t need a 2000# tote full of triticale seed. I ended up getting it out of Walla Walla through Nutrien Ag Solutions. They delivered it to the house as there is an employee who lives in the area nearby. I got this done Wednesday evening so I would be all ready to go on Friday when I started to plant the triticale. I have three small fields that need triticale, the grass has been planted. There are two patches up on the hillside that need grass planting still but they will have to wait until after the triticale is planted. I don’t want to break the seeder on the hillside while planting experimental test plots until the triticale is in the ground, essentials first!
Friday morning was the big day to get all of the seed in the ground. I got up, cooked a great breakfast and got out to the machine shed. There was only a little grass seed left so I just tossed in a bag of triticale over the top. The bins will only hold one 50# bag of triticale. It will hold about 75# of grass seed. On a fluke I decided to inspect the seeder, it had been used for several days last week. Yep, it has these six inch teeth that rotate, two teeth to each hub for a total of twelve, five of them were broken off. Very not user friendly to get them off. I kept pulling out tools, finally grabbed my impact driver and could not get bolts loose with that. I need a 18” bar to really get some leverage except the teeth sticking down cause wrench access issues. It was a nightmare and took way too long. I finally snapped a couple of bolts off. I managed to get three installed and called it good enough. I was going to have to make a trip to Pendleton to get new nuts and bolts and a round trip would take me around two hours. It was supposed to rain and the clouds looked like it was coming. I started to get the occasional drop on me while I was laying on the ground doing mechanic work. I fired up the tractor and started planting seed, after the first field I had to stop and go back to the machine shop for an actual jacket, it was cold. While I was there I had to pump up the left front tire, it has a slow leak. As soon as I did that the rain started. I got that field done and then drove up to the triangle. The rain makes it easy to see where you have been. It didn’t really start to rain hard until the last thirty minutes. I was shivering by the time I got done and it still took me until 1630 to get done. I spent a long time in the hot shower getting warm. We have gotten one inch of rain in the last 18 hours! The weather is just crazy. I will be planting the hillside after it dries out for 4-5 days. The ground needs to not be muddy. I will also be picking up new nuts and bolts for the seeder. Luckily, I did have a stockpile of teeth already in my parts bin.