Friday 29 January 2010
I have enjoyed simply observing these gentle creatures who depend on our kindness and good will towards them and I am certain they really do appreciate our efforts. I will cherish the looks of gratitude from young Jenson who has the most relaxed personality combined with dashing good looks.
Meanwhile, whilst I have been daydreaming amongst the herd, the fencers have been hard at it. They are dividing the paddocks in to smaller areas ready for summer.
Good wishes to you all , Amanda.
Wednesday 27 January 2010
Beck Brow continues to tick over at a steady pace. It is such a relaxing environment to be in, surrounded by beautiful rolling scenery with the pennines still snow capped looking down from afar.
I think the alpacas are missing their leader Barbara. Whilst they are always curious to see visitors and offer a lovely welcome to anyone who shows interest in them, I have the feeling that they are looking just past me to see if their Mum and Leader is on her way. I have watched Barbara work amongst her herd many times and its hard not to notice how comfortable all the alpacas are in her presence. She has an incredibly natural affinity with each and every one. The more assertive alpacas like Holly and Beattie show respect and clearly follow their human leader whilst the shyer more reserved members like Hoity Toity and Julius become nearly giddy when she arrives to provide for their every need.I believe its an indication of how well the alpacas can read people. They don't know what we have or how good we are at dealing with paperwork, but they do feel our energy and read or body language before we've even reached the paddocks.
They are such sensitive animals and I defy anyone to look into Nimrods dark kind eyes and not wonder what he's really thinking.
Thursday 21 January 2010
0-60mph in approx. 8 seconds.
Today Beck Brow is bathed in sunshine and its still lovely and dry, although there is a cool breeze making the air feel fresh and cleansing. The herd are all well and seem to be enjoying the dry weather too. They appear cleaner and the paddocks are recovering well after the snow.
Its a day to be outside and to be around the alpacas and soay sheep that we keep, getting on with all those jobs that I have been avoiding for months! I definitely feel spring is in the air as I have even had the energy and enthusiasm to tackle scrubbing the feeding troughs.
We have six pet soays who are a wild breed. They are small, only weighing about 30kg with lovely fine wool. They are very skittish, which makes handling really difficult(any tips welcome!)
After months of exercising some soay psychology (pretending you can't see them) we have Ma and Whiteknee eating from our hands! This is a minor miracle considering we didn't see them for weeks after they arrived. They would carry out covert operations around the fields to avoid us!
I am now off to try and tempt Linda(the lamb) with some sheep nuts, she's Ma's baby so there's some hope that one day she'll join the inner circle.
Tuesday 19 January 2010
Saturday 16 January 2010
The girls have moved this morning so their five acre paddock can be divided into smaller areas. Hopefully this will be completed for our return.
I have been checking with Paul at the Halifax Spinning Company to see how our fleece processing is progressing. The mill has been frozen solid but is now back in action, so hopefully some wool will be arriving soon. I have also sent some fleeces to be dyed using natural products at Artisan Creations in Scotland. See below...
No just an opportunity to share a photo from our visit to Peru. Its a shame I hadn't even thought about owning alpacas and fleece processing at this point. Seeing as I am in the holiday mood here's another one!
Thursday 14 January 2010
Yes that is green grass you see in Pebbles' mouth. Little Fidel was so excited that he has spent all morning with the same piece of greenery displayed midside:
He could have made it as a stud male .....shame about the ears! The emergence of the green stuff has at last relieved Jenson of his duties. Jenson, a little black cria, likes to sleep under the hay racks. Consequently, he is always covered in the stuff and has been working as a mobile feeding station during the bad weather. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to get a pic. of him in action. Here he is this morning, not carrying quite as much hay as often seen. He wasn't looking too impressed, maybe the redundancy package was less than generous!
Short blog today. We are planning to get away for a few days so I am running around trying to get all the chores done. We booked a winter break, thinking summer was out of the question (birthing season) but we have not chosen well! Family and friend are coming to stay to look after the house and all the animals. We have on the rota: a couple of nurses, a civil engineer, a retired farmer, and a security officer to name but a few. So we should be well covered for most eventualities
If we do manage to leave the country (I touch wood) we are going to visit a baby elephant orphanage. I don't know if anyone knows the stocking rates for elephants and how they are with snow?
Tuesday 12 January 2010
Hoity Toity has been amusing me over the past couple of days. Having received plenty of attention over the weekend she has decided she rather likes being special. She is certainly a Czar daughter with a royal attitude....very aptly named I think! I have been feeding her from her own bowl to ensure that she is getting her share of the rations (she is a slow feeder). Yesterday she decided that she would only eat if I actually held the bowl for her. Today she took it one step further by deciding that she wanted to be fed separately from the others, in the feed store, again with me holding the bowl. What have I started! She is very sweet I have to say.
Minnie is getting a little jealous as she is normally the centre of attention . I noticed that she was giving HT a little shove out of the way initially but now appears to have decided that she is her new best friend. If you can't beat em join em I guess! Minnie, who is now pregnant, remains one of the most friendly (and well behaved) alpacas I have ever met.
Pic of Minnie and Ben taken a couple of days ago. The snow is melting now and green grass can be seen again. The roads are virtually clear. I actually had a delivery today.....a Wii Fit that I ordered before xmas.....I would like to say that I no longer needed it after all buckets of water that I have carried.....but sadly this is not the case. However whether I use it will be another thing. Another loss of £s rather than lbs most likely!
Sunday 10 January 2010
Fingers crossed that that water does not freeze again over night.
Saturday 9 January 2010
We decided to give the January dose of ADE paste and do some condition scoring on all the alpacas today (activity generates some heat!). It is difficult to judge just how much to feed in such extreme conditions, everyone scored fine, but we will be keeping the extra rations of oats going whilst the weather is so grim. For more information on alpaca scoring click on the link: http://www.alpaca.asn.au/docs/about/info/4bodycondition.pdf
Feed time remains popular. The girls obviously think it is tea time every time they see me, unless they just know it's time for a photo!
Bahiti leads the photo call.
As all the alpacas were surviving the cold we though we would test out our body boarding skills!Well, we went down the hill on a tin sheet, narrowly missing ending up in the water supply (beck) not quite olympic standards!
Sorry, back to the alpacas. A photo for Sue: Pepsi Lola is fascinated by my suede gloves and follows me around trying to get a chew. There is always at least one mischief! Although, I expect Fidel (rear in foreground) may prove to win that crown. Lets see what halter training him brings!
HT continues to be fine. I have Stopped myself doing any more 'what if I had done this or that' Reflection is always good, but beating ones self up is not. However, show me an animal lover who doesn't do it in such circumstances.
Friday 8 January 2010
Paul has now arrived home and reminded me that we have a beck running behind the house (although half frozen), hence the name Beck Brow! Oh well. We are still frozen solid but at least we can access some water for the animals. We are off to the local for our tea now. Warm food and a flushing loo.
I am pleased to say that Hoity Toity appears to be fine, remaining apyrexial and tucking into her morning feed with gusto.
Thursday 7 January 2010
I know the weather news is getting old news but it is minus 12 here......now that is frost bite cold!
Rations of rolled oats and sugar beet for all. Sharing out the beet is like running the gauntlet here. Camilla, a particularly sweet looking alpaca, is the worst offender, she suddenly starts squealing like a very large pig as soon as she see the bucket in hand!
Hopefully a more cheerful post next time.
Wednesday 6 January 2010
The boys have also started to play in the snow. Almost Illegal won the hide and seek competition!
I won't over load you with any more photos today. I did manage to get some of the new imported girls and will post them next time.