Monday, July 13, 2009

Poop Scoop Blues

This is Betsy Ross. She is due to have her next cria on or about July 21. I thought she was acting a bit "off" today and took a few minutes to observe. When I looked at her from the back, I could see a big lump prodtruding on her left side. Looked like an elbow or a knee was really poking on her. So, she's a bit uncomfortable. Can't blame her. She's been humming for a couple of weeks now, so I expect she will deliver pretty close to the due date.
Now, as most of you know, scooping poop, which is an important part of alpaca breeding, can cause some real pain in the hands. I have been battleing this for years, especially in the summer when I am also doing alot of weeding. I have a few suggestions to help ease the pain.
First of all, try wearing magnetic bracelets. I met a woman in a yarn shop the other day who used to be a commercial fisherman. She had tendonitis in her thumbs so bad, she couldn't brush her teeth or button her pants. She would wear magnets and wrist warmers to bed at night and swears they cured her. As you can see, I have acquired the bracelets. I don't know how long it takes to feel a difference, but this is a pretty cheap way to go.

This stuff really works. Most Arnica creams you can buy only have 3-4% arnica in them. I believe I was told that this cream has 12%. You can find it at

Then, get ergonomically designed tools for the job. This handle has worked great. I have it on all my rakes, all sizes.


  1. Magnets totally do work!! I have a friend who sells Nikken - the high end (read: Pricey!) magnets and another who sells affordable "therapeutic bracelets. Wish I could afford Nikken - but they both work. A magnetic mattress pad is on my wish list!!!!
    I hate scooping the poop - or mucking out stalls - but it must be done!! wouldn't it be nice if they made scoopable litter - like for cats' boxes- for horses and alpacas!! LOL

  2. Keep us updated on Betsy Ross, okay? I hope your hand pain decreases soon......too hard to do your job with hands that hurt. Good luck with the magnetic bracelets...I know several who say they have worked for them, too.

  3. ergonomic tools is a smart path to go on. Also really pay close attention to your hand position as you're working. It may just be a simple adjustment to relieve the tension in one place or another ..... I hope you find improvement!

  4. I'll be checking into making a bracelet of magnets asap. I'm always tying to find things to help with hands/wrists. One thing that has helped me to be able to sew more with less pain is a new sewing cabinet. Now I'm really ergonomic. Thanks for your tips.

  5. For some reason, I have Betsy Ross on my mind a LOT right now. Maybe I have ESP and she is nearly ready for her cria??? :)