Saturday 3 April 2010

My Apologies to Blanche & Bonita!

Whilst looking through my small archive of blogs today, I realised that I have been a little bias with my inclusions. Whereas, Silverstream Hoity Toity and EPC Lady Gaga have made headlines; Two of our founding members of Beck Brow Alpacas have not even been given a mention.

Bozedown Blanche and Bozedown Bonita, along with Two Ways Holly, were our foundation girls (by that I simply mean they were our initial purchases rather than our building blocks). These three girls bought with cria at foot were to be an addition to our interest in breeding miniature ponies. A hobby! I had read a lot about the health and welfare needs of alpacas (as would befit an animal loving nurse) but knew nothing about what constituted a good fleece (or indeed that this was actually important!).

I had read the BAS section on confirmation faults and knew not to buy an alpaca with two heads and three legs; Or was than two teats and three toes? Either way we purchased our girls (from the first breeder that we visited) based on a very strict inclusion criteria: 1.They had nice eyes. 2.They were for sale. 3.They had a very cute cria at foot. 4. It was best to buy them before Paul changed his mind.

On a serious point we did deliberately choose dams with cria at foot and who were not first time mums. Maybe we were slightly lucky in our choices, considering our previous lack of knowledge, as we managed to select three very sound girls. They are not prize winners but are reliable mothers, who produce strong cria who thrive well. All became pregnant on their first mating and have remained so. Blanche who is registered as white, but has a fawn patch running across both shoulders, has produced two much improved solid coloured females. These three girls have given us the confidence to go on to purchase the elite females (and males) that we now have in our herd. They have also turned a hobby into a business.

Are these girls on the for sale list? No! They will be mated with Hollwood’s Attitude this year and will hopefully again produce an improved cria (a good test to see how Hollywood passes on his traits). Known reliable breeders are not to be sniffed at and of course we adore them.

Pictured on the day that they arrived at Beck Brow: Holly (left); Bonita (back right); Blanche (front right) and their cria. The grass had obviously been growing for sometime in anticipation of their arrival! Also pictured is Katkin who arrived on the same day although had been purchased a month later than the initial girls (and given a little more thought!).


  1. It is certainly a learning curve, and one I think you need to make to appreciate what you want.

  2. Now..Barbara..I know, you haven't regreted your purchase !...we all make the same novice our quest to own our dream herd..some of my girls are also...random purchases, mind you, they have also been fantastic mothers who are excellent breeding females !...and have made valuable contributions to the Zanzibah Group !....anyway...nothing IS perfect..!! it !!..........Jayne

  3. Never underestimate a good mother!
    If only we all knew then what we know now!

  4. Absolutely...I was really pointing our my own naivity...the girls as excellent mothers and are appreciated...gaining experience is all part of the joy of owning alpacas!