Jen Pietsch
Orcas Island, WA

I love spending time outdoors, gardening, running and raising my fleeced friends!
What I'm Reading!

Books I Love

Thursday, August 13, 2009

postheadericon The New Kids in Town

Well the babies are here, a couple less than we thought we were having, but everyone a joy. Brooklyn and her mom Trina decided even though they were pregnant in the Fall, confirmed by ultrasound, that they were not pregnant come spring. The doctor told us this is not uncommon especially after the unusually cold winter. “It isn’t uncommon. The pregnancy is just reabsorbed.” I am not sure what I think of this but…

Orcas Moon Summer Thyme

On Fathers Day, the first day of summer and, coincidentally our son Luke’s first communion came our first girl Orcas Moon’s Summer Thyme. Manhattan didn’t look like anything was happening when we all trundled off to church at 12:30. By the time we made it back less than two hours later here was our new cria, dried off, running in the sun with the herd. Manhattan is a fantastic mother. Being a maiden we were concerned but she knocked our socks off by knowing exactly what to do.

Orcas Moon’s Rocky Cilantro

Tinkerbelle our dreamer gave birth next to our bundle of joy, Orcas Moon’s Rocky Cilantro on June 30th. Tink was a champ during delivery but, Rocky’s temperature was low when we checked it. We decided he needed a warm up with the blow dryer and a couple heating pads. This worked and he was good to go. Once we took him away from Tinkerbelle to warm up she wasn’t so sure she wanted him back. It took a little convincing and a lot of holding her still for Rocky to nurse but they are now never apart.

Orcas Moon’s Sage Prince

My family has a tradition of going to the new Harry Potter movies always on the first release date. This was not going to change unless well, unless there was a baby coming. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince opened here on July 15th in Friday Harbor, just a short ferry ride away. We decided we would go to the 3:30 show. Ember showed no signs of labor all day and when we left to catch the ferry at 2:35 I thought no problem, no baby today. Alpaca usually have their babies in the morning or early afternoon at the latest unless there is a problem. Ember is a very expexperienced mom and has never had any difficulty with delivery.
Apparently Ember didn’t have any difficulty because when we came back around 7:00pm there was another perfect cria up and running around with her uber-protective mom Ember.

Now we are just waiting for one more, Mickey is due later this month and we have expectations for another beautiful cria. I’ll keep you posted.
Why don’t you come on out and see us.

Friday, August 7, 2009

postheadericon The Chicken Update

The Colonel - RIP

The Colonel, our beloved or for some feared, Buff Orpington has passed on.
Henny Penny has also passed on. She was taken by an eagle the day before the second grade field trip. We were hard pressed to explain the feathers all over the yard.

On the brighter side of things in the poultry world.

Polly (aka Polly the pullet) is a pullet no more and what is even better is that she went broody and hatched us out two lovely chicks. They are currently nameless. I call them one and two. I will try to get a picture of them and you will understand their names better.

What is interesting about Polly and her broodiness is that she sat in her nest box day after day after day. Unfortunately, she was in every hens favorite nest box. All the other hens would get in and lay their eggs on top of Polly. One night I went in and removed 28 eggs from under her, leaving and even dozen for hatching. We are fairly sure that these chicks are not hers- they look very much like a perfect combination between the Colonel and Quetzel.

We couldn’t have a proper hen house without a rooster. We were on a rooster hunt. After living with our less than kind Colonel we wanted a friendly guy.

Meet Frank! We found him on Craig's List. He brought along his favorite hen who we have called Henrietta.

Monday, August 3, 2009

postheadericon The Results are In

Okay to tell the truth -- they were in months a
go, and... I haven’t shared them with you yet! Here we go:


Funny name serious show, the biggest on the West Coast. The only one of our three that received a ribbon was Orcas Moon’s Channel brought home a fourth place ribbon in a crazy tough class of 14. An interesting note about this finish is that the first place and second place winners in Channel’s group were the White Color Champion and the Reserve White Color Champion- talk about tough, tough, tough our little girl did amazing!!!!

To determine the Champion of a color group the judge takes the top two animals from each class and judges them against each other regardless of age. It is highly unusual for both the color champion and the reserve color champion to come from the same class (like it did in Channel’s case).

Kahana did show in the performance class, which involved him taking Orcas Moon’s Autumn Diva through an agility course. He won a 3rd place, some cash and a promise from me that I will never make him do agility again. He will stick to halter showing.

Northwest Alpaca Showcase

Orcas Moon’s Autumn Diva took a beautiful 3rd place ribbon in a class of 9 medium brown juvenile females. In her group was the Brown Color Champion. Nice going Autumn! Orcas Moon’s Channel again knocked our socks off with a 6th place ribbon in a class of 14. The Reserve Champion was again in her class.

Kahana in addition to showing in the main halter rings participated in a junior showmanship competition where he took a fourth place ribbon. It involved handling and knowledge questions about alpaca.

Columbia Alpaca Breeders Association (CABA)

Orcas Moon’s Autumn Diva took a 5th place in a class of 14 medium brown females. The Brown Color champion was in her class, tough competition. Orcas Moon’s Channel did great with a 4th place in a group of 8.