Monday, 26 October 2009

The girls are back

We finished our paddock cleaning in record time this morning and after a very pleasant tea break on the decking we got ready to go and collect Constance and Isobella, two maiden alpacas who have been to M & M Alpacas for mating to their stud male, EP Cambridge Hallmark.

They are based near Exeter and have a really diverse selection of animals as well as alpacas. They have pigs, geese, chickens, ducks, pigmy goats, dogs and are expecting a small herd of Dexter cattle soon.

We arrived at about 2 pm and had a welcome cup of tea and a tour of the farm. I fell in love with the pigmy goats. There are two young billies (neutered) ready to go soon and we put our name down for a couple of breeding females from the next litter as well. Apparently they get on well with alpacas, only need a shelter and spend most of their time browsing on whatever is available including weeds. They can start breeding at about 15months old. They have horns but Mike (of M & M) assured me that they mainly use them for scratching themselves, not headbutting humans.

The girls were in excellent condition and have been scanned pregnant so we are looking forward to some lovely cria next summer.

Eventually we dragged ourselves away and on arrival home we vaccinated and wormed the girls and they will now stay in a quarantine paddock for 2 - 3 weeks before integrating with the herd at Laurel Farm again. They seemed pleased to get home and started grazing immediately.

We are having to put the hens to bed soon after 5.30 since the clocks have gone back. It seems that winter is suddenly looming although it is nice to wake up in daylight again.

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