OUR SMALL HERD
Our 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 8 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, 15 August 2010
Walkies? I don't think so!
You can tell by the look on Gully's face that he really didn't want to do 'walkies' yesterday! There is a resolute glare which says, "You're wasting your time!" Normally he will walk (a bit) but yesterday he was not in the mood, however he was very good with the halter and having his cream rubbed on. Whilst he is a deaf boy, it is very hard to detect that now because he is so well integrated into the herd and knows exactly what is going on around him. He no longer relies on Gaucho as his pal and often lies down next to the older members of the group. He can also stand up for himself and can spit and grumble at the others when the need arises.
Gaucho getting his halter fitted with Wee Eck looking on. We've had a week of fluctuating temperatures and weather conditions from constant rain to boiling hot sunshine. This was taken on rather a cold morning. The boys were penned again for more halter fitting especially for the two new boys, Fergus had some nails clipped and we had some walkies. Wee Eck is still a challenge but Rufus is coming on nicely.
When the halter training is over the boys almost always want a 'poo with a view!' Shows what they think of the training regime.
And finally....... here is some of Rufus's fleece (left) and Gully (right) which I've been spinning. I've spun 12 skiens each of their fleece with lots more of Gully's still to go. Gully's is spinning up to a double knitting weight and Rufus is more of a Sport's weight. The quality of the fleece determines the weight that I spin and I spin straight from the animal then wash the skien and hang it to dry. As I'm not a breeder the micron count etc. is not so important to me, but if I get a good fleece then it's a bonus. What is more important to me is that the animals are a happy, contented herd and that I try to use as much of what fleece they have for my own purposes. Using spinning and felting I can use all of the fleece that the boys produce.