2018 was a great year for us with the birth of 8 cria at Ashtonelle – 3 girls and 5 boys. The largest baby weighed in at a few grammes short of 10kg, and the smallest at 5.5 kg. All took to their milk bars quickly and watching them grow and play with boundless energy has been great.
The first of our cria born was jet black Ashtonelle Dotcom – Dottie. Well, what a character! Born in early April Dottie had to wait a couple of weeks for her first playmate to arrive but in the meantime she made her presence known and continues to be nosey in the extreme.
Sired by Inca Balboa, Dottie has 2 half-siblings in the herd: the lovely Houghton Black Knight (Mondas to his friends), and Ashtonelle Agatha. Dottie’s mum is Houghton Rosa Belle (Bella) – our silver grey female. Bella enjoys life so much, playful and spritely – we expect that Dottie takes after her mum in temperament.
Next to arrive was Ashtonelle Dolly Daydream – Dolly. Born on a beautiful April afternoon Dolly’s was a textbook birth and she weighed in at 9.8 kg. Solid white Dolly is a full sister to Boozle we shall watch Dolly’s progress with interest. She has grown at a great rate – and at 5 months old she could easily have been mistaken for an older babe.
Third up – Ashtonelle Doodlebug – Doodles or Bugsy for short. Darker than we were expecting colourwise, Bugsy is a big boy albeit on a fine frame.
The poor mite suffered a mouth abscess at 8 weeks of age, which although draining, antibiotics and analgesia quickly resolved the infection, he did lose a bit of weight allowing some of the younger cria to overtake him in stature. He is blooming now – and very handsome. And doesn’t he know it!
Born on a very hot day, our last and smallest girl, but 4th cria, was Ashtonelle Delaney.
Very protective of her, Harley her mum spent the first hours post birthing in the middle of the field and not allowing any of the gang to come close but also not accepting any help or water. So, Delaney and Harley were moved into the barn, in the shade where they stayed for a few days with Ceilidh and Clio providing company. When re-introduced to the herd – Delaney skipped and pronked for joy – and Harley had a bit more sense and stayed in the shade. I’ve registered Delaney as dark silver grey although she looks quite different from traditional greys. She does conform to the colour definition on the BAS website and show rules – displaying a uniform mix of white and black fibres evenly distributed throughout the fleece, with some white markings (patches) on the face and throat. It’s just that the white on her face only just touches her throat – and the ends of her fleece have a brownish tinge.
The next four cria were all boys. On a beautiful June morning we welcomed Ashtonelle Dandelion to the herd. Mum Saffron had no problems at all and with four cria to play with Dandy was up and exploring in no time at all. This little boy is looking lovely as he grows.
A few days after Dandy was born, along came Ashtonelle Dexterity – a full brother for Bridget. His mum, Sorrel, is pretty nonchalant about motherhood. For Sorrel food comes first – so Dexter has to work hard for Sorrel to stay still and let him feed.
Experienced mum Kea (Houghton Hakea) had a trouble free labour and gave birth to the 7th cria of the season on Midsummer’s day. Like his half sister before, Ashtonelle Dippity Doodah (Dippy) is a gorgeous warm brown colour – with a couple of small patches of white on his nose. He has eyelashes to die for!
Last, but very definitely not least, our first homebred girl, Ashtonelle Agatha gave birth to a handsome very very dark brown boy – Ashtonelle Denzel. As a first time mum Agatha didn’t have an easy time and when labour wasn’t proceeding as expected I had to assist. Agatha was as good as gold as I corrected a shoulder flexion dystocia in both front limbs after which Denzel appeared very quickly – and mum and new babe settled very quickly.