Sunday, 24 March 2013

A head full of alpaca...and nothing else!

Well I could start this blog by saying another busy week...but that's just becoming boring...the norm! So here we go...Monday saw me turn round and go all the back down to Toft Alpacas at Dunchurch (near Rugby). Rob and Shirley had kindly offered to have me to stay for a couple of nights, whilst they were hosting a BAS Judges clinic with Amanda VandenBosch. It was an early night for all of us on the Monday ready for a busy day ahead. Well worth the journey (and subsequent exhaustion by Thursday) the course was so informative, and on the back of ring stewarding, I came away with a head bursting with information. Luckily for us Toft Alpacas have fantastic educational facilities and we managed to keep nice and warm (alpacas and humans) during the teaching sessions (the alpacas even had carpet!).

I was still feeling tired on Friday (after a hectic couple of weeks) however, I decided the cupboards were looking rather Mother Hubbard like, and someone really needed to pay a visit to Tesco. So there I was trolley overflowing; and you know how it is when you have so much to load onto the conveyor belt that it starts coming off the packing end before you have unloaded...feeling weary I packed the final item and was thinking about the unloading and putting away at the other end...however, what I should have been thinking was...where is my purse...EMBARASSING!!

Saturday was a full day of alpaca husbandry. Firstly the weanlings were weighed...this cold weather really isn't helping them loses but virtually no weight gain either. Crushed oats has now been added to their mix (Paulo is now eating...but only when fed by hand...Paul taught him that at the Futurity!). The whole herd got a dose of Ovithrive mineral drench, and at the same time the herd all got condition scored. The pregnant females were generally scoring 3 to 3.5/5. Spot on with no overweight females for a change. None the less we have added a sprinkling of oats to their morning feed as we have females coming up to birthing next month, and with no spring grass on the agenda. These females, due within the next six weeks, were given their Lambivac booster.

I think that I have also been wearing myself out thinking about alpaca is this time of the year that I always become obsessed. Thankfully a number of decisions for outside matings (got to keep mixing those genetics!) where decided at the Futurity. Cambridge Stargazer (sire Firedragon) our fabulous super elite female at EP Cambridge Alpaca Stud in Australia, will be mated to EP Cambridge Peruvian Spartacus (we are taking superstar here!). Very exciting but a long wait (we may see her in Oct/Nov). Cambridge Camilla (Beck Brow Explorer's dam) is going back to Cambridge Navigator (his sire and son of Spartacus). It had to be done. Explorer mark 11? Lots more decisions made but I won't bore you with them all at once!!!

I have been out with the camera (mainly because Robyn informed me that there was a pair of swans on our pond...but they were no where to be seen by the time I got there..not even Velvet could eat a swan so hopefully they will be back). So photos of some of our residents:

 Beck Brow Marco (who will be going to his new home on Saturday). He just gets cuter...

I wonder why we have so many gorgeous looking cria...could it be that St Patrick is the daddy!! (okay not the most flattering photo)

A gang of St Patrick cria (from left Shackleton, Sox and Testimony)

Wiseman Sweet Coco (another St Patrick cria with a lovely dense fleece...NWAG Show entrant!)

 and some of our non-alpaca family:

 Jed one of our minature Shetland ponies (just look at that mane!)

Just to prove that we have mud even is our alpacas like to keep clean: Jake having enjoyed a good roll

Inca enjoying herself in our wood on the way back from the pond.

and a hen...who obviously thinks spring may be coming judging by the red comb!


  1. Nice to see some lovely fluffy ,dry Alpacas. Hamish and Dougal are in the best place. It is decidedly arctic here.

  2. Just stunning photos of stunning Alpacas! :) Lisa

  3. So that little Shetland isn't an apaloosa?! Good to see some dirty animal chez vous as I can never understand how the alpacas stay so clean whatever the weather! Marco looks a real cutie, but it's that lovely Sox, she's sooo pretty (and her personality sounds delightful, she has truly captured my heart...good job we're not closer or she just disappear!!

  4. Nice selection of pictures, all looking good. We still have some fatties who are 'coffee table alpacas' scoring 4.5 on the scale, some just can't or won't lose weight, sounds familiar actually.