Monday, 8 July 2013

The Heat is on

Like everyone else we are really enjoying this spell of lovely weather.

I decided to trim the alpacas' toe nails this morning with a little help from a very nice man who came here for an alpaca handling course a few weeks ago.   He volunteered to come for some hands on practice, so I could not refuse.  He is coming next week to help with halter training.

Now the herd is much smaller I plan to spend more time getting the remaining animals really used to being handled.   We trimmed all the girls toe nails and they all behaved impeccably  and my helper was excellent.  He has a really gentle way with animals.

The boys, however, did not need their nails trimmed at all really.   They have been free ranging around the farm for a long time which includes wandering at will on the scalpings which cover the farm yard and track leading to the barn.   Their nails were actually worn away much as they would be if they were in the Andes on the rocky ground where the species originates.  I mentioned it to Mike and he suggested that we should alternate the females and males so that the females wear their nails down too.  Obviously we cannot let them mingle with the males so we are going to alternate them every week and see how it goes.   We may never have to trim another nail!!

Subject to some formalities, such as waiting for the camping gas stove to arrive,  we are going to open the shop on a more regular basis again and include hot and cold drinks and picnics.   We have quite a few people who just walk in if the gates are open and they like to see the alpacas and hear about them, so we think they might also like an excuse to stay longer and enjoy the view whilst having a snack.  We might even train the alpacas to be taken for walks around the farm.  It seems to be popular on other llama and alpaca enterprises and we are quite often asked about it.

We (mainly Mike) have been working hard to get the outside looking tidier.   Most of the farm trailers and vehicles have been parked behind the barn and the lorry unit has been consigned to its permanent home against the barn.   We have some trellis fencing to cover it and the rampant honeysuckle from our garden area is desperate to have somewhere to travel to.

I was intending to take some photos but the battery on the camera is dead, so will add later.

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