Sunday 15 January 2012

Fluffy Alpacas are back

Choc Ice in front of Tigerlily, Midnight and Lalique at back
At last the rain has stopped and we have had several days of crisp, sunny days, the mud has gone and we now have a field full of fluffy Alpacas. So with my super doper new camera I have tried to get some decent shots, only the Alpacas had different ideas and Choc Ice decided to take most of the hay rack with her!

Ivory in front of Lily and Olivia
All the cria are now back with the herd after being weaned and separated from their mums for 6 weeks.  Lalique was the only one who tried to suckle from her mum (Marietta) but she was the youngest of the group, Marietta wasn't at all interested in that and sent her packing.
We had given the cria a few short lessons in Halter training before Christmas so yesterday with the help of some clients who had been on a llama walk we decide to give them a go to see if they remembered anything.  The were all very good and we walked them around the garden and right up the lane to the top fields and back.  So this year there shouldn't be a rush to get them ready for the first show.

My mission last year was to find a use for all our fleece, most has been processed into yarn, but the course stuff and even the stuff brushed up off the floor has now all gone. The final 4 bags were stuffed in the back of the shed so last weekend I had a trip to Paignton Zoo planned with Daughter and Grandchildren, so as the big cat keepers had used some of our fleece previously for enriching the lives of the tigers and lions, I gave them ring to see if they could use some more.  So off we went with a bag of fleece each which we deposited at the entrance before spending a lovely day looking at the animals.  Josh wanted to wait to see what they were going to do with the fleece but as they made a paper mache model of an Alpaca covered it with the fleece filled it with food and fed it to the tigers, I didn't think it was a good idea.
As I can't drive at the moment I am walking the two miles back from the field each morning, great opportunity to practice with the camera.

Dartmoor Pony

Lichen in the Hawthorn
Every morning there is something new to see, snowdrops starting to come into flower, even some Katkins, saw a deer in the field over the valley.  I have to walk past the field where the trekking llamas are and they follow me along the other side of the hedge until we get to the corner where they can stand on the rocks to see over the hedge, so I got a shot of Merlin and Murphy, these to have really grown up now and Murphy is particularly handsome.

Murphy and Merlin
Last night we went to see Warhorse at the cinema, great film and some of it was filmed on Dartmoor quite near us so it was interesting to see if we could recognise the locations.
Today we went up to North Devon to visit Andy and Sue from Pippin Alpacas and the Alpacas they brought last year, they we all looking good and we helped out with some husbandry tasks.  I was particularly interested in how the cria were growing and having a good fleece rummage. The lovely Calico's fleece was certainly impressive.  We wish them all the best for future plans and their first cria due this summer.


  1. The camera works OK then?! Your 'Summer' looks just like our Gaucho. Shirley & Robbie

  2. Camera is great, just need to work out just how clever it is! Summer is lovely, just a sweetie really