Archive for June, 2009

Monsoon

Posted in camels | Comments Off

It just began storming, the first big storm of monsoon. Hours ago I left Nessie out to the pasture for the first time on her own. I just rushed out there to move her back to the barn. She ran with me the entire way and promptly entered.

Nessie in a blanket

Posted in camels | 14 Comments »

Instead of running and playing, on Friday Nessie and I did some leading and desensitizing. I put her halter on, which is still a chore. In contrast, Baby was taught to put his halter on for me, but sticking his nose through the band very quickly. Nessie still screams and fights it, but now is immediately calm after it’s on (before she was bucking and fitting to get it off).
 
She’s doing a lot better with leading. I think I would feel comfortable taking her off the property now. Not to the gas station across the highway yet, but on the dirt roads. I may do it within the next few days.
 
We also practiced hobbling in various positions. I tied her legs together in a standard hobble, folded her leg and tied it and tied her neck down over her legs. She tried to walk of course, but settled down really nicely once she realized how she was inhibited. Now, with some more practice when she gets big, it’ll be really easy to hobble her, if needed.
 
Then I got my big middle eastern camel blanket out and threw it over her back. She bucked and bucked, but then settled down and walked around with it like nothing was different.
 
I took some video, too. I sort of regret not doing this sooner, but she’s still very young and this was a good first film. It shows her running around like a maniac after I let her out of her pen. Pretty good example of her character, really.
 
For now here are some pics with the blanket.
 
click to enlarge
Nessie with the blanket at 37 days old.
 
click to enlarge
In contrast, here’s Baby with it at 42 days old.
 
Both were stormy days.
 
Read the rest of this entry »

The nomming continues…

Posted in camels, katherine | 4 Comments »

click to enlarge
 
Nessie tests Mackenzie’s hair for deliciousness. Citrus lie strewn on the ground, always the last thing the poultry eat when we get produce.
 
click to enlarge
 
Katherine gazes into Nessie’s big soulful eyes as she has a quick taste test.

Emu Vs. Camel

Posted in camels | 2 Comments »

click to enlarge
*bite*
 
click to enlarge
DNW
 
click to enlarge
…what?
 

The beginning steps of a long happy life

Posted in camels | Comments Off

click to enlarge
 
Nessie is 33 days old today. This evening, I walked outside to get her the bottle and she came running towards me and kicked me hard in the groin. I’m not sure how she got out of her pen, but I’m thinking she’s a genius. Here’s a picture of her I took after she was done eating. I think her favorite activity so far in her life is running around on the brush purged fire cleared land behind the house.

Summer Baby

Posted in camels | Comments Off

click to enlarge
 
It’s the end of June now and Baby has finally mostly shed out. He’s looking smashing in his sleek summer time coat and has his legs and face have turned out to be quite white. Here he is walking the length of his current pasture. Current, because Mackenzie and I are almost done with the mending of a five acre pasture which he’ll be moved into very shortly. Only one side to go and then I need to get a gate. I was going to buy it this afternoon, but I couldn’t find the right kind anywhere. I may fence it off for now until I can make another trip to the city.
 
After Baby’s gotten comfortable in his new area, Nessie will be moved into Baby’s old pasture until she’s old enough to join him. I’m very excited for Baby to have more room and even more excited for their future together in the pasture.

1 Month Old

Posted in camels | 1 Comment »

click to enlarge
 

Nessie turned one month old yesterday and she got a big pink ball to celebrate. She was really curious of it, but every time she made it move she would bounce away— usually hiding from it in the barn.
 
She’s creeping now regularly (sampling foods), drinking water, and eating loose salt. When I feed her at night she drinks her bottle and then promptly turns around, walks into her barn and goes back to bed.

Baby Camel Redux

Posted in camels | 5 Comments »

I took Nessie out yesterday just before sunset. We worked on halter breaking/leading. She’s getting it a lot more now and is starting to understand that that’s attached to something, so she can’t bounce anywhere she wants without the halter pulling on her head.
 
I had my camera with me and I didn’t intend to do this now, but it was something I had planned to do. When Baby was 4 weeks old Mackenzie took a picture of us together that I wanted to replicate with Nessie at the same age. Well, she’s not quite that old and the results came out very differently, but I still like the comparison between Baby and Nessie. I also didn’t check the photo at all and wrongly assumed that it was a self-photo, when now I can see Mackenzie’s shadow in it.
 
click to enlarge
Baby, two and a half years ago at four weeks old. Photo by Mackenzie
 
click to enlarge
Nessie, yesterday at 3 and a half weeks old. Self-photo
 
I set the camera between fence wire and it quickly turned into a fun game. I would hit the timer and Nessie and I would run as fast as we can away from it before it clicked. She would freeze there until I yelled, “Woo!” and then we would both dart back to the camera. After a few repetitions, I could tell she was anticipating me saying, “Woo!” so she could bounce her way back over to the fence with me.

Fire

Posted in camels | 5 Comments »

click to enlarge
 
A lot of my land burnt today. I woke up to the sound of someone beating their horn outside the house. I was half-asleep when I walked out the door to a massive fire spreading toward the house. There was no one there but this concerned neighbor and me, the fire department had yet to arrive.
 
click to enlarge
 
I started at once moving the animals to safety. I got Nessie who is penned up near an old calf shed to the house. She doesn’t know how to walk on a lead and weighs more than I do. But right then it didn’t matter and I grabbed her legs and put her behind my back and ‘wheel-barrowed’ her. I moved everyone I could to the area around the house. I figured when the fire department did arrive their priority would naturally be to protect the house. It looked like my aviary was the first to go and as the fire department arrived, I grabbed the birds out of it just before the fire closed in.
 
I released the chickens, turkeys and emu from their yard. I put Baby’s halter on and tied him up as far from the fire as I could.
 
Read the rest of this entry »

Camels & Cars: The Love That Never Dies

Posted in camels | 2 Comments »

click to enlarge
 
Camels really like cars. Baby and Nessie’s personalities at this stage could not be more different, but the one thing they have in common is their love of the automobile. She was bouncing all over the yard, but when she bounced by Mackenzie’s car, she was positively memorized.
 
click to enlarge
 
Tonight, is also the first day where I feel like Nessie and I have really started to bound. I feed her every 2 hours and it’s exhausting. It’s hard to focus on spending any quality time with her when I’m walking around in a daze, back and forth between bed and going out to her with the bottle. But this evening, I really felt like we connected. I put her halter on her and she protested as usual, but after I got the lead hooked up and began teaching her to move away from pressure, and I feel like she was really getting it. I led her around the pasture, which was mostly incidental (she wanted to follow me anyway), but she did began to recognize that she needed to pay attention to what I was doing while on lead. Now, she’s only three weeks old and I don’t expect a lot from her, but I would like to get her where she’s able to leave the property for short walks as soon as I can. I did this was Baby and I think it was a really positive thing for him.
 
One thing she has already mastered is the kiss. The second day after we returned from Texas, I taught her to set her mouth on mine when I say ‘kiss’. It’s cute, but the main reason I do is to get her brain engaged and paying attention to what I’m doing. Now, when she’s staring off into space and not listening I say ‘kiss’ which is an easy something she knows and her focus goes straight back to me. I do this for Baby all the time when I can tell he’s becoming annoyed with something or not focusing. It works wonderfully. You can almost see his brain shift back into focus. After, I’ve got that attention back I can ask him to do something else and by that point we’ve move passed whatever hang-up he’s having. This is already working very well for Nessie and I do think camels like to do things if they think it pleases you. And what could be easier than a simple kiss?