When Kinda-Bad Things Happen to Kinda-Bad Alpacas

When Kinda-Bad Things Happen to Kinda-Bad Alpacas

It is a fact of life that, given enough time, things are going to happen.

I would like to say that this is especially true on a farm, but I think that’s a bit of an overstatement. A farm is no more susceptible to bad things happening than any other place, whether the workplace or the homeplace.

(A homeplace is a thing, right?)

Anyway, back to bad things happening.

I have come to accept that there will eventually be sickness, injury, loss, and death on the farm. After all, there is sickness, injury, loss, and death everywhere else. This is one of the consequences of living in a fallen world, this lovely blue marble of planet earth.

Do you follow me so far? Good things happen. Bad things happen. ‘Tis all currency in the game of life.

Now just because I know that injury will happen. And just because I am semi-okay and/or resigned to the fact that there is no escaping it forever, well, that doesn’t mean that I like it.

Especially if it’s Elwood.

A common theme running though my head at random times when, in my mind’s eye, I see the potential for damage is please don’t let it happen to Elwood.

And then it happened to Elwood. He recently developed an abscess on his ear.


Elwood has an ouchie.

He could have been bitten by some various insect. This year has been horrible for biting flies and other various bloodsuckers (political and non). Then again, Elwood’s temperament often lends him towards mischief with the other boys. He can be one to push and push and push until one of them finally has enough and has to finally get all up in his business to make him stop.

(Exhibit A: Where Elwood attracts grossness because he simply doesn’t recognize when to let it go)

alpaca spit

Exhibit A: Elwood-the-Pest gets his comeuppance


See, Elwood is like the pesky little brother that no ever wanted. Elwood is Bobby Brady crashing Greg’s date at the drive-in theater and leaving wreckage in his wake.

Which brings me back to the original point of UGH.


Why did it have to happen to Elwood? Don’t get me wrong; He’s not a bad alpaca. He’s just…difficult.

Believe me; as a former difficult child, I know difficult.

I will watch him closely for the next week or so, just to make sure things don’t get worse. I have confidence in Elwood’s ability to get better mostly on his own with just a bit of extra support. Thankfully, alpacas have pretty effective immune systems, but they can also be unique and a little bit tricky. Because most all drugs are used off-label, there is always a bit of an unknown element involved when using them.

Which is a big reason why I do not use them except as a last resort. I do all I can to avoid having to use antibiotics on the farm. They’re great and they definitely have their place. That is why I will reserve them for only the most stubborn issues so that various buggers don’t become resistant. Use them too much today and they won’t work tomorrow.

That would truly stink.

The current plan is to irrigate the wound, spray it with colloidal silver as a natural antibiotic, keep fly ointment around the area, add homeopathic remedies specific to abscesses to his daily water and manage to do all of this without him climbing over us to get to the rafters.

Easy peasy.

If it weren’t Elwood.

In other news, I’m very thankful that we did not incur much in the way of storm damage after last night’s storms. I’m also thankful that we did not take on any additional water in the basement. This alone is a minor miracle considering that my sister has been working overtime vacuuming up the water as soon as it pours in for the past few weeks.   Did I mention that I really love her?

In other, other, news…more severe storms predicted tomorrow.


Here There Be Dragons

Here There Be Dragons

I nearly died yesterday.

Now that the adrenaline has died down, and my hands have stopped shaking, I can finally tell you my story.

It was a giant dinosaur.

It was a rabid wolf.

It was a screaming freight train.

Fine, it was a broody hen.

You happy now?

Death-by-hen, while extremely cool-looking on a headstone, is a terrible way to go.

Compounding the problem is the simple fact that I was heading off not one hen, but two. Yes, we have two co-mamas sharing a litter(?) of six chickies. Three chicks were naturally hatched and three incubator-hatched chicks were introduced to the Hens-of-Death (HOD) in a daring 3 a.m. ninja chicken raid.

The past 21 days while the HOD’s were brooding their nest, and even in the day after the little hatchlings hatched, they were content to play a game of strict defense. Puff up. Growl a bit. Hunker down and protect the chicklets.

Maybe it was adding to the team ranks. Maybe it was rabid dinosaur wolf DNA infused into the incubator chicks during incubation. Whatever it was, the game play of the HOD’s switched from defense to take-no-prisoners-burn-the-thatched-roofs-and-rip-out-their-faces offense.

I assure you that there was much flapping, and thrashing, and screeching, and the HOD’s were also making a fair bit of commotion too.

Oh sure, you can laugh now. But I can assure you, if you ever face the wrath of the HOD you will be screaming, flailing, and doing whatever it takes to survive too.

Just be sure to stay away from the edges of the broody area.

Here, there be dragons.

Welcome to the Journey

Welcome to the Journey

Hello world!

Thank you for finding your way over here to this small piece of the interwebs.

There is a lot of pressure in crafting the perfect first blog post.

A lot of pressure.

However since I don’t know that there is such a thing as a perfect blog post, then I suppose I will be happy just to have a first post at all.

I will resist the temptation to divulge too much right here and now.

Slow and steady, my friends.

There is a long road ahead of us on this journey and there is no race to the finish.

Instead, let’s just enjoy every step of the way.

Picking the dandelions as we go.

Feel free to bring a friend…