Last evening when we were putting the animals to bed, we were once again thrust into a dilemma of sorts, which...if it didn’t keep us awake all night...it made for a poor nights sleep. When we checked the boys, (alpacas) three were drooling and foaming at the mouth. As I finished in the barn, Vick rushed to the internet to research what it could possibly mean, since we have not had this happen before.
It seems that almost every site on the internet referred to an overload of clover.
They didn’t really say what to do...so we figured it would be something which had to pass, but were extremely gun shy after our rash of misfortune with our animals recently.
This morning I checked them at 6:30AM and they were all resting on the mats as usual, chewing their cuds...patiently awaiting the usual and regular browsing event of the day to start with their release into the pasture......
Yesterday, I released them into the front pasture, near the egg stand, so we could perform the barn cleaning on the old barn without them getting into the feed or our way. We also wanted to clean the brooding house, and there would be a wheelbarrow load of medicated chick feed, mixed with the wood chips, so we didn’t want them nosing through that either. Releasing them to the front pasture would keep them out of our way (and hair!) until we completed the cleaning and then I would release them to the regular field. When we were done, they would not come out of the barn. I just assumed it was the afternoon heat, which they sometimes don’t care to deal with and stay in the barn. Little did I realize that they were not feeling well after their all day grazing extravaganza in the front pasture. They have not been in there for over a month, so the grass was of nice length... (I checked this morning) and full of nice, succulent, white, puffy, clover heads......and they cleaned them all up! The evidence would have been hard to pinpoint, except for the massive expanse of clover heads which were out of their reach, just outside the fence and running all the way to the barn door. Obviously the plant doesn’t really hurt them in the grass form...because they never did this before, but when eating large quantities of the white flowered heads, they got sick over them. LESSON LEARNED!!!!
Yesterday...along with cleaning the entire barn, duck house and the brooding house, we got the little garden pond in the front yard running. We pulled all the massive invasive, humongous plants that the idiot, Mark Howard planted. He is the owner of Howard Landscaping in Valley Falls, NY. We were suckered into letting him install our pond at a hefty price, as a special at the Capital District Flower show. He planted trees, flowers which grew to three feet high...some water iris and many other invasive plants like Pampas grass, so since we’ve removed all those...maybe we will be able to see the pond this summer and enjoy it with new and properly added flowers which will enhance the ponds beauty. Last summer, within a month of the flowers starting to grow, you could not see the pond for the high plants! The first fall, when I was getting things ready for the winter, I removed the lid on the pump assembly to remove the filters, strainer basket and pump before the water froze. There was no way to remove the pump. The Mexicans working for this clown had installed the pump with glued fittings and rigid plastic pipe. I called him and he said he would come out and make it right. He didn’t! I cut the pipe with a hacksaw and stored everything. The next spring, I called and told him and he again said he would send a guy to put a coupler on the pump line to get the pond running. After a few weeks and repeated calls, I fixed it myself with a Fernco fitting. When we saw him at the garden show that year, I jumped him and he admitted to remembering to promise he would send someone and didn’t....adding, “Oh well...”. Since I promised Vick that I would strive to be a better (or different) person than I once was...I walked away. I won’t say what I would have done a few years ago...before meeting Vick, but he would probably do business much more different today....Or take flight when he saw a person he treated poorly, coming toward him. I’m sure he would not possess the arrogant, smart attitude today, that he gave me that day...for he would have learned there are consequences for the treatment of...and your actions toward others!
One day, he will meet a person such as I used to be and he will receive a great lesson in life, which will make him a better person. I’m now sorry I failed him in his learning.
Anyway....we are closer to being finished than ever. Today will be a good mowing day, after picking up the picnic table for the hospice gift shop yard and before it rains. All bets are off after that!
040625 Cluckin' "A" Critter Farm, LLC