Monday, 3 December 2012

100% British Alpaca...

Apologies Dave, the title of my last blog did suggest that I was going to avoid all mention of the weather..and then I slipped a comment in there...but it was about the weather in Scotland rather than in Cumbria! Well, I am going to start by discussing the weather today then it is over with...I have mentioned the rain a lot this year...and some of you from drier parts must wonder how wet can it be...well wet enough to turn an alpaca rusty...that is how wet it can be..

Our Beck Brow Alpacas farm need of some paint

Actually the weather has been glorious over the weekend. We have had frost, sunshine and a dusting of snow. It has been minus three degrees, but nothing a pair of alpaca socks couldn't cope with. We were at the Hawkshead Christmas Fair at the weekend. Hawkshead is set in the centre of the Cumbrian Lake District near to Coniston, it is a lovely village with cobbled streets, fabulous shops selling local produce, and awesome scenery. 

We had another amazingly successful weekend, again passing our four figure target for takings with ease. Amanda came with me on Sunday and proved herself to be a very good sales woman, but the prize has to go to Beck Brow Snooty Boots. We have definitely found that sales are better without the actual alpacas with us, but photos and cards featuring Snooty Boots, and the association with our products, does help sell. 

Although it obviously good to make a profit, the most exciting thing about the fairs is the demand for our products, and the compliments that we receive. The fair closed at 4 pm, but we even had a sale of two scarves at 4.15 pm whilst we were packing the van! Being able to say that all of our products are 100% British alpaca and knowing the provenance of each item, does seem to be key at the fairs that we have attended.

We are sold out of most of our knitwear now, I have taken a few orders, but that will be it for Christmas now. Today I need to get some photos of out woven scarves and wraps for our on line shop although we are sold out of some designs already.

As much as the fairs are fun, I do miss the alpacas when I am busy all weekend. We need to catch up on some husbandry tasks this week. We have decided to change to oral Cydectin as a wormer. I am not sure if drenching will be quicker than injecting (it is a large volume dose 4mls/10kgs) but as we have had three injection site abscesses following injections of Cydectin 2% we have decided to give oral a try. We also have our monthly AD & E vitamins to give. 

Well, it's bottle time for the babes so I better be off. Sox is now three months old so I think we will reduce feeds to four hourly from now. Lullaby needs to be weaned from the bottle, but it feels mean to feed one with out the other, so we are slowly reducing the volume.

Beck Brow Foxy Sox looking a little frosty!

Young Punk Alfie who will be going on Alpacaseller with Beck Brow Synergy later today

Burton Constable Sophia...just because she was looking pretty!


  1. Wow, fantastic results at all the recent markets, well done. The trick is to resist spending the takings before you head home...

  2. Very well done on the sales front - they are very lovely scarves. We have not done so well on our knit wear sales this year so I am going to have to get my act together a bit and attempt to emulate you in some small way!
    We did consider the oral cydectin (I use that with the sheep) but I was worried about the mites making a comeback.

  3. I used panacur oral drench this year for worming and I have to say we did get a couple of cases of mites, all sorted now thankfully but I have gone back to injectable.

  4. Yes,the dreaded mites. We have had mites in the past when using the short acting mectins, which was why we started using the longer acting Cydectin 2% (which did get rid of the mites). However, after speaking to other breeders I have found that I am not alone with the abscess problem. We will see, maybe I will be back to injecting in the spring!

  5. Rusty alpacas - too much iron in the supplement maybe?!! Lovely photos and well done on the steep upward curve on the sales chart! Shirley & Robbie

  6. Nothing wrong with the post title today Barbara! We've just started reducing Golden Delicious' feeds - it's a bit hit and miss deciding whether to reduce the number from 3 to 2, or the quantity per feed, but she's over 20kg now, and still has mum, so I'm sure it will work out (the fact is we're near the end of a bag and don't want to buy another just for a few feeds!)

  7. Excellent news about the demand for your items, lovely photos hope you are coping well with the weaning ! Jayne