Monday, 25 November 2013

Some for the show team?

Today is one of those days when we are reminded how blessed we are to live in such a beautiful country, with all of its seasons. I took out the camera to gets some shots of the sun shining, with the frost still on the ground, and the autumn leaves still on the trees. It really was a stunning sight...but you will have to take my word for it...for I got a bit carried away taking cria shots... and didn't bother about the view!

Here we have some of the 2013 Beck Brow cria (I will endeavour to take the others another day)

First up is Beck Brow Sunday Best (sire Viracocha Black Sabbath) who is a definite one for the show team. She has such a great head and is such a stylish female.

Beck Brow Sunday Best

Cat's Pyjamas was enjoying lunch far too much to lift her head. She is another for the show team, she has such a dense fleece with such uniformity of character and stunning brightness. With EP Cambridge Lady Gaga as her dam, and Waradene St Patrick as her sire; she has inherited the kind of look at me attitude you might expect.

Beck Brow Cats Pyjamas

One for Amanda...Beck Brow Raffles (Dam; Beck Brow Rumour Has It. Sire; Waradene St Patrick)

Below is Beck Brow Victoria's Secret and she does have a secret too..she is covered in golden spots! I have never seen anything like it. Her fleece has fantastic character and density, thus I am going to enter her in a multi class at one of the shows just for fun. I am rather excited to see if she is an appaloosa when shorn. Her dam is dark brown (black sire) and comes from a line of females who appear to have a lightening gene. Her sire is Black Sabbath (GS; Snowmass Grey legend) so grey in the pedigree too.

Beck Brow Victoria's Secret

I am afraid I won't be getting any prizes as photographer of the year; here we have a not very flattering shot of Beck Brow Bespoke. Bespoke is sired by Bozedown Patriot and his dam is the multi-championship winning female; Bozedown Celestrial, whom we purchased at the Classic in 2012. Celestrial is now pregnant to Beck Brow Explorer...exciting!

Beck Brow Bespoke

Oops Sunday seems to have snook in again. I did think it was Otis but no...

Beck Brow Sunday and Velvet.

Now, I am going to try to play it cool...this is Beck Brow First Edition (Eddie) who is the first born cria of Beck Brow Explorer...his daddy has had a very successful show career winning four Supreme Championships...that's a lot to live up to...we will find out next year if he can follow in his footsteps!

Beck Brow First Edition (I will try for a fleece shot)

Another male who will be taking a trip to the National Show is Beck Brow Crafter. His dam is the lovely Silverstream Galaxy ET who has a 19 micron fleece at six years old, and his sire is our Supreme Champion male Waradene St Patrick of EPC. We were surprised when we weighed him last week, that he weighs much the same as the rest of his peer group, he just has so much fleece he looks twice the size!

Beck Brow Crafter

One of the reasons for posting a blog straight away, is so that I can identify the Explorer cria. I can tell them apart in the paddock, but it is so difficult in photos. So here we have Miss Molly. All of his cria have such incredibly bright fleeces, I think that you can see the sunlight bouncing off her fleece. She is a mirror image of her daddy.

 Beck Brow Miss Molly (sire; Beck Brow Explorer)

Beck Brow La-Di-Da (sire Beck Brow Explorer)

I did decide not to take a photo of Epic because he has managed to feature in my previous two postings...but he seems to have managed to get himself in the shot.. behind Beck Brow Summer Haze (sire; Lillyfield Jack of Spades of Inca)...I just love him!

Beck Brow Summer Haze

Another pea from the pod of Beck Brow Explorer; Beck Brow Hallelujah. His cria even have the same crimp across their chest as he does.

Beck Brow Hallelujah 

Now, if you are thinking that I might be rather exaggerating how alike the Explorer cria we have Miss Molly and Hallelujah. Halle is six weeks older but otherwise they are near identical in every way, including fleece style.

 I decided that I would release one of the three female Explorer progeny...but how do you decide who when they are so alike...well in the end it just came down to the fact that Miss Molly's dam has already had a female offspring, and the other two are the first female crias born from their dams. I am afraid that all of the female cria being released from our 2013 born have first reserves on them now.

Beck Brow Miss Molly (left) and Beck Brow Hallelujah

We had a very successful time at Ulverston Dickensian Christmas Fair at the weekend. On Saturday Trish and I manned the stall and we were rushed off our feet. Sunday was slightly quieter, when I took Paul along, but overall our takings were up 20% on the previous year. The problem is we have virtually sold out of knitwear and have two more fairs to go!

Paul spent his time on Saturday putting down hardcore in front of all the field shelters. It has been so wet everywhere is so muddy. Of course now he has done that the ground is hard with frost!. Still good job done, but he hasn't had time to quite finish his belter of a field shelter, although the alpacas dont seem to mind the lack of doors!

A belter of a shelter with a view...

Wednesday, 20 November 2013


Winter appears to have bright skies and snow covered paddocks just wet, muddy and cold. Not the weather to be going up the paddock at 6.30am in your dressing gown and slippers!

Why on earth would anyone do that? Well I have a confession to make; I have a favourite cria...I am obsessed about him...I can hear the wind and the rain outside...I am worried that his coat may have got wet through and that he is freezing cold...he is tiny...he is cute...he is EPIC!!!

I did think that they might have come in to the barn hence the slippers...but no he was out, in the mud and soaking wet (the coat had yet again stayed waterproof at the skin but had absorbed what felt like 2lbs of water). So dry coat in situ I plodded back to the house in my mud covered slippers with mud covered feet!

Epic's dam is a maiden and his weight gain has been slow. He did take small amounts of supplementary goats milk but he has recently started to refuse this. Then we noticed him tucking in to the Camelibra with gusto. He is only 8 weeks old but he doesn't just pick at the odd morsel like the other young he eats a small handful. I was concerned about him digesting such a quantity but all appears fine in the poo department. I will get him the hembro and cria feed with the next order.

He has got such a taste for hard feed that he his one of the first in at meal times. I would defy anyone not to smile when you watch him racing to the front in his red coat


Can you spot him? the middle behind a black cria

here he is making up ground quickly 8th place

Coming up the inside in the racing red coat

Nearly result was 2nd behind Beck Brow Foxy Sox (next to Sox is Sugar Babe, behind her Esmee Mae. Behind Sox is Bozedown Celestrial)

We have had a pleasant ticking along week. On Thursday Amanda and I gave everyone their AD&E, always good to have another excuse to handle everyone. I am always amazed at how the cria fleeces keep changing but we will have a number of juniors going to the BAS National Show next year. Sponsorship opportunities are being taken at a great rate, only three silver sponsorship opportunities left now...dont miss out!

On Saturday we weighed all the cria. It is always interesting to study the differing weight gains and look at the family trends. We have a female; Silverstream Galaxy ET who is consistently one of the dams at the top of the leader board for cria weight gain, she gets pregnant on her first mating every year and has an 19 micron fleece at six her son Beck Brow Crafter will definitely be in our show team...if only I had a couple of dozen of her! Interestingly in the top six were two dams both aged 11 years old (both have the same sire) who's crias always flourish.

Robyn turned 30 yesterday. She has been having various celebrations for weeks now and these look like continuing. However, on Friday we managed to get to the Heather Glen for a close friends and family celebration, then last night we had a family meal together at ours. As this was a big birthday she was invited to put in a menu request...chilli with soured cream and advocado...childhood favourites are always the best!!

Monday, 11 November 2013

How not to do it!

I am feeling a bit sorry for myself today. Unfortunately there isn't anybody else here to give me any sympathy...not that Paul would actually be sympathetic... but he would at least have done the sweeping up. I am a one hand band today (having injured my thumb) meaning that the morning tasks have been a bit of a challenge. 

I had a famous last word moment yesterday. With a family here to do some husbandry training, I decided that I would use one of the liveried females to demonstrate toe nail trimming. Then, Just as I commented on the fact she was being well behaved, she moved, and as I wasn't fully concentrating on the task, I sliced a chunk out of my thumb. Getting a shock I tossed the shears up in the air and they came back point down back into the same thumb. I couldn't do it again if a tried a million times.

My thumb has now swollen so much that it has trapped a nerve and I have pins and needles right up my arm...anyone feel sorry for me yet?

I did get a little bit of sympathy from Epic, who was helping me sweep the barn. Here he is in one of his Masta dog coats, which are far and away the most waterproof (available from Equestrian Clearance for £10). 

                          Beck Brow Epic

I went down to Houghton Hall Alpacas on Friday to be a handler on the BAS Advanced Assessment course (you are able to get so much from helping on these course it really is worth doing). What a great venue they have, we managed to all keep dry despite the weather, and I had a thoroughly enjoyable and informative time. I arrived home at 8pm on Saturday evening rather tired. At least it was a change going down the A1 rather than the M6!

I did find out on Thursday that I hadn't managed to pass the certification. It wasn't a surprise I knew at the time that I had 'lost the plot' hence I had already volunteered as a handler on the AA course. I am going to resit as I know I messed up. I am not especially disappointed as a couple more apprenticeships will be good for me. 

I am typing this on my iPad with Angel on my shoulder...makes a change from using poor Velvet as a cushion...

                                                 Angel having a nap on Velvet!

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Good news from NZ!

Whilst I admit I am becoming rather tardy with my blogging, I notice that I am not alone. It's that time of year where the opportunities to get a photo of a dry alpaca are few and far between. Hence I have had to go all the way to New Zealand for blog photos...

Pictured below is Gilt Edge White Gold whose first fleece stats are MFD 15.9 SD 1.9 CV 12 CF 100% (awaiting 2nd). Now you may be thinking; excellent fleece stats but why is she on this blog. Well, she is the first born progeny of our recently imported male; Timbertop CT Goldmine ET...and she has just taken Supreme Champion Fleece at the Hawkes Bay Show (NZ)...and wait for it...with the very impressive EPC Invictus taking Reserve Champion...go girl!!

                Gilt Edge White Gold (sire: Timbertop CT Goldmine ET of Beck Brow)

                                         Fleece from Gilt Edge White Gold

It has been a busy week, not least working as part of the National Show Committee, in order to get the website up and running. The site is going to be kept live by Philippa Collette so a great way to keep up to speed with goings on. Visit the site on The Telford Exhibition Centre is a fantastic venue taking the BAS National Show to new level. Oh I have just spotted myself on the video on the carefully for yourselves... you might be on there too!

Whilst busy I have still managed to get in a lunch or two (alpaca related of course). On Thursday I had a visit from Sam and Doug from Teesdale Alpacas. We had a good fleece rummage and then they kindly bought me lunch. A perfect day! Then yesterday I paid a return visit to Doug before heading on to visit Carole at Prince Bishop Alpacas. More fleece rummaging and lunch...oh the joy of alpaca ownership. Amanda (Florens Alpacas) had came along and as we had taken longer than expected; helped me get all the Beck Brow herd fed in the dark on our return.

Still haven't had the results from the judge's certification. Keep forgetting about it now, so any bad news will be taken well.

I am off down to Houghton Hall to be a handler on the Advanced Assessment course on Friday ( I think I have developed an addiction to travelling down that M6 to see alpacas!). I have to admit I very nearly went a week early...I had booked the hotel...packed my bag...when something just made me check the dates!!