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.
Saturday, 24 July 2010
Sun, flies and tatties!
We moved the boys to the two bottom paddocks earlier this week - just before the heavy rain set in for 36 hours! When this cleared, the sun came out and it was very hot which was then ideal for swarms of flies and midgies. Most of the boys took to the shelters to get away from the flies except Fidget, seen here basking in the late afternoon sun, and Rufus to the right of the picture.
The boys were penned this morning before the sun and flies got going again. This was the first time that Wee Eck and Rufus had been in this pen but they were fine.
Here is Eck wearing his halter for only the second time and being a really good boy with none of the jumping about we had from him last week. You'll note that he is wearing a piece of straw as an adornment - he's practising to be a Unicorn I think!
A lovely shot of Rufus wearing his halter for only the second time too, and also being a good boy! Fidget is immediately behind, then Gaucho at the rear. Gully's ears were creamed again and all the boys eventually wore their halters. We decided that as it was all going so well, we would push our luck and go for short 'walkies.' The older boys did very well and were led, but for Wee Eck and Rufus this was their first time being led and they were not impressed! Rufus immediately rebelled and jumped and thrashed about a lot before calming down. Eck refused to budge but he didn't jump about. As a first time with their lead ropes on we weren't too concerned - it will be better next time.
And finally, a couple of shots for the horticulturally minded. This is part of our veg garden, taken yesterday, now beginning to produce the goodies after a late start following the bad winter. No doubt the over-winter application of alpaca dung has helped with growth!
Proof of the pudding! With every plate of mince should come a plentiful supply of tatties! These are some of the Dunluce early spuds, we are also eating Arran Pilot and Rocket as earlies to be followed by Estima as 2nd early. Not exactly 'early' this year although we have now finished eating those we grew in the Keder greenhouse earlier. All the earlies are now lifted, drying off in the garage and will then be bagged. The main crop spuds are growing well but will be in the ground for some time. The veg garden can be hard work but at least it pays fresh dividends.