Saturday, May 31, 2008

All together now

As of this afternoon, all of my alpacas are at home in one place. For the last 18 months, I've had my girls at one ranch and my boys at another. In summer 2006, I bought a girl from a local ranch. A few months later, the other girl I owned was returning from the breeders. My original intent was to bring her to where our boys are but well, we had some concerns about the veterinary care available at that ranch.

The clinic has several vets - the head vet is very good at camelid care as are two others. But there was one in particular we weren't happy with. And it seemed she was the one they always sent over. In her defense, she was great horse vet. And in the clinic's defense, the vet who used to always work with us, and who we loved, was out on an extended maternity leave.

At the other ranch, where I had the newly purchased girl, their servicing vet has several decades of camelid experience and was even a consultant in South America during the imports. He knows his stuff. So I ask, with whom would you choose to house a pregnant maiden?
Now, some might say that publicly posting that one doesn't care for a vet is bad form. I disagree. It's important for an alpaca owner to have an available camelid vet. I recognize some people aren't so fortunate as to have a choice between vets and must work with whomever is available. But it's also very important to be comfortable and confident in that vet's abilities. I had a choice between two vets for my alpaca care so I made one. While I love my alpacas nearly as much as I do my pets, this is a business. Vets provide a service to my business.

Fast forward to today: the pregnant maiden delivered a beautiful rose grey girl nearly a year ago. The new mom is yet again a mom-to-be with proven mothering instincts. And Murphy, the girl I bought is also expecting. The vet in question has moved to a practice in another state and the vet we used to work with is back from maternity leave. Travelling between two ranches is hard (and expensive given the cost of gas these days). So it's time to bring everyone together.

Tomorrow is one of the shearing days. All the girls get haircuts while the boys have to wait until Saturday for theirs. I love shearing day. It's hard work. But those bags of fiber are to die for!

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