OUR SMALL HERD
Our original four boys came from Ardo Alpacas in Aberdeenshire. We are not alpaca breeders and have our boys purely as pets. Our experience is that you don't need to be a breeder and that a 'batchelor herd' can give much pleasure to the owner. We have 5 acres including our big garden and grazing for the boys, 15 miles north of Inverness, Scotland. I spin, knit, felt and crochet with the fleece from the boys.
Sunday, 21 March 2010
HAIRCUT AND PEDICURE
Now that the snow has gone it was time this week to pen the guys, trim some fringes and nails, and put cream on Faro's bald spots. This shows me herding the boys using two white sticks (curtain rods actually!) which we've done since recommended on Julie Taylor-Browne's course in 2007 (http://www.carthveanalpacas.com/). White painted garden canes would also work very well. With a small herd one person can guide them successfully by this method and the boys do not challenge the sticks, in fact as soon as they see the sticks being brought out, they know where to go!
The boys are moving to the side of the field, then they are led to the corner and into the catch pen.
Robbie is in the pen and the boys are haltered using Zephyr halters which we find more substantial than other makes. Faro has a couple of bald spots on his ankles and lower legs and we treat this with cream. He has also been shaking his head and we think he may have some mites on his external ears so fly cream seems to be doing the trick with them. He has previously been treated with Spot On and Frontline following a skin scraping by the Vet which showed mites, and we are monitoring him and the others.
What better after a trim-up than to chill out in the sand pit in the Spring sunshine, just like Gaucho (left) and Fergus! After this the boys were moved to the bottom paddocks and to (some) fresh grass, much to their delight. We note now with some grass around that they are eating less haylage and sugar beet.