Tuesday, 30 April 2013



Time has flown by since the last entry.  At last the grass is green and the farm is looking much better.  Some of the alpacas are still less than well covered but all seem to be fit and well and definitely enjoying sunbathing.

Alario, our original stud male who we chose on our buying trip to Chile, has been sold to a breeder in Italy and the vet came today to carry out some pre-export tests.   Fingers crossed that there is no bad news when the test results are known.   He was living with the sheep over the winter and put on a lot of weight as he became partial to Ewe nuts which we gave the ewes to keep them in condition.   Since being back on grass only he has almost returned to his normal size.

All the females are down in the winter paddocks - now renamed, the summer paddocks!!  The paddocks had a long rest over the winter as we kept most of the alpacas in the home paddocks where we could make sure they had enough feed and when the weather was really severe they went in the barn.  They should start to get some condition back and their fleeces are looking really great.   They will be shorn on the 9th May, which is a shame in some ways as I like it when they look all fluffy and cuddly.

We are having an alpaca sale on the farm on Thursday.   We have had them in the past and we often do not sell any animals on the day, but people take the opportunity to come and have a look and come back later when they are ready to buy.  We will also have our alpaca yarn and garments etc: available for sale.

The Building Inspector came to check the house today and found a few items which need doing.   We are going to have to have a fire wall between the house and the rest of the barn.   This is the first time it has been mentioned, so we are a little put out as we thought all the building works had been completed, but still I am sure he is right.  We already have a fire door and the additional work will not effect all our lovely fresh decorations as it can be done on the barn side.

We are free-ranging the male alpacas including all the weanlings in the hope that they will act as lawn mowers  for the grass near the house.   They come up to the porch (glass) and the glass doors and look in at us.  Probably cannot understand what has happened to their old barn!!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Scary Afternoon


Nick was here today spreading Grasstrak (a mineral dressing for the fields) and Lime which helps to address the ph balance.  

Then he and Mike went up to the paddock nearest the road to tow out an old granite roller which Mike is selling.  He needed to take a photograph.

A little while after that I heard Mike calling for Jake.  When he and Nick caught up with me they asked if I knew where Jake was, but I had not seen him since giving him some titbits earlier.   Romie had jumped out of the dog enclosure where we shut them in for safety sometimes if there are a lot of machinery or vehicle movements going on.  She was under the wooden lodge and would not come out, so I hoped if she saw Jake getting a treat she would oblige, but she is too clever/naughty for that!!

I had not seen him and so we began an extensive search of the farm including going all round the perimeter on the Quad bike.  We called and search for over an hour and then Mike drove all round the area and called at the shop in Perry Street, which is our nearest, to enquire if anyone had told them of a stray dog.

We decided that we would have to call the police and Mike went indoors to do so.   He came out and jumped in the truck ready to drive off.   As he was entering the house the phone had  rung and it was the local school asking if we had lost a dog.   Apparently Jake had wandered into the school yard.   We cannot imagine how he got there as it is over a mile away.  He is usually glued to Mike and likes to keep an eye on his every move.  It was VERY out of character for him to wander off.

It is a real mystery, but a happy ending.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

She Who Must Be Obeyed


My friend, Pauline, says I must put some photos of the kitchen on the blog, so here you are.  It is raining cats and dogs, apart from routine feeding, collecting eggs, etc: we have spent some time indoors getting sorted.   The decorations are not finished and there are a few odds and ends of jobs to be completed.

The wooden lodge is on its way out.  Being collected on Monday or Tuesday.   We will be sad and happy to let it go!!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Jax and Cat

Jax is staying with us for a few days.  She has always been fascinated by the cat and has made her nervous.  Now it seems the cat has decided that it is a friendly fascination and she is relaxed enough to carry out her ablutions under Jax's watchful eye!!

Still no sign of the grass growing.  We badly need some warm sunny weather.

The animals all seem to be happy enough but it is a struggle to keep them in good condition.

The hens are laying well, even though the fox got hold of one yesterday afternoon.  Mike saw a fox near the barn and it had one of the hens ready for the kill.  Luckily he was near the gate to the barn paddock and let Jake, our big collie dog, in.   He soon saw off the fox and the chicken lived to lay another day.   She lost a pile of feathers, but we cannot tell which one it was.   She obviously had feathers to spare.