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, 4 July 2010
Two new boys.
Last weekend we drove through to Ardo Alpacas in Aberdeenshire to help Lorna and Sandy with their shearing. Needless to say, we were like 'bairns in a sweetie shop' being surrounded by all the lovely Alpacas and Llamas and it was inevitable that our herd was going to increase in size back home! Yesterday, Lorna brought our choice of two 3 yrs old geldings to their new home! I wanted a rose grey boy and a black boy with easy going temperaments who would fit in well with our existing boys. This is Rufus who originally came from a small herd in Caithness and who is a rose grey. Rufus is a big fella but he seems to have a nice way about him and will need some handling and halter training in due course. After 24 hours here he's still wary, but has settled in with the other boys, eating well and sharing the field shelters.
This is our black boy Echo - or 'Wee Eck' as he is now affectionately known! He is the smallest of our boys, small in stature but large in personality. He is not shy or wary, he gets into the middle of the herd and pushes and shoves when necessary, just like the big boys. He's very curious and within minutes of joining the herd, had started splashing himself with water from the trays and rolling in the sandpit. His tail is often up and he struts around the paddock as if he had been here for years. Eck is solid black apart from one small white patch on the inside of his front left foot.
Here are Rufus (with white face) and Wee Eck in the middle getting used to their new pals. When they first arrived we kept them in a separate pen where they could all see each other but Eck couldn't wait to get out and join the big boys. We gave Rufus several more hours to get used to his new surroundings but his humming only stopped when we allowed him out to join the herd. After the usual sniffing each other and a bit of jostling they all started to graze together and later ate out of their own bowls of supplement. They had a quiet night in their field shelters, the usual long lie-in in this morning and after more than 24 hours, they seem to have been accepted into the herd. We expect a bit of jostling and spitting in the days to come as they all settle down to a different herd structure, but no battles which we have previously experienced with boys.
And finally..........after a long journey in a trailer, meeting the reception committee and getting used to the surroundings, it was time for Wee Eck to copy his new mates, Fergus (front) and Gaucho and have a siesta. All I have to do now is update the blog with new photos - work for a rainy day I think!