Friday, 22 November 2019

No Respite

More heavy rain forecast for this evening.   We have left the alpacas out for the last few days and although it has been wet at times it has not been too heavy or prolonged so we have left the alpacas out.   The girls have a shelter (which they treat more as a larder for their hay supplies than weather protection), and the boys have access to shelter under the trees at the bottom of their field.   When the weather gets really bad we put them in the barn and that is where they are going tonight.

We have had very few customers for the farm shop as people don't feel like getting out of their cars in the wet.  Egg sales are uneffected it seems.  It probably helps that the banks and entrance have just been strimmed and the access to the egg sales box is mud-free.  It is not very pleasant collecting the eggs or cleaning out the hen house in this weather but it is important to keep up standards and saves work in the long run.

The dogs must be fed up with getting wet then dry (we put coats on them when they come in after being in the rain - saves having shake marks over the floor and furniture).  The cat has the best idea - she has taken over the biggest dog bed and is oblivious to everything except the rattle of food bowls or the milk jug.   She expects a little bowl of milk when we make our tea and the dogs line up to clear up the non-existent remains.
Click on the photo to visit our Alpacastuff Website.
Click on the photo to visit our Alpacas for Sale website.

Thursday, 14 November 2019

Winter is here

The weather is still awful - varying between very wet and quite hard frosts so I am still making sure the alpacas are under cover over night.   This is quite easy with the girls as they are in field shelters and it is just a case of closing the gates but the boys are going into the barn and so I have to muck out every morning.  Not a pleasant job but worth while if it keeps them healthy.

The shop is starting to get quite busy - especially for our lovely alpaca socks.

Most sales still seem to be for personal use but some Christmas sales are starting.

We are hoping for a spell of dry weather so the soggy fields can drain off a bit and give us all some respite.

Click on the photo to visit our Alpacastuff  website.

Sunday, 10 November 2019

Only the Lonely

As a rule we try and keep our male alpacas as far away from the females as possible as it can cause problems when the boys realise they are in the presence of attractive potential mates.

As we have been having some extraordinary weather lately with very heavy rainfall I have brought the males up near the barn so that they can go in at night if the forecast is bad.  They are in a fairly big field and Mike and I put up a barrier of hurdles so they cannot get too close to the girls in their paddock.

At first the males were excited but after a while they realised that they could not get near enough to socialise and gradually mooched off to the bottom of the field.  All except Amaru, generally the herd leader.   He could not be persuaded that the girls were inaccessible and has become the lone male at this end of the field.
Click on the photo to see our Alpacastuff website for socks and hand knits.

Friday, 8 November 2019

Socks R Us

A sure sign that winter is here is the increase in our sales of socks online and in the farm shop.

I thought my last delivery would be the last ever  but looks as though I had better put in another order to keep going until Christmas when we are closing permanently.

Today at last the weather has improved and there is actually some sunshine.   It is lovely to see the alpacas looking clean, dry and fluffy instead of soaking wet. The girls have two shelters in a small enclosure in their paddock but unless I actually shut them in at dusk they often stay out even in heavy rain which makes them look bedraggled and is horrible if I need to hold them for any reason.

The males on the other hand are fairly keen on keeping dry and will use shelter if it is available.   They have been in the field furthest from the farm yard until recently but we have brought them up to the paddock behind the house since the bad weather came in.   There is no shelter there so they come into the barn at night if rain is expected.

Click on the picture to see our full range of socks and hand-knits!

Sunday, 3 November 2019

Change of Plans

Yesterday our neighbour called round to let us know that they would be having friends round for bonfire and fireworks on the 5th November.  This gives us time to move the alpacas so that they are not so likely to receive an unwanted visit from a used rocket.

They were comfortable in the paddock behind the house but we have now moved them into the field in front of the house where they will be safer from debris from fireworks.  They will probably still be spooked by the noise.

Unfortunately this means they will be nearer to the females so they were a bit restless and tried to attract  their attention whilst trying to fend each other off.   The females very quickly lost interet and wandered off as did all but one of the boys.   Amaru really did not want to leave and preferred to be on his own whilst the rest of his little herd trotted off  quite happily.

I expect he will eventually join his mates and harmony will reign again.
Click on the photo (sorry about the quality - couldn't fix it) to see our alpacas for sale or visit for socks and hand knits

Friday, 1 November 2019

Still Raining

It is still raining and foggy.  I used the short dry spell this morning to carry out the outdoor chores such as cleaning out the chickens, collecting eggs, cleaning the paddocks and emptying the trailers on to the dung heap.

The dogs like to be in attendance but I often wonder if it is worth it when they come indoors and have to be de-muddied and towelled off.  They also have absorbant coats which I put on before they are allowed back into the main part of the house. They cannot shake themselves when wearing the coats so it saves a lot of housework.  The cat loves to share their bed and gioven the choice would stay there for the whole day.   She goes out at night an usually sleeps in the hayloft of the barn when she is not hunting.
This weather is not very good for the shop.   Have only had two customers today and a few mail orders. Th photo is of our latest Extra Beanie which is mint green with Dark Brown Stripes.  It is very effective.