Monday, 30 May 2011


When we were at a dog show on Saturday Nick delivered the second cria of the year, a stunning little black boy with the softest fleece I have ever felt.   At the moment the crimp is only at the base of the fibres but if as he matures the crimp improves, he will be very exciting young animal.

There are only three more to give birth in June and the rest are due in July.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011


We took some of our young alpacas to the Devon County Show last Thursday.  Mike came with me in the morning to help me unload and set up.  He stayed to watch Tanya (our pretty little multi alpaca) win first in her class and after a bit of a wander round he went home so that the dogs were not left too long.  Jose and Pepe both had third place rosettes which was especially pleasing as the classes were quite big for the browns.

Although we had finished showing by early afternoon we could not leave until after the show closed so it was quite a long day.

We are giving the does and kids free range of the race and  they are really enjoying the extra grazing and the exercise must be good for them.  Number 7 the kid I have been bottle feeding is behaving more and more like a pet dog.   When she sees me in the yard she starts calling and if I go into the race she follows me around.

We are still waiting for the next cria to be born.  Bourree looks very pregnant but no sign of any movement yet.

We usually by sacks of potatoes from a local farmer in the winter  and  this afternoon he called in with his daughter to have a look at the alpacas and to say that they were baling some hay on a nearby  field and offered it to us.   Timing was perfect as we have nearly run out again.   Although the alpacas do not eat much hay in the summer it is good for them to have it available as the long fibres are good for their digestion.  They arrived at tea time with a trailer load which is now safely stored in our hay loft.

Nick has been continuing his onslaught on the weeds today.   Apart from the usual nettles and docks we have a lot of Himalayan Balsam - I think its other name is Japanese Knot Weed - which is trying to take over around the bounderies.

I took Romie for a private lesson with Sam Waring on Monday which was very useful. As I suspected my timing is not right and she gave me one or tips to try and and exercise over three jumps which I shall be working on up  until our ext session.

Dolly and Charlie are both doing well and  I am hopeful for them both when they start competing.

We have another broody hen and we are  hoping it might be third time lucky hatching eggs.   The last two attempts have resulted in several chicks and they even nearly reached maturity but all met untimely deaths for one reason or another.  She is laying on 9 eggs so we might get several chicks if she sticks to her job.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Blog down

Blog has been down so unable to update!!  Photos are - first cria (male)of 2011 meeting the aunties!!  Me holding a kid waiting to be weighed and having a quick cuddle!!  Charlie wants to be let  out of jail!!

We had what seems to be our annual coffee morning in aid of Devon Air Ambulance on Saturday.  It was well attended and  our thanks go to all our helpers and all the dog handlers who came along to give the morning some entertainment by demonstrating their agility skills.  We think the takings will be about £300 by the time the collection tin contents are added to the entry price, raffle, cake stall and plant sale money.

The paddocks are lovely and green at the moment but  the ground is extremely hard and desperately needs some rain to ensure that growth continues.

At last I have got my vegetable garden started!!  I bought some bedding plants at a stall at Tunbridge Wells Dog Show and also picked up some marrow, courgette, cabbage, Pak choy, and lettuce plants.   Neighbour Pam has promised some runner bean plants so all I have to do now is remember to water them and keep them weed free.   My strawberry plants are also doing very well and there are a lot of strawberrries waiting to ripen.  I am off to Axminster tomorrow to get some netting so the birds do not get them first like they did last year.    I have the remains of a sack of potatoes and I am going to put them in a tub to see if they will reproduce.   It will be good if they do, but no loss if they don't.

The kids are due for their first vaccinations on Tuesday.   It only seems a short while since they were born.   They are certainly very lively and happy and still cute looking with their little devil horns peeking through.

We keep getting birds flying in and out.   I have to remember to shut the office door when I am in there or a swallow with dive in and out again and there is evidence of bird presence in the dog kennels and one flew into the kitchen yesterday morning.  Luckily they all seem to be sensible enough to find their way out again - must be bird silly season!  There also seem to be a lot of bees both honey and bumble which presumably is a good thing as there was so much talk of bees being the subject of disease and dying out.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

No 7 Dog

Number 7 kid seems to have turned into a puppy dog.   As soon as she sees one of us with her bottle she comes running up bleating and skipping and if she does not get it soon enough she jumps up just like a dog.  I know we shouldn't let her do it as she  will be a big heavy goat one day, but it is soooo cute!!

Quite a few kids seem to be scouring a little so tomorrow we are going to give them all a dose of Vecoxan just in case.  This is an oral medication for Coccidia (not sure if I have spelt it correctly) which is a stomach bug that can kill quite quickly if not treated.

Alpaca matings are going well and our first cria is due later this month (from last year's matings).

We only have three young males left for sale which is a relief as we had more males than usual born this year.  We have a couple of people interested in them, so fingers crossed they will be on their way to a new home soon.

After months of being short of grass we are now over run with grass,  nettles, docks and other weeds.  Buttercups are coming up all over the place and we have never seen so many dandelions on the front bank.  Mike is manfully strimming and we are trying to keep the little garden tidy.

We are having a coffee morning in aid of Devon Air Ambulance on the 14 May so we are tr;ying to get everything looking a bit neater than usual.  We  did one last year and it was a great success, greatly aided by a lovely sunny day.  We are hoping for the same luck this year.

Some friends are going to help put on a Dog Agility Display and there will be a cake stall, craft table, raffle, and of course a chance to see the alpacas, goats and chickens as well as chilling out with a nice cup of coffee, a lovely view, and good company.

Dolly, my  15 month old pup is coming on in leaps and bounds with her agility.   She seems to be taking to it  like a duck to water.  I think she might have her mother's speed but is more controllable at the moment at least. Chairlie did very well at the weekend and if we ever manage to get a clear round I think he will be in the places.