Saturday, 25 May 2019

Even though it is nearly summer time we still have a few customers buying our lovely soft alpaca socks in the shop and others just come in for a tea or coffee but end up looking around the shop.  Usually they find something they like for themselves or for presents for the family.
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Tuesday, 21 May 2019

TLC for Alpacas

We only have sixteen alpacas now as we have retired from the breeding side of the business.  Our six females are pregnant this year as it seemed a shame not to have any cria, but the pln is to keep them on the farm unless our circumstances change.  Also the small herd we have is predominantly male, so it would be great if some of the cria were female to redress the balance.

My friend's son, Jon, comes in for a couple of hours once a week and today he helped me apply cream to the alpacas were the skin was a little sore after shearing.   They don't seem to mind the attention and it gives me a weekly opportunity to carry out health checks and make sure they are all happy and comfortable.

www.alpaca-stuff.co.uk
Plum is the latest colour to be added to our range of alpaca socks.   These practical walking socks have a really thick sole and are ideal for all sorts of out door sports.   They are just above ankle length which is ideal for boots or walking shoes.  Click on the image to see our full range of socks, hats, mittens and more.

Thursday, 16 May 2019

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www.alpacas-for-sale.co.uk
Matching bobble hat and fingerless mittens from our range of hand knitted alpaca products.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Strange |Blogging

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I am not sure what is happening (probably something I did!) but some very old posts seem to be reappearing as events in 2018.  So if you are confused - so am I!!

We have just taken delivery of 23 young Ewes belonging to a local farmer friend.   They are going to graze our land for a few weeks to improve the quality of the grass and get rid of unwanted weeds.
They are in a field with our male alpacas and to start with they all kept themselves to themselves but now they are starting to mingle and are often to be seen sun bathing together (when the sun actually comes out).

I have just started to halter train last year's cria.   Back in the winter snow we brought them into the barn to keep them warm and they experienced all the comings and goings of tractors, people, dogs etc. so they should be more or less bomb proof in future.   They are now in the back paddock (behind our house)  and are experiencing life near the road and cars which run up and down our drive.   Today Dave, who strims our verge and bank and drive edges came, so that is another notch for the boys.
The photo is of our remaining female alpacas.   We were going to give up and reduced the herd considerably,but now Mike is fitter  I am going to breed again, but not for sale, just for fleece.

Friday, 6 April 2018

Weekend

Today we delivered Alvaro, Amato and Esteban to their new home near Radstock. They are the three young males who have been waiting for their new paddock to be constructed.


The house is in a lovely position with beautiful views but the driveway is very narrow and Mike had a reall problem getting the trailer out again as the only turning space involved balancing it over the bank at the top of a steep incline.

Result

We bought Horizon Anchor, one of the Chardstock Six when their owner felt ready to have the remaining two back on her own land.    We really liked him because he has very good substance of bone, lovely fleece and a nice nature, and we needed another coloured male as Alario and Pedro are related to most of our brown and fawn girls.   His Sire is Classical Priam, who was apparently a champion in his day, although I am not familiar with him and Anchor is fawn whilst his sire was white.

We have just had our fibre testing results back which show that he is holding 23 microns at the age of five which is not bad, although Alario's fleece is still only 20 microns at eight years old.

We thought we might have made a big mistake because although he is very much an adult he had not been used as a stud male and last year he did not have a clue - he fell off sideways, tried the head on approach and finally got so frustrated that he started to bite the female.

Things have improved since then to the point where after a lot of messing around he finally managed to cover one of our older females successfully but failed miserably when courting a young maiden female.  His size as well as his inexperience is against him.   Last week we introduced him to Citrine an older female who has recently given birth to a 2011 cria and again he failed to live up to expectations but today - hoorah - he got it right first time and both he and Citrine seemed very happy with each other.

Kids

Sunday was a really lovely day with most of our family spending the day here to celebrate my birthday.  We had Sunday Lunch at the Tytherleigh Arms over the road and back to ours for tea and birthday cake, a stroll round the farm with some of our dogs and the visiting dogs. 

This morning Nick and I trimmed the Goats and kids' toe nails and I chased them around trying to get poo samples to send away for testing.   Last time they were tested some worm eggs were present.   We have treated them and this is a follow up test.

Mike went to Ottery St. Mary with the van to collect 50 bales of haylage which is mainly as a back up if hay remains expensive and/or in short supply over the winter and also for the goats.   Hay gets stuck in the fleece of the Angora goats and so we prefer to feed them haylage which is also higher in protein and therefore will help to keep them in condition over the winter whilst they are pregnant.

The Buck is making himself attractive by rubbing his head against the does' backsides which must be some sort of courting ritual.  At the moment they are not showing any interest but it seems he senses that the time is near.  He also stands with his head back as if about to bay at the moon.   I imitated him and he gave me a menacing look, so obviously it is something that only Bucks should do!!  I backed off very quickly in case we had any misunderstandings!!