I have just spent a week in the french Alps with one of my daughters and my two grandsons, the weather was fantastic, wall to wall sunshine and blue skies and the snow was still pretty good as well. Great to see the boys learn to ski, how they go from not being able to stand up to skiing down the mountain in 6 days is amazing. So a whole week away from the wet miserable Dartmoor weather, poo picking, hayrack filling and feeding up. Luckily for me Steve doesn't do Skiing so he stayed behind and looked after the animals while we were away enjoying ourselves. Couldn't wait to get back to them though, the llamas did give me the silent treatment for awhile, but this morning they were all back to normal. The alpacas didn't seem to notice I was back either but then until they have had their breakfast they aren't interested in anything.
We have our first Llama walk tomorrow and as the boys have had a bit of a lazy winter we had a little training session this morning, turns out they didn't need any refresher course, Polo took the pack system as if he has been working all winter. Blackjack just enjoyed to walk as usual, poor old Lenny is suffering with his leg and is limping quite badly so we are now seriously considering retiring him this year, although he couldn't wait to get out on the walk this morning, so it is difficult to know what to do.
We have been discussing the grass situation as we need to rest the birthing paddock. We have the boys who will be off to Cornwall in April and the female Alpacas who are due to give birth later in the season who could be moved onto the new grass once the owner gives us the go a head, this would leave us with just the 3 or 4 females that are due end of March/April in the Cottage paddocks. That would mean we can shut up the Birthing Paddock for a good 5 weeks, give it a good clean up, clear out the field shelter ready for the first of this years babes.
If we decide to retire Lenny this year he will go and live with the two old female llamas and the female Alpaca herd, which I am sure he will enjoy as he does like to think he is in charge and play the protector role!